Wevertown fire coverage takes shape

The Johnsburg fire district contract was turned down twice during the town board's Feb. 7 meeting.

The Johnsburg fire district contract was turned down twice during the town board's Feb. 7 meeting. Photo by John Grybos.

— The town of Johnsburg inched closer to filling the void left by the defunct Wevertown Volunteer Fire Company on Tuesday, June 5 when the Town Board agreed conceptually to a redrawn coverage map agreed upon by chiefs of the town’s six fire companies.

The revised coverage areas would have volunteer companies from North Creek, Riverside and Johnsburg each absorbing a portion of what was Wevertown’s coverage area.

The conceptual agreement came after considerable discussion. Councilman Peter Olesheski asked if it was really necessary for the North Creek company to undertake more coverage area. He said doing so could mean opening up the contract for revision. Olesheski said his concern had nothing to do with money.

“I want the best coverage and I’m not willing to compromise,” he said. “I just want to make sure we do this right and have adequate coverage.”

Town Supervisor Ron Vanselow said that the chiefs believe the proposed plan is the way to provide the best coverage.

“I have confidence in the chiefs,” Vanselow said.

John Donohue, chief of the North River company, said all six chiefs gathered and discussed the options.

“We all felt this was the best way,” Donohue said.

With a general agreement regarding the proposed coverage map, Vanselow offered some insight into what he termed “potential red flags.” Vanselow said the first issue was determining whether there are any state regulations that govern the dissolution of the Wevertown company. Vanselow said he’s emailed the town attorney asking him to look into that issue and report back.

Second, Vanselow recounted an exchange he had with Amy Clute, Self-Insurance Coordinator for Warren County. Because the county’s self-insurance worker’s compensation program is “experience rated,” Vanselow said, Clute told him that the rates established through the county’s experience with the Wevertown Fire Company could carry over to whoever takes over the fire company’s coverage area and could remain in effect for seven years.

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