Colden Fire District facts & duties of Commissioners
Fire District Facts
A New York State fire district is managed by a five person board of fire commissioners. The commissioners are authorized to fund the district through taxation, to adopt rules and regulations governing the fire company within its district. The fire district is also required to have a treasurer/secretary.
The commissioners serve staggered five year terms with one commissioner elected in December by the voting residents of the district. Before entering upon the duties of their office the commissioners must take and file an oath of office. A chairman is elected in January to help guide the district through the year.
Each newly elected or re-elected commissioner must attend and successfully complete a State approved training course within two hundred seventy days of taking office. The course must include training relating to the fire commissioners’ legal, fiduciary, financial, procurement and ethical responsibilities, and such other disciplines as may be prescribed by the State Comptroller.
Duties of the Commissioners
The District owns and maintains the buildings and equipment that are used by the fire company. The Commissioners have exclusive management and control of the property of the District and may purchase or lease real estate and equipment and may sell or otherwise dispose of such property of the District. In certain cases, due to statutory dollar limitations, a public referendum may be required to either purchase or dispose of District property.
The district purchases insurance to protect the fire company members and equipment and provides a length of service awards program and other benefits to the members.
The Commissioners can adopt rules and regulations governing the fire company, prescribe the duties of the members, and enforce discipline. They also approve new members as well as the elected and appointed officers of the fire company and can remove such members for cause.
The Commissioners audit all claims for payment against the District and must approve the claims before they can be processed by the district's treasurer. They also develop the annual budget, the tax levy for which is collected as a component of the town property tax bill.