Yorktown Heights Engine Company #1


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Welcome
Additional Notice/ Information on the public referendum
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By Department News
August 26, 2022

***Additional Notice/ Information on the public referendum:***

The Yorktown Heights Fire District (hereinafter referred to as “The District”) has posted via local newspapers and the department website (www.yorktownfire.org) the announcement of a public referendum vote occurring August 30, 2022. Attached below will be the exact posting link and document. The referendum is to request the approval of the voters for The District to either bond on one or more installment purchase contracts. The information below is intended to identify the fiscal reasoning behind the bond request, and our operational need to purchase new fire suppression apparatus.

The financial side:
Traditionally, the Yorktown Heights Fire District has normally budgeted money and placed a set amount into reserve accounts to purchase apparatus. These accounts are funded annually through your normal Yorktown Heights Fire District tax. Due to the current economic instability, the prices of fire apparatus have drastically increased monthly, pushing the purchase price out of range of what any official could have foreseen to budget. The District has attempted to wait for both pricing to stabilize and for the reserve accounts to catch the moving purchase price. The concern is that neither is happing, while our current front line fire suppression fleet is aging at a rapid pace. After nearly a year of researching and watching prices climb monthly, The District has found that interest rates and the overall cost to bond or lease the apparatus is less than the annual month to month, let alone year to year, inflation cost on apparatus. The passage of this bond will help to upgrade our aging fleet as well as to save taxpayer money in the long run.

The operational need:

The current fleet of the Yorktown Heights Fire District is as follows:
• Five Engines
• One Tanker
• One Ladder
• One Heavy Rescue
• One Dive Water Rescue
• One Brush Truck
• Plus multiple smaller support vehicles

The Fire Engines responsibilities are to supply a limited amount of on-board water, bring fire hose to the scene to extinguish the fire, and establish a water supply for the emergency. Tankers bring an additional large amount of on-board water to supplement and supply the scene. Our Ladder provides a 100’ aerial ladder, compliment of ground ladders for vertical access/rescue, and tools to assist in forcible entry and ventilation. The Heavy Rescue houses a multitude of specialized equipment for many different emergencies. Each fire suppression piece contains seating and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for manpower to use on the scene of an emergency.

Currently, the replacement plan is for front-line Fire Engines to be replaced at their 20th year as a new Engine is delivered, and moved to second-line, and then the second-line Fire Engines are to be retired and sold after additional wear and tear and increased maintenance costs. Ladders, Tankers, and Rescues are to be refurbished at 15 years and retired 30 years after being placed into service.

Our apparatus inventory by apparatus number:
• Engine 270 - 2002 KME Rescue Pumper - 20 years of service - Front Line Engine
• Engine 271 - 1996 KME Engine - 26 years of service – Second Line Engine
• Engine 272 - 2011 KME Engine - 11 years of service – Front Line Engine
• Engine 273 - 2000 KME Engine - 22 years of service – Front Line Engine
• Engine 274 - 2019 Seagrave Engine - 3 years of service - Front Line Engine
• Tanker 14 - 1994 International/Semo Tanker- 28 years of service.
• Ladder 51 - 2005 Seagrave - 16 years of service - 2021 refurbishment
• Rescue 16 - 2009 Spartan - 13 years of service (heavy rescue)
• Rescue 55 - 2014 LDV - 8 years of service (Dive / Water Rescue)

As one can see, the intended replacement schedule hasn’t been followed exactly as planned. However, The Board of Fire Commissioners working with the Chief and his Command Staff of Fire Officers have done an excellent job of rotating apparatus to prolong their useful lives. This extended life has allowed apparatus to remain in service for longer than anticipated, which in turn allowed The District’s fire tax rates to remain stable for years without an increase. This extension of life however has now given way to an extremely aging fleet that is much older than what the needs of The District can handle. The apparatuses increased age, along with increasing call volume, has brought on greater wear and maintenance issues, continuously climbing repair costs, and more importantly significant “out of service” time. The major concern with “out of service” time is with vehicles, such as our tanker, are then not able to respond to emergencies. This lack of response immediately reduces the available water of 2,600 gallons off our initial fire attack. Furthermore, the older fire apparatus lack current NFPA Standard safety systems found on our newer apparatus, and there is an increased training requirement for our members as every apparatus operates differently from one another. The Bond will allow us to purchase a replacement front line Fire Engine, as well as add an additional Tanker to our fleet. The addition of the Tanker will ensure that when the current tanker is out of service for repairs, our immediately available water supply is not diminished. The new apparatus will have increased safety systems, better designs for fire attack efficiency to meet current operational plans, and be built similarly to our current 2019 Engine, with the added benefit of decreasing mechanical out of service down time and mechanical repair costs, while saving money in the long run.

The last question to address is, “can we wait?” Maybe costs will stabilize. Maybe rates will drop. But at this current point The District has been monitoring prices for one calendar year and have watched pricing increase over $400,000. Additionally, one must factor in the build time from signing a contract to delivery of the apparatus. Current fire apparatus build times are at 650+ days. That means even if the apparatus is ordered immediately the day after the vote, the earliest delivery time to YHFD is June of 2024. This doesn’t include the up-fitting of equipment, as well as the YHFD personnel training requirements. By the time the new apparatus arrive, each apparatus in the YHFD fleet will be at minimum two years older.

As a 100% all-volunteer fire department, our members are your neighbors, and this bond will affect our taxes as well. We protect our own houses as well as you and your family's. We are asking you, as our neighbors and as our customers, to aid in giving us safer, better designed, and more reliable apparatus so we can ensure that we can continue provide the level of fire protection that we already do.
We ask that if you live in The District, that you come out on August 30, 2022 to 1916 Commerce St, the Station 1 Firehouse, and vote “yes” on the bond resolution.

NOTICE OF SPECIAL ELECTION
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS FIRE DISTRICT, IN THE TOWN OF YORKTOWN WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK
August 30, 2022
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Special Election of the qualified voters of the Yorktown Heights Fire District (hereinafter called the “Fire District”), in the Town of Yorktown Westchester County, New York, will be held at the Main Firehouse, 1916 Commerce Street, in Yorktown Heights, New York, in said Fire District, on Tuesday, August 30, 2022. The polls shall open at 6:00 o’clock P.M. (Prevailing Time) and shall remain open until 9:00 o’clock P.M. (Prevailing Time) or as much longer as may be necessary to enable the voters then present to cast their votes.
NOTICE IS HEREBY FURTHER GIVEN that pursuant to the resolution adopted by the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Fire District on July 26, 2022, the following Proposition will be submitted to the qualified voters of the Fire District for approval or disapproval:
PROPOSITION SHALL the bond resolution of Yorktown Heights Fire District, in the Town of Yorktown New York, entitled: “BOND RESOLUTION OF YORKTOWN HEIGHTS FIRE DISTRICT (“FIRE DISTRICT”), IN THE TOWN OF YORKTOWN (“TOWN”), WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK, ADOPTED JULY 26, 2022 AUTHORIZING THE ACQUISITION OF TWO (2) FIRE TRUCKS, INCLUDING THE APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT USED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, TO BE USED BY THE FIRE DISTRICT; STATING THE ESTIMATED MAXIMUM COST THEREOF IS $3,000,000, INCLUDING PRELIMINARY COSTS AND COSTS INCIDENTAL THERETO AND TO THE FINANCING THEREOF; APPROPRIATING SAID AMOUNT THEREFOR; AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS IN THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF NOT TO EXCEED $3,000,000, TO FINANCE SAID APPROPRIATION; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY AND COLLECTION OF TAXES TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL OF SAID BONDS AND THE INTEREST THEREON AS THE SAME BECOME DUE AND PAYABLE; AND FURTHER PROVIDING THAT, IN LIEU OF THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS AUTHORIZED BY THIS RESOLUTION, THE FIRE DISTRICT IS AUTHORIZED TO ENTER INTO ONE OR MORE INSTALLMENT PURCHASE CONTRACTS TO FINANCE THE PURCHASE OF SAID FIRE TRUCKS, THE TERMS OF WHICH SHALL NOT EXCEED TWENTY (20) YEARS,” be approved?
All residents of the Fire District who were duly registered to vote with the Westchester County Board of Elections on or before August 8, 2022 shall be eligible to vote at said Special Election.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS DATED: July 26, 2022
JEANMARIE KLAUS FIRE DISTRICT SECRETARY

Hyperlinks: NOTICE OF SPECIAL ELECTION
 
 

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Yorktown Heights Engine Company #1
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Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

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