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Copenhagen officials question firefighters’ bank statements

COPENHAGEN, New York (WWNY) – As the Copenhagen Fire Department submits receipts to the Village for expenses, the Village is questioning some of them. The village says this is another reason for its tough stance against the current department. But, the ministry says it follows the rules.

Village officials made the department’s bank statements available to 7 News on Monday.

The department has several bank accounts, some of which are funded by taxpayers from the village and surrounding municipalities.

“We have bank statements as you have seen, but there are no copies of deposit slips or cashed checks. There is no information in the memo lines,” village attorney Candace Randall said.

Although there are multiple statements for purchases related to fire protection, Randall and Mayor Mark Souva wonder if all taxpayer dollars are being used to bolster fire protection.

“We receive two bills from the National Grid every month to pay the reimbursement. This means the fire department has already used taxpayers’ money to pay those two bills, and now they’re asking the village to pay them back,” Randall said.

She says the village has agreed to reimburse the department for the building where the fire trucks and equipment are stored.

“The other one, to my knowledge, is further back and houses all the drill crew equipment. Not something that is used to advance fire protection contracts,” Randall said.

Copenhagen Fire Chief T..J Williams said the National Grid bill for the garage behind the fire station should be reimbursed. He said the building stores generators, pumps and tools used for firefighting.

Randall and Souva also claim the department used taxpayer money to clean up the fire station, which the village attorney said cost about $600, buy food for meals after the meeting, and trips. in Long Island. Whether or not it was to strengthen the village’s fire protection, officials do not know.

Randall and Souva say the statements are just pieces of a bigger puzzle: they don’t tell the whole story. This is partly why the village voted to disband the department, forcing the village and neighboring towns to find different fire protection.

“Your taxpayers’ money is supposed to be strictly for firefighting efforts and payments. There is fundraising money that they get and spend to do what they want to do on their own,” Souva said.

The fire department said Monday it paid for several things with its own funds and is awaiting reimbursement.

“As for this year’s money, this year’s taxpayers’ money from every town we have a contract with, the village still has it in its vault. He hasn’t even paid a bill for this year and we’ve submitted many bills to them,” Williams said.

This is the latest on the future of the fire service after the village voted to disband it a few weeks ago. There is a petition circulating that could force the issue to a public vote.

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