Board members ask for vote to merge fire districts

Board members ask for vote to merge fire districts

Dear Albion and Saylesville voters,

Consolidation is defined as the action or process of combining a number of things into a single more effective or coherent whole; an action or process of making something stronger or more solid. This is the intent of the Saylesville Fire District Board of Wardens and Albion Fire District Board of Commissioners in proposing the merger of Albion and Saylesville Fire Districts.

Based on the current state of the fire service in 2020, the Boards are taking a forward leaning stance to consolidate two smaller, independent fire districts into a more robust yet efficient fire service operating unit. Each district is looking to seize the opportunity to propel the organization to new heights of operational efficiency in providing emergency services to the District taxpayers. It is our belief that the new combined Lincoln Fire District will drive the level of emergency services to more effective outcomes while achieving levels of efficiency for the overall benefit of the citizens of Saylesville and Albion.

Adjusting to change is never easy, but history shows that the local fire service was born out of the thriving mill villages that served as the nucleus of the villages. Much has changed since the turn of the 20th century and now we must take a 21st-century approach to how we conduct business as a fire district and fire department. Much of how we operate is based on improvements realized over time; it is now our time to learn from others’ victories and areas needing improvement.

How will this consolidation be considered an improvement? The benefits are many and the drawbacks few. Financially, each district weighs a relative balance of assets and debt. The physical and human resources are quite similar and the vision is firmly aligned toward bringing these two districts closer to a lean model of operations common in the 21st century. The business model of these districts sees an economy of scale promoting a fiduciary effort to protect your tax dollars.

Additionally the staffing models and collaboration of efforts in administration, response, training, fire prevention and education move us forward with improvements both immediate and valued over the long term. This visionary approach represents forward thinking championed by the fire chiefs and Board members who are your neighbors and friends elected by you, the district voters.

As stakeholders, we the chiefs and Board members of the Saylesville and Albion Fire Districts have developed this plan, and endorse its content to continue our journey of economical and safe emergency services that started in the village mills and must now meet the needs of an ever-changing climate of the new normal that is our community of 2020 and beyond.

With your vote of approval on Dec. 5, we can continue our mission to serve and protect the District residents and taxpayers with the needed structural adjustments to respond to the demands of another new era of necessary change.

Please allow us to lead the way with the creation of the Lincoln Fire District.

We respectfully ask for your vote of approval on Dec. 5.

Saylesville Board of Fire Wardens:

Ernest Lacombe, chairman

John Barr

Robert Ferioli

David Sale

Craig Wilson

Albion Board of Fire Commissioners

Daniel Adamski, chairman

Jean Gagnon, vice chairman

Michael Allen

John O’Reilly

Anthony Zabatta