Why do we feel the current multiple village fire district structure of fire and EMS emergency service for the town of Burrillville is ineffective and obsolete? Continue reading on to find out what is happening today in these fire districts and how inefficient they are. If the current system were consolidated into one town wide fire district these inefficiencies could be eliminated and a single efficient fire district could succeed throughout the entire town.

 

The combined budgets of the town’s four fire districts in the current fiscal year (2020-2021) totals $4,663,179.00. This service, a combined career/volunteer service, costs taxpayers 60% more than the Town’s police department, a full time service whose current year budget totals $2,910,526.00.

Consolidating these small districts into one town-wide district could eliminate duplication, streamline operations, and ensure all taxpayers pay a single tax rate. All of which would help reduce costs.

 

The combined fire district budgets for the last three fiscal years are:

FY 2018-2019 $4,164,102.80
FY 2019-2020 $4,448,145.00
FY 2020-2021 $4,663,179.00

This is an increase of $499,076.20 in a short time frame, with an average yearly increase of $249,538.10. Almost a quarter of a million dollar increase per year is unacceptable. Consolidation can eliminate wasteful and unnecessary spending and give this town one district that is economically affordable to the community.

 

Burrillville has 14 front line pumper/tanker trucks in town. See below how our town compares to other cities and towns in Rhode Island:

Towns

  • Scituate: 7
  • Coventry: 8
  • Foster: 8
  • Glocester: 9
  • West Greenwich: 10
  • Exeter: 11

Cities

  • East Providence: 5
  • Pawtucket: 6
  • Cranston: 6
  • Warwick: 9
  • Providence: 12

Why do we have all these trucks? Consolidating these small districts into one town-wide district would eliminate this duplication of fire trucks and equipment, saving money in their operations, maintenance and replacement costs.

 

In the current fiscal year the town’s four fire districts collectively budget $328,600.00 for the salaries of three (3) fire chiefs and one (1) deputy fire chief in town. This is more than most cities and towns in Rhode Island. Consolidating into one town wide fire district would eliminate unnecessary spending on unnecessary positions. It could also allow some positions to be reallocated in order to better serve our community.

 

The four fire districts legal budgets together add up to $92,000.00. Meanwhile, Burrillville’s town government has currently budgeted $100,000.00 for legal services to cover every municipal department. Why do the fire districts have to budget $92,000.00 for their legal services while the Town only needs $8,000.00 more for the entire town municipal government (police, finance, clerk, public works, etc.) Consolidating into one district could reduce the amount of funds needed for legal fees. It could also allow for reducing the amount attorneys that are hired to provide these services.

 

ONE TOWN – ONE DISTRICT