Philipstown (NY) Sets Hearing on Fire Apparatus Purchase

Philipstown’s Town Board scheduled a public hearing May 21 on Garrison Volunteer Fire Company plans to purchase a $309,500 pump-tanker truck, although Town Supervisor Richard Shea threatened to change course if the fire company did not promptly submit an overdue financial report.

At its formal monthly meeting, the board voted 5-0 to proceed with the hearing, after a sometimes testy interchange between Shea and Joseph Regele, a Garrison resident long critical of the GVFC’s handling of its finances. Regele maintained that it was premature to set a hearing date before the board gets the required fiscal data — an audited yearly financial statement.

The Garrison fire department wants to purchase a 3,000-gallon pump tanker to replace an aging but perhaps fixable model. “That’s a lot of money,” Regele said, referring to the vehicle’s price tag. “This was a piece of equipment we were promised was not going to be necessary,” given the possibility of fixing the existing one. He also objected to the fire company’s failure to produce its required financial report. “They should get their house in order” and submit it before the Town Board holds a public hearing on a new tanker, Regele said.

“This piece of equipment will need to be replaced in the near future” and financing rates are currently favorable, Shea added. “I’m convinced they need this piece of equipment,” he said. “And we do need an audited statement.” Unless it is forthcoming soon, he continued, the Town Board will cancel the May 21 hearing.

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