On February 19th, a vote will be held to determine the fate of the proposed $4 million firehouse that is slated to be built on Route 9G adjacent to Wright Ave.

The writers at the HV News Lies recently read the article in the February 13-16th edition of the Northern Dutchess News that addressed the questionable procedures of the district.


1) The fire department unlawfully acquired the land in 2010 when it was purchased outright (in cash) without a public vote. According to law, fire districts must set a mandatory referendum to establish specific capital reserve funds.
2) Capital reserve funds were not created for the purpose of purchasing this land, which is required by law in order to track and account for monies.
3) The purchase of the land was paid for in cash in the amount of $377,000. This raises several red flags. In contrast, The town of Hyde Park had to receive a donation of land in order to have a police station built. It is quite baffling as to how, in these difficult financial times when many municipalities are struggling, the district had the ability to purchase land (as well as equipment that was not needed or practical) outright on a cash basis.
4) The Fire Department has a reserve balance of $1.8 million dollars. This is more than what the town of Hyde Park possesses in its reserve balance.  Proportionally speaking,  the town would have $8 million dollars in the general fund  if the amount was a  ratio of to what the Fire District has in theirs. Final conclusion: the fire district has TWO years worth of their annual budget in their general fund, which indicates that they have been accruing more money and more money even though they have been spending. This equates that have been most likely taking in more money than they should have through taxation.
5) The fire department has a budget of approx. $900,000. Compare this to the Hyde Park Police Department which is slighty more. Do note that the police department is a 24/7 operation that has paid personnel in comparision to a volunteer  operation that responds to a fraction of the calls the HPPD receives. Also note that the police/court facility was built for $2.8 million. Why would it cost an additional $1.2 million for a volunteer based firehouse? Are all the luxury features that include bunk rooms and a state of the art kitchen indicative of future plans that the district will force a transition from a volunteer to a paid staff? 
6) The fire department has been purchasing unnecessary equipment without voter approval. Why would the fire district need a 110 ft. ladder truck when the highest structure in the district is no more than three stories? A pumper truck was purchased in 2009 in cash in the amount of $350,000, however, a tanker would have been more practical as it can hold more water per gallon than a pumper. But of course, it's much cooler to drive a pumper truck in the Hyde Park parades.Ask anyone that gets to drive it.
7) A look into the call history reveals that Fire Engine 3 responded to 10 calls per their call log in 2012, the majority of which were mutual aid calls. Does this volume of calls warrant a $4 million firehouse that is equipped with bunker rooms for overnight stays? Will this $4 million structure be just an overpriced clubhouse? The writers were informed  that the pool table at the present firehouse attracts the younger and under/unemployed members to spend their days there (when they should be out looking for work).
8) The writers find it amusing that the fire department has the gall to solicit for donations online. Considering that it has the ability to make purchases in cash and possesses $1.8 million in their reserve funds, it is rather absurd that it should ask the taxpayers for even more money (they even accept paypal for those that do not possess credit cards).

It appears that the fire district has been pulling out all the bells and whistles at the expense of the unsuspecting taxpayers to fund their project. Unfortunately it has been a lack of oversight that has enabled special districts to abuse their power and it's time that they should be held accountable to those that fund the unlawful expenditures, that being the taxpayers.