The Johnsburg fire district contract was turned down twice during the town board's Feb. 7 meeting.
The currently defunct Wevertown Volunteer Fire Company will be able to sell off equipment to pay bills, according to a Nov. 19 decision by state Supreme Court Justice Robert Muller filed with the Warren County Clerk.
In the case of the Town of Johnsburg versus the Wevertown Volunteer Fire Company, Inc., Jarrett Brown (fire chief) and Jane Doe and John Doe, Muller sided with the defendants’ request to modify the town’s temporary restraining order. Attorney Terence Hannigan made a verbal motion before the court Oct. 18 for his clients, the Wevertown Volunteer Fire Co. Inc. and Jarrett Brown, seeking to modify the temporary restraining order of the court dated Sept. 28, 2012. It was supplemented by the letter request of Terence Hannigan dated Oct. 31 on behalf of the defendants in support of the motion.
Johnsburg Town Attorney Tony Jordan opposed the motion. Muller granted the defendants’ request. The temporary restraining order is modified and released to permit the defendants to initiate and undertake the following actions:
•Pay the attorney retainer fee and allow the retainer funds to be applied toward fees;
•Consolidate its savings and checking accounts into one checking account;
•Expend funds for:
A. Hiring an appraiser of fire equipment;
B. Hiring plumbers and tradesmen necessary to “winterize” the firehouse;
C. Hiring mechanics required to “winterize” the two pieces of apparatus;
D. Hiring a real property appraiser to provide a valuation of the firehouse;
E. Payment of ongoing and customary bills such as utility and fuel oil bills;
F. Payment to NBT Bank on the debt (deficiency) owned on the GMC/Crimson.
G. Payment of property and business auto insurance for Wevertown Volunteer Fire Company Inc. property; and
•Authorization Defendants to re-list the 1986 International Tanker for sale and release that apparatus from the restraining order so that is can be sold to a buyer for fair market value is located.
In the spring, the Wevertown Volunteer Fire Company disbanded because the town of Johnsburg would not renew its fire contract. The company is a not-for-profit corporation and needed to sign a contract with the town to pay for coverage in the Wevertown fire district.
In early February, accusations arose among fire officials in neighboring communities about the Wevertown Fire Company’s training and ability to respond safely to calls. The fire chief denied those accusations.
Town officials held off renewing the fire company’s contract until they could see some of its records, including membership and training lists, equipment lists, and their financial and operating information.
Chief Brown began selling fire equipment several months ago to help pay bills. That prompted the town of Johnsburg to file for a temporary restraining order so Brown could not sell any more equipment or have access to the firehouse.