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Fulton To Hire New Firefighter

The city will hire a new firefighter. There’s no vacancy yet, but the mandatory Fire Training Academy for new firefighters begins March 1 and only happens once a year.

Mayor Ron Woodward said that there will be a vacancy soon. One firefighter will retire at the end of the year, while another has been out for a long time with a serious illness. In addition, he said 17 or 18 firefighters who have enough time in to retire are still working, but have built up plenty of vacation and compensatory days off.

The result is that the department is racking up plenty of overtime costs. A new firefighter, at the bottom of the pay and seniority scale, will hold down costs.

The police and fire departments are budgeted to spend about $1,900 a day for overtime in 2010.

Interviews for the position happened last week. Members of the Fulton Common Council approved the hiring.

In other recent action, the Council:

  • Approved its annual contract with William Schleinitz, III for videotaping the Council’s meeting, which is then shown on public access cable TV and is available for viewing in City Hall. He received $160 for each meeting, with an hourly rate if the meeting lasts more than 2 hours. It’s rare for a meeting to last more than an hour.
  • Approved Jerome Fire Equipment’s bid of $22,610 for personal escape systems for the Fire Department. Woodward said these systems are required by law. The winning bid was $600 less than the city had budgeted for the equipment, Woodward said.
  • Received a letter of disclosure from firefighter Mike Burke, who disclosed that he is a part-time employee of Northern Fire Equipment of Watertown. Letters of disclosure are required when a city employee has outside employment with a company that may seek to do business with the city.
  • Appointed Jerome Mirabito to the Fulton Public Library Board.
  • Accepted Martisco Corporation’s bid of $35,158.60 for water piping materials. Martisco was the second lowest bidder, but the low bidder did not meet part of the bid specification, Woodward said. A grant given to the Fulton Community Development Agency for the Phillips St. project will pay for the project. It will replace old 4 inch water lines in the neighborhood with now-standard 8 inch lines. One current water line, Woodward said, is only a 1 inch pipe.
  • Allowed the Mayor to sign a contract with Atlantic Testing Laboratories to test Ferric Chloride tanks at the Fulton Sewage Treatment Plant, costing $3,866.
  • Approved writing off $338.49 as an uncollectable debt. The debt was incurred by Ace BBQ for city water, sewer and garbage service at the city-owned building at Bullhead Point which has so far been unable to keep a vendor. The building is vacant at present. Aldermen asked why the city didn’t use its normal procedures for collecting the money. Woodward explained that the main method — adding the amount to the property tax bill — doesn’t work because ther city owns the building. And the other method — hiring a collection firm — would cost more than was owed.

2 Comments

  1. $1900 a day adds up to 693,500 in overtime per year for the two departments. What is wrong with this cities leadership. Do the city leaders undestand that we are the highest tax payers in upstate New York. WAKE UP

  2. First the men and women that serve out city do so in an excellent and proffesional manner. They derserve or respect and support for the work that they do. With that said we need to look and resolving this issue with a real long term solution. We first must look to see how the overtinme is being covered. Are we covering for lower paid employees with higher paid ones? Are we suppling overtime for something that perhaps we could go without for a day or so? I do not know these answers leave that to the managers to look at and evaluate. We need to change the way we approach things don’t just do the same old thing because “thats the way we have always done it”. What if we had the police and fie depts switch to a 3 day 12 hour shift. This would leave an additional 4 hours to cover part of a fourth day or these 4 hours could be used for other details like traffic enforcement or traing coverage or whatever. This would also address those people who gripe about paying for someone to sleep part of their shift. We would need to hire more people to maintain our current coverage but these people would come at a lower cost. Additionally why don’t we work with the men and women of the police and fire depts to see if they would like to stay on staff as a part time employee. We could keep or retain these men and women to cover the shift that we would normally be covering with overtime. We would already be paying for their medical and dental as a retiree so we could keep these valuable men and women on staff. We would and could continue to really on their years of experience and training. I am sure that the unions would oppose part time employees being hired but be keeping retirees as part time employees that shouls ease the oppostion a bit. The city, county and school district might also look at combining postions like personel. Either the city could do the testing and hiring for the school district or the county could do it. Many smaller cities share this responsibility and manager just fine. Also let us not be so blinded that our own opinions are the only right one, that we do not give all ideas a chance. And look and see which ideas could work best. That is the only way to trully achieve change and that could save us money.

    Thanks

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