The votes have been counted and the decision has been made to dissolve the Village of Prospect's fire department. The village has been in serious financial trouble since a firefighter was injured back in 2009. Village officials say they believe by getting rid of the department, they might have a chance at balancing the books. Cara Thomas has more.
PROSPECT, N.Y. -- It was a very difficult vote Tuesday for village residents, but in the end, the mayor says the majority of people voted with common sense rather than emotion. The resolution was passed by a count of 82 to 46.
Fire department volunteers were devastated after hearing the news, but they say the fight to keep their department isn't over. They've gotten an attorney involved, as they feel the building and equipment belongs to the fire department incorporation and not to the village.
"I strongly believe in the fire company and I strongly believe it needs to be here and I think there was a lot of misleading by numbers and things that were thrown out there and I just don't think the people had all the right information," said Prospect Fire Chief Wayne Premo.
"They can bring it, we've got lawyers too. If they think that, it's a done deal. The village voted, this was not, I mean, the village voted. So they can bring a legal case, that's their prerogative, but to what end?" said Prospect Mayor Frances Righi.
The dissolution of the fire department is immediate. The village mayor says they will be calling Oneida County Emergency Services to tone a different fire department in case of any emergencies.
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the locks on the fire department will be changed and the volunteers will be given a chance to collect their personal belongings.
Village officials are hoping that closing the fire department will save the village from financial trouble, but a lot of residents have their doubts. Bankruptcy and dissolution of the village itself is still an option if things don't turn around. People that we spoke with say they're worried the dissolution of the fire department is just a temporary band aid that won't stop the inevitable.