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Local News

July 18, 2013

Council reviews police, fire coverage

The city’s finances and coverage by the police and fire department crews were reviewed by the Common Council during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Willard G. Reynolds of Bollam, Sheedy, Torani and Co., certified public accounts, reviewed an 2012 fiscal audit. The audit, which was required because the city spent more than $500,000 of federal money, overall reflects that the city is in “good shape,” with strengths including its fund balance and debt “that is pretty low,” he said.

Fire Chief Patrick Pidgeon reported that though the number of responses in the first sixth months of the year had increased from 240 last year to 271 this year, the overtime hours have decreased. Crews had about 4,834 hours of overtime in the first half of 2012, compared with 3,783 in the same period this year, a decrease of 1,051 hours, he said.

Pidgeon attributed the savings to having healthy crews on the job and the hiring of part-time firefighters.

Pidgeon reported that at the Hometown Fourth of July event in Neahwa Park, crews saw 32 patients for mostly minor complaints, and two patients were taken to the hospital.

In a July 2 call, crews had to extricate an Oneonta Public Transit driver who fell through a rusted section of a bus, Pidgeon said.

Police Chief Dennis Nayor said Fourth of July activities was without problems. He told the council that the two police recruits are doing well at the academy, and three candidates are going through the application process.

In other business, the council:

• Heard that Mario Arevalo, city assessor, will retire Sept. 6. The city is looking into options such as hiring a professional assessment company, City Manager Michael Long, said. Long also gave updates on construction projects and pending applicants for grants.

• Approved re-appointments of Richard Miller to the Oneonta Housing authority to a term expiring April 4, 2018, and Jacqueline Gibson to the Board of Assessment and Review for a term to expire Sept. 30, 2018.

• Approved Local Law No. 1, 2013, requiring background investigations for all newly hired city employees and officers. Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller set a mayor’s hearing on the law for 7 p.m. Aug. 16.

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