Budget Calendar for 2017

September 3rd, 2017

Budget Process Calendar for 2017

 On or before September 26th 2017

Required Action Adopt proposed budget for 2018, including fund balance estimate for 2017 (Town Law [“TL”] §181[2]).

File budget with fire district secretary (TL§181[3]).

Post budget on fire district’s website (if district maintains as website) (TL§181[3]).

Provide copy of proposed budget for 2018, including fund balance estimate for 2017 to town clerk of towns in which district is located. (no statutory reference, but best practice)

 September 27th ; October 2nd  2017

Required Action Post notice of budget hearing on fire district website and signboard (if district maintains a website/signboard) (TL§175-c[1]).

Provide copy of notice of budget hearing to town clerk of towns in which district is located. (Each town clerk must post the notice on their town’s website and on clerk’s bulletin board and town signboard)(TL§175-c[2]).

Provide copy of notice of budget hearing to town clerk of towns and secretaries of fire districts with which district contracts. (Each town clerk and fire district secretary receiving notice must post it on the town or district website; town clerks must also post the notice on clerk’s bulletin board and town signboard) (TL§175c-[2]).

Annual Date On or before 5 days prior to budget hearing

On or before October 12th 2017

Required Action Publish notice of budget hearing in official newspaper or, if not official newspaper, in newspaper having general circulation in district, and publicly post notice (TL§181[3][a]).

Post published notice on fire district’s website (if district maintains a website)(TL§181[3][a]).

Provide copy of proposed budget for public inspection to town clerk of towns in which district is located [see September 27th tasks stated above] (TL§181[3][a]).

Provide copy of published notice to town clerk of towns in which district is located (Each town clerk must post the notice on the town’s website and on the town signboard) (TL§181[3][a]).

After adopting proposed budget complete tax cap levy form for New York Comptroller’s Office and “save” but do not submit. Determine if proposed budget will exceed tax cap (GML§ 3-c(3))

 On Tuesday October 17th 2017

Required Action Hold budget hearing (TL§181[3][a]). Required Action Hold budget hearing (TL§181[3][a]).

October 17st ; November 3rd  2017

Required Action Subject to certain restrictions, make changes, alternations and revisions to proposed budget (TL§181[3][b]).

Before adopting Fire District Annual Budget determine if the tax levy will exceed tax levy cap and if so the Fire District must pass a resolution by a 60% vote of its board to override the tax cap (GML§ 3-c(5))

 On or before November 4th 2017

Required Action Before adopting Fire District Annual Budget and after passing any resolutions necessary to override the tax cap levy “submit” the Fire District budget/ tax cap form to the New York State Comptroller’s Office on the form prescribed by them. (GML3-c(7))

Adopt fire district annual budget (TL§181[3][b]).

 On or before November 7th 2017

Required Action Fire district secretary delivers two (2) certified copies of fire district annual budget to town clerk of towns in which district is located (TL§181[3][c]) and obtains receipt.

Tax Cap Filing Tax Growth Factors

August 18th, 2017

This year’s tax cap figure is 1.84% and the Special District growth factors which you need to file your tax cap information is listed by county at this OSC web site:


FAQ’s On the Cancer Bill Signed into Law on 10/22/17

August 9th, 2017

FAQs on the Cancer Bill Signed by the Governor!!

A bill that would provide financial assistance for volunteer firefighters who develop certain kinds of cancer has been signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Q: Who qualifies?

A: Interior firefighters only

Q: What is the minimum length of service to qualify?

A: Five years as interior firefighter

Q: Are yearly mask-fit tests required?

A: Yes, at least five of them

Q: Is a physical required?

A: Yes, from entry into service and with no evidence of cancer at that time

Q: Is a diagnosis of cancer required to get the benefits?

A: Yes, diagnosis must be made after law goes into effect

Q: What cancers are covered?

A: Prostate, breast, lymphatic, hematological, digestive, urinary, neurological, reproductive and melanoma

Q: What does “presumptive” mean in this situation?

A: These cancers are automatically believed to be caused by exposure during firefighting

Q: Can firefighters collect for more than one diagnosis of these cancers?

A: Yes

Q: Where does the money come from?

A: The money comes from an insurance policy covering each and every interior firefighter

Q: Who pays for this?

A: The firefighter’s fire district, company or department or whoever currently pays for the VFBL coverage.

Q: How much can a firefighter receive?

A: There is a lifetime cap of $50,000.

Q: Is there a lump sum payment per diagnosis?

A: Yes, either $6,250 or $25,000, depending on the severity of the disease

Q: Is there a monthly payment upon total disability?

A: Yes, $1,500 a month for up to 36 months

Q: Is there any payment to beneficiaries of the firefighter if he or she dies?

A: Yes, $50,000

Q: Once signed into law, is there a deadline for start of coverage?

A: Yes, Jan. 1, 2019

Sources: Senate bill S1411B, Assembly bill A711B

DECON Yourself At the Scene of a Fire

June 20th, 2017

Properly Deconing Yourself at the Scene of a Fire


  1. Remove Wipes from packet and fully open to take advantage of the whole wipe. If both sides of the wipe become soiled during the process, use additional wipes as needed
  2. Start with your eyelids and external corners around your eyes. Action Wipes contain no alcohol or harmful chemicals to further irritate or harm your skin
  3. Clean your hands, lips and surrounding skin BEFORE hydrating. If you are thirsty and cannot wait to hydrate, be sure to clean your hands off before grabbing a beverage
  4. Your nose has a lot of blood vessels close to the skin that easily absorb contaminants. Clean inside and around the folds of your nose
  5. Be sure to get inside and around the back of your ears
  6. Get all around your neck and make sure you get all sides as well as under your shirt collar
  7. Wipe down your hair
  8. Use a clean side of the wipe to thoroughly clean your arms. Be sure to mop up the soot and debris and not just spread it around
  9. Clean your hands and be sure to get in-between your fingers and underneath any rings or bracelets
  10. Get as much of the debris out of your fingernails
  11. Underarms and groin are dense with hair follicles and very important to clean, since they can capture and hold debris
  12. Be sure to wipe down below your belt and into your groin to remove as much debris and contaminants as possible.
  13. Don’t forget to blow your nose and TAKE A SHOWER at your earliest opportunity


Do not forget, these can also be used to DECON Equipment before it is washed or that cannot be washed  {ie. helmet, ear-flaps, SCBA, Portable Radio etc.}

Considering a Municipal Lease Agreement – Read This First

June 10th, 2017

A municipal lease can be much more complicated than you might imagine, read this before you decide to make a move.


July 28th Updated Scorecard, Two Bills Have Been Signed

June 8th, 2017

The legislative season is over for this year, as we wait for the Governor’s Pen, here is where we stand –2017 Bills Scorecard 28July2017

Cover Photo of Diary Circus Fire in Scotia – Rebuilding

April 3rd, 2017

A Scotia ice cream stand and restaurant that became an institution is planning to rebuild after a devastating fire nearly a year ago left its future uncertain.

Robb and Doreen Clemons have submitted plans to the village to rebuild the Dairy Circus on Sacandaga Road (state Route 147), which was destroyed by fire on April 18, 2016. The village Planning Board is due to review the plans on March 6.

“They are planning to rebuild something very similar, with the same business plan,” said Scotia Mayor Kris Kastberg, a friend of the owners.

Congratulations to the owners for their conviction to rebuild their business, the Capital Area Association had sampled their food for several events.

Comptroller Publishes Updated Report on the Fire Service in New York

April 3rd, 2017

Read the new report on the fire service in New York State here:


Comptroller Proposes More Transparency for Fire Protection Districts

April 3rd, 2017

From the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Thomas P. DiNapoli

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today proposed changes to the process for local communities that contract out their fire protection services to incorporated volunteer fire companies. DiNapoli’s legislation would require any incorporated fire company to submit an itemized statement of the estimated costs of providing fire services prior to contract negotiations with any town, village or fire district.

“Many communities rely on the efforts of volunteer fire fighters to protect residents and their property,” DiNapoli said “My legislative proposal would help ensure that the public is aware of the costs of providing fire services before contracts are signed and creates a more standardized process across New York that implements best practices.”

DiNapoli’s legislation is supported by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York and the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.

His office also released a report to help New Yorkers learn about the different ways that communities offer fire protection services to residents. New York’s system for providing fire protection is complex. It can lead to lack of civic understanding, limited participation in budget hearings and special elections, and not enough oversight of financial operations.

The report notes:

  • As of December 2015, there were 886 fire districts in the state.
    · All 62 cities and many of the state’s villages have municipal fire departments.
    · There are over 90,000 volunteer and about 18,000 paid career firefighters throughout the state.
    · Ninety-four percent of fire district revenues come from property taxes.
    · Because fire companies are private entities, they are not subject to many of the laws that apply to municipalities and fire districts.

Between 2011 and 2015, the Comptroller’s office audited 194 fire districts and 113 fire companies. DiNapoli’s office trained approximately 1,200 fire officials across the state in the last three years on financial matters.
Attached is the Legislative Memo related to the new legislation:


Attached is actual proposed text of the legislation:



Regional Director Election Results

March 13th, 2017

The State Association gathered on March 10th for their Board Meeting at the Saratoga Casino Hotel and to count the ballots for regional director for region 1.  A number of people oversaw the election including Counsel Joe Frank.  The results of the balloting was between three candidates and the count from highest to lowest was Norm Petricca, Joyce Petkus, and John Erickson.  Norm and Joyce will be sworn in at the Annual Meeting being held at the Desmond from April 20th to the 22nd.

We wish the best for departing Director John Erickson and we thank him for his service to the State Association.

So You Want to Form a Fire District? – Guidance Document

January 9th, 2017

Forming a Joint Fire District, or New Fire District


Fire District Surplus Property Limits Go Up!

November 18th, 2016

The Governor signed bill S 5858-B on 11/14/16, which relates to the sale of surplus real or personal property.  The fire district may now sell or otherwise dispose of real and personal property of the district no longer necessary for any of its use or purposes if valued at less than $100,000 but not below $20,000 by resolution which will be subject to a permissive referendum.  If the value of the real or personal property is less than $20,000 a proposition is not needed, simply a resolution of the Board to declare the property surplus.  Over $100,000 a resolution by the Board and a voter referendum is required.  The amounts in Section 176, subdivision 23 of Town law were previously $50,000 and $10,000.