January 30

Farmington fire budget to get public hearing

The Budget Committee and Board of Selectmen will vote on variety of options for staffing the department after the public weighs in.

Staff Report

A public hearing about a proposed increase to the fire department budget will be held Wednesday at the Town Office, and both the board of selectmen and the budget committee will vote on recommendations after the hearing.

Fire Chief Terry Bell has requested a budget of $411,828, which is a 30 percent increase this year, to hire more scheduled staff and combat poor retention rates. The board of selectmen reviewed the proposal and requested Bell present alternate staffing scenarios so the selectmen can chose the best option.

The budget committee will attend the meeting and have the chance to reconsider their recommendation to approve the budget line, depending on whether they prefer another option presented at the meeting.

Selectmen and committee members will consider whether two, three or four firefighters should be scheduled and how many days of the week should they be scheduled. Now, the fire department has two scheduled staff working five days a week along with the chief.

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