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February 28, 2013

Fire chief: Taxpayers' money not being misused

Company members making 911 signs

FLY CREEK

Members of the Fly Creek Volunteer Fire Company are permitted to wash their personal vehicles at the station, but Fire Chief Mike Thayer says it’s a well-deserved courtesy. 

Thayer said members, particularly emergency squad members, are encouraged to also do their laundry on site in case there are bodily fluids on them. The clothes are often brought back so there is no contamination with articles of clothing at home, he added. 

Company spokeswoman Margaret Wolff said members bring in their own laundry detergent. 

Thayer also noted that the washer and dryer were not paid for by taxpayer money. The electric dryer was donated, and the company bought the washer, he said.  

As far as washing vehicles, Thayer said: “Not many take advantage of it. We are lucky if we get a handful each month.”

Thayer said members volunteer their time to serve their community, and allowing car washing is just his way of thanking everyone for their service. He said it is a very small price to pay for the volunteers’ contributions to the community. 

The town of Otsego serves as the company’s taxing agent. Supervisor Anne Geddes-Atwell said although the budget is sent to the town, no changes or amendments can be made once it is received. 

“It is just a fiscal arrangement,” she said. 

Geddes-Atwell said the company is funded by taxpayers and contributions are based on the budget. 

In other business, the company has taken the initiative to make and sell signs with house numbers. The goal, according to First Lieutenant of Fire Police Jim Wolff, is to make it easier for 911 dispatchers to pinpoint the address of an emergency caller. He said time is often wasted searching for the proper address. 

According to Wolff, the signs are being custom-made and are available for purchase not only to Fly Creek residents but to anyone. The cost is $15 and the signs can be mounted horizontally or vertically. 

The double-sided signs feature four-inch numbers and are reflective. Wolff, who is spearheading the initiative, said the company has already received more than 140 orders. Order forms are available at the company’s website, flycreekfire.com. For more information, call 435-0084.

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