Select Board Meets to Discuss AVFA "Option B" for Municipal Fire Department

The Weathersfield Select Board is scheduled to meet Wednesday, February 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Martin Memorial Hall on Rte 5 in Ascutney to discuss "Option B" a proposal drafted by Ascutney Volunteer Fire Association (AVFA).

This document was created by AVFA in response to the select board's decision to create a municipal fire department for the town. It was sent to the town manager and presented in the select board packet January 7, 2019.

"Option B"  review was on the February 7, 2019 agenda found in the select board packet but the meeting minutes link doesn't work. The minutes for the February 7 meeting are in the select board packet for February 18 but on page 10 of 85 it appears that no discussion took place. The minutes from February 18 have not been posted yet.

A copy of the proposal was available at the informational meeting hosted by West Weathersfield Volunteer Fire Department at Martin Memorial Hall on Saturday, February 23. About 30 people attended and both fire departments were represented by a few members each.

The town manager and a couple of select board members also attended (Tom Leach, John Arrison and Kelly Murphy-when Mr. Arrison arrived Ms. Murphy left as a select board quorum would have been reach creating an unwarned meeting.)

AVFA Counter Proposal Breakdown "Option B"

(The town manager's advice to the select board is in red.)

Chief, President, and 1 member at large from AVFA be part of hiring committee.

See Hiring Procedure (presented by the town manager November 19, 2018)

Agree to Municipal with restrictions to part-time chief and be open to any and all qualified personal

AVFA Pulled this Stipulation

AVFA elect officers for first year

See Officer Plan - Members from each side at the 1-17- 2019 meeting asked that a
similar hiring procedure as fire chief be used for selecting officers. My thought is 3
members from each department work with myself to determine the officers after a
nomination or application process. I do feel it is important to have equal representation
during the transition process.

AVFA sells its portion of Engine 1 and Engine 4 for value of depreciated portion to Town of Weathersfield.

AVFA may maintain their ownership share in any apparatus kept by the Town. If and
when these apparatuses are sold, AVFA will receive an amount, equal to the percentage
of their portion of the purchase price, from the proceeds of the sale. (Agreed)

AVFA maintain ownership of all other assets this includes the station, everything on the trucks and in the station, and only association and/or executive board has approval for items to leave station or to be sold, besides normal fire call usage and training. AVFA will allow municipal fire dept the use of as much or little of AVFA fire equipment and assets it needs.

We will work to determine what items have been purchased with tax payer money and
what items are owned by AVFD. All items purchased by AVFD will stay under the control
of AVFD as outlined above. (Agreed)

If equipment is damaged it is to be fixed or replaced by municipal fire dept.

The Town will maintain and treat equipment as its own. Equipment that the Town
determines may not be worth major repairs will be discussed with AVFD and there will
be a determination and agreement will be made between the two entities before usage.

Town to continue maintaining and insure all AVFA motorized assets to include but not limited to, small motorized equipment, Ladder, Forestry, and Hazmat trailer.

The Town will continue to insure and maintain motorized vehicles it plans to use based
on the same stipulations as above. (Agreed)

Municipal chief shall not be part of AVFA but can bring requests forward on equipment they would like to use, discontinue use, or would like AVFA to look at purchasing.

The Chief will not be a member of either 501c3 and will work with both SOlcS's on
future purchases. Any future equipment purchases that the Town will be expected to
maintain or insure will be approved by the Chief, Town Manager and/or the
Selectboard. (Agreed)

AVFA is not responsible for providing any equipment that it does not own or replacing any equipment it does not wish to replace.


AVFA will continue fundraising money to support it's mission of providing equipment and fire service to the town of Weathersfield as it sees fit.


Any future purchases of AVFA are to remain AVFA assets, if the town would like use of items purchased the town shall maintain them appropriately or replace them if broken.

Purchasing of equipment, ownership, and other stipulations will be determined before
any future purchases are made. (Agreed)

Any assets the Town does not wish to use will be removed from apparatus and put into storage.

Any asset, owned by AVFA, the Town does not wish to use will be removed from
apparatus and returned to AVFA. (Agreed)

Town maintain insurance on building and land.


The town municipal fire dept will have use of the fire station with the exception to the 3 rooms upstairs, in return the town will be responsible for paying all household and utility bills, along with any maintenance that needs to be done which is to be coordinated with AVFA building and grounds chair and municipal chief.
Agree (with the exception of a similar statement as will be written into WWVFD for
major structural issues outside the control of the Town unless the Town agrees to repair
it). (Agreed)

Fire Chief duties were discussed at the December 10, 2018 meeting. Discussion can be found in the select board packet for January 7, 2019.

The new town website has many broken links and gives error messages for the minutes of: 11/19/2019
and as stated above, the minutes from 02/18/2019 are not posted yet.
(Minutes for 01/10/2019 and 02/01/2019 download as word documents and minutes can however be found in the meeting packets by scrolling down the packet.)

These broken links make it difficult to follow the discussion of the municipal fire department decision. It's unfortunate that the new website was launched right before this critical decision of a municipal fire department was made. Taxpayers who have spoken to and written to this reporter are finding it challenging to find and follow the overall discussion.

Documents for your review

John Wood Report
Town Manager Municipal Fire Study
History of Fires Services in Weathersfield
FAQs about Municipal Fire Department
Document Center

Town Website

Fire Commission
Select Board
Select Board Meetings

Social Media Links

Weathersfield SAPA-TV Channel
Weathersfield Facebook Page
Villages of Weathersfield and surrounding areas
Weathersfield Vermont News

Annual Town Meeting

Weathersfield School Annual Meeting Saturday, March 2, 2019 10 a.m. Weathersfield Elementary School

Lunch break provided by the Friends of Weathersfield Proctor Library.

Town Meeting Saturday, March 2, 2019 12:30 p.m. Weathersfield Elementary School

Town Vote Tuesday, March 5, 2019 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Martin Memorial Hall