Town opposes possible county dispatching

The town of Franklin passed a resolution earlier this month opposing the potential transfer of fire and rescue dispatching from Saranac Lake to Malone.

The Franklin Town Council voted unanimously to pass the resolution of opposition, which was subsequently forwarded to the Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees.

The discussion began at a village board meeting several weeks ago when Franklin County Legislator Tim Burpoe and Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost met with trustees.

Trustees are currently mulling whether or not to hire a new fire driver and dispatcher. Additionally, the board must decide whether to keep its dispatch center at the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department station or turn over those responsibilities to the county.

The letter, which is dated March 16, is signed by Franklin Town Clerk Sandra Oliver and implores the village to keep dispatching services local. Franklin is among many area townships that receive fire and rescue services from the village.

"This town urges the village to reconsider its proposal on the grounds that dispatchers in Malone are unfamiliar with not only village streets, but also roads in surrounding communities," Oliver writes.

That unfamiliarity could lead to delays in delivering emergency service and put public safety at risk, officials say.

Trustees have not yet made a decision on the future of dispatch services in Saranac Lake.

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