Harrisville Fire District passes $1.7 million budget

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BURRILLVILLE – An annual meeting of the Harrisville Fire District saw voters unanimously pass a fire budget up roughly $42,000 from the previous year, and a slight decrease in water department spending, with a budget down by around $10,000.

The fiscal plans were confirmed by a group of 20 voters in attendance at the meeting on Monday, June 14.

The group also re-elected several members of the district’s operating committee – and those holding administrative positions – with all candidates running unopposed. Ronald Slocum was re-elected to the moderator position for a one year term, and Michael Duttilly to the role of clerk for one year. Amanda Gingell was also re-elected unanimously to the position of tax assessor for a three-year term.

Roger Johnson and Brayton Round were confirmed for the two three-year terms on the committee, and Bonnie Carter was re-elected for a one-year term.

Chief Michael Gingell presented the annual report, noting that the fire station, built in 1970 with an addition in 1997, is well maintained, but “showing its age.” Gingell pointed out that the station was built for volunteers, but now has two people living in it, with other full and part-time staff there during the day.

The chief also provided an update on equipment, stating that the 20-year-old truck known as Engine-21 will be repaired in August at a cost of $115,000. Meeting minutes note that the Nasonville Fire Department has leant a truck to Harrisville until the work is complete. Another truck, Engine-22, is now 30 years old.

“It is the workhorse of the department It responds to all mutual aid in and out of town,” the minutes state. “There is a leak in the rear of the water tank.”

Changes in staffing and an increase of $31,000 for Blue Cross put the total budget for the fiscal year at $1,690,750, up $42,380 for FY20/21.

A Harrisville Water Department budget of $895,868 is down roughly $10,000 from 20/21, primarily thanks to cost changes for Blue Cross, plus a projected savings of $5,000 in overtime wages.

The meeting also included presentation of awards to EMT/firefighter Matthew Alix, as well as a second group of firefighters in recognition of outstanding service during incidents over the course of the last year. Both Slocum and Gingell thanked district staff for their hard work throughout the pandemic.

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