“We don’t want to become a district,” Luparello said. “We like the way things are now. You’ve got to have elections for fire commissioners. Someone who is popular in [Merrick] gets elected and they don’t know what they’re doing. Now you have to pay staff, like a district clerk, treasurer, counsel. It would end up costing more than just funding the Fire Department.”
But Deery said that any plan to establish a special district would have to be approved by a voter referendum, and he asserted that a change in how the Merrick Fire Department is governed would not have an impact on taxes.
“If a special district provided identical services at the same cost, taxes would remain unchanged,” Deery stated in an email.
Luparello said that a number of Merrick firefighters planned to attend the next Town Board meeting, at 10:30 a.m. on July 9 at Town Hall in Hempstead, to publicly call for a new contract and greater funding from the Town.