Lime Rock Fire District operates similar to the town

Lime Rock Fire District operates similar to the town

This letter isn't concerning pros or cons about possible consolidation of Lincoln fire services, but it is strictly a commentary of Administrator Almond's quoted comments in last week's Valley Breeze concerning the consolidation topic and his broad brush comments concerning the fire districts.

He said a system of checks and balances was needed and the article continued to quote him saying, "I just don't think anyone should be spending millions of dollars of taxpayers' money with no oversight," and, "You've got some pretty unchecked taxing ability going on." The article continued on to discuss fire districts' debt.

I can only speak for the Lime Rock Fire District and we are legislatively incorporated by the General Assembly of Rhode Island and granted the authority by them to collect taxes. We have oversight by a Board of Fire Commissioners and the department is operated by our fire chief. We hold an annual financial meeting of the district as well as monthly board meetings that are all open to the public. I see a direct correlation to how the town operates utilizing a town council overseeing the town administrator operating the day to day business of the town. The town has monthly town council meetings, as well as an annual meeting to discuss town finances.

In addition, the LRFD is audited annually by an accredited public accounting firm as well as having its books, invoices, and expenditures annually audited by district taxpayers. I do not understand where Lime Rock has a lack of "oversight" or "checks and balances" or "some pretty unchecked taxing ability" and reject those notions as unfounded, as we in fact operate in much the same method as the town itself does.

Another note for LRFD taxpayers is that your fire district currently has no debt and our minimal pension liabilities are 100 percent funded as of our most recent public audit ending fiscal year October 2012.

Ron Rivet

Chairman, Lime Rock Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners