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Overabundance of fire districts

To the Times of Ti:

Tom Scozzafava (Moriah supervisor) has once again taken his responsibilities seriously; this time by suggesting we look into consolidating the fire district in the town of Moriah.

I respect and hold in high regard those who volunteer their time and put themselves at great risk to protect us. Not only do they leave the comfort of their home to drill every Tuesday night, they travel to attend refresher courses, leave their jobs during the day, or jump out of their beds at all hours of the night to respond to people in need. The consolidation of the fire departments is not a slight against those brave man and women, it a practical, tax saving proposal for our small town.

When I moved to the area 16 years ago, I noticed the overabundance of post offices, fire departments and school districts. When the mines were running and this was a prosperous area, their numbers were justified. The mines are closed and the tax base is shrinking. The consolidation of post offices was initiated by the financially strapped USPS. The consolidation of the fire departments is something we need to do on our own.

During the housing boom a number of years ago, Mr. Scozzafava floated the idea of incentivizing people to move into the area by giving them short term tax breaks. The outcry at that time was, “I’ve been here for 80 years, where is my tax break?” Well … if we went with Tom’s suggestion then, our tax base now would be larger, and the percentage of the pie each of us needs to pay would be smaller.

Our shortsightedness then is costing us now, and not only us, but the businesses from whom we receive pay and retirement checks. Unlike the government that is currently $16,743,791,755,357.43 in debt, companies cannot print money; to exist they must remain profitable.

The only absurdity I find with the fire department consolidation idea is that we need a taxpayer funded study to confirm the obvious.

Bob Thierry

Moriah Center

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