Regionalization - What's holding it up?

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by FireDawg314 on Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:19 pm

Dave, I totally agree. At the time the towns were originally formed the rivers were more of a barrier than they are now with our advanced technology and large bridges that are high above the surface. Keep in mind there is always the potential for another "Flood of '87", but this is a rare occurance that would effect the towns as the stand now.

Anyway, to appease anyones curiosity reference the closeness of fire stations... (margin of error +/- .1 miles)
Dixfield-Peru .8mi
Dixfield-Mexico 5mi
Peru-Mexico 5mi
Dixfield-Rumford 5.5mi
Peru-Rumford 5.3mi
Rumford-Mexico 1.1mi

This is road miles and keep in mind that ISO(insurance services office - their standards are used to determine property insurance rates) bases one of its levels of grading on how far a building is from a fire station. That distance is 5 road miles, so theoretically you could have fire stations 10 miles apart and still meet that level. So it is quite evident that taking coverage of the whole valley into consideration, the fire stations are not located in the most effective manner. In all honesty you could eliminate two of the stations and maintain almost the same coverage area.

Unfortunately aside from everyone's desire to save money, one of the biggest hinderences to any attempts at regionalization is local egos. And even if it's not the desire to be in control, it's the idea of local identity. Being a firefighter I probably speak for many other firefighters in saying that a lot of a firefighter's identity comes from their department or individual company. I personally think that you could regionalize area departments but it would be important to keep the identity of the individual companies. For instance the departmant I currently run with has several stations, and the one that I am assigned to has our own company fund. We raise money from collecting bottles and a few other ways to do things for our company: a new tv in the meeting room, t-shirts, etc). We still work well with the rest of the department, but allows there to be pride in our station.

Just something to keep in mind, and if a regionalization effort were to be attempted, I think that as long as the idea of company unity is upheld then the transition would flow a lot smoother. Not saying that everyone would be onboard with the idea, but that's to be expected

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:47 pm

We don't need to fully close the other stations. For example, we could keep an engine at Rumford's current central station even if a new regional station were built. This would allow the cal force members to be able to respond even if central station were inaccessible due to flooding. I have suggested that Rumford central be converted for police and meeting space.

If the regional station were located in the Med Care proposed location, Dixfield could convert most of that station to municipal services and leave a bay with an engine as well. The Peru Central station could be closed as long as the Worthley Pond station remained (or Canton were a part of the plan). Mexico Station could be downgraded to one engine and the remainder used for police. Rumford Point Station should be kept and efforts made to rebuild the company that was once based there.

I would also like to see Roxbury and Byron become a part of the service, but the cost may be too great for such small communities.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by FireDawg314 on Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:28 am

Kevin, unfortunately I'm not seeing all of the logic behind your suggestions. What is the point of creating a new station but still keeping both existing stations open as active fire stations? You are just creating that much more of a coverage overlap and just creating an increase in maintenance costs because now there is an additional building to be maintained by the same department. Plus what you are saying is that Dixfield and Peru should be paying to provide better coverage for Rumford and Mexico and increase any response times to their towns by at least 4 minutes. Now any call firefighters in those towns would get to a scene long before most apparatus and not be able to do much of anything in an actual fire situation, or they would have to drive 3-4 miles out of the way to pick up additional apparatus. Keep in mind there are currently 6 active trucks between those two stations and you are suggesting it be reduced to 1. Two of those trucks are Tank trucks which need to be close to the rural areas not further into the hydranted district.

As I had shown in my last post, reference to the distances between stations, there is virtually a 100% overlap between the coverage areas of Dixfield and Peru as well as with Mexico and Rumford. Theoretically because of this you could remove one station from each region and maintain near the same coverage area. While this is definately not the sole factor to consider, I think it is important because a centrally located station not only provides the best insurance rates for the citizens, but also provides the best possible protection which is more important.

In order to maximize coverage of the populated areas the best possible locations for stations I have been able to come up with is keeping the Rumford Pt Station, building a new Joint Public Safety Facility on Rumford Ave where it had been proposed several years ago, keeping Dixfield Station, and then doing something for a new station(similar to Canton's new station but not quite as big) somewhere between Worthley Pond and Peru Center. With this, three current stations would be vacated. There are plenty of potential options with that. Ideally if Med-Care was in on the Joint PSB then the current Peru Station could easily have a couple of modifications made to the upstairs to become a habitable sub-station with two rigs housed there. I agree with you Kevin that the current RFD station should still be used in order to keep the historic structure maintained and it would work to house the PD. Ideally I would love to see another joint venture... it would be the perfect spot for a regional historical society and the bay areas would be ideal to be able to keep some of the old apparatus and history of the area fire departments alive. If we were to see a regionalized police force the MFD station would work out well because not only is there plenty of space on the lower level (with some modifications) there would be the ability to store several cruisers in the bays. Keep them secure and out of the weather when not in use.

Again, just some thoughts and I know we all have our own ideas and perspectives, but that is why without extensive brainstorming between all involved parties the ideal arrangement would not be able to be created.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:05 am

FD314,
Sometimes the best way to get discussion going is to throw out ideas so that others will do the same. My thought of maintaining a trucks in each community is based upon the response time and insurance costs. Let's look at each of these.

1. Peru - If you remove apparatus from both Peru stations, the insurance rates for Worthley Pond will increase due to distance from the other stations. Therefore, we should look at maintaining a one enhgine/tanker station near the pond at little cost.

2. Dixfield - Understanding that there will still be a call force in Dixfield, and the East Dixfield station will still remain, the distance for lost of the town is not a major problem. However, if we are to maintain the current fire station with police and perhaps two of Med Care's backup trucks, then why not leave an engine there for the call force?

3. Mexico - My statements were based upon the premise of the Med-Care proposed location. But either way the Mexico station could easily house one engine for the call force while still housing police and/or a couple of ambulances.

4. Rumford - I believe plans for the fire station include the possibility of making the bays into meeting space and having offices upstairs. If this were to occur, we could still leave an engine there for the call force at no significant cost. We both agree that the point station needs to stay.

If we were to locate ambulances at the current fire stations in Dixfield, Mexico and let's even say Rumford, we would have no need for a new facility for them. The Mexico station could be converted to handle the staffed ambulances and their crew, the administrative offices could be located in the Rumford Fire Station, with the units there being the primary transfer trucks. The Dixfield units could be available for transfers as well as being used by on call personnel for back-up coverage and Dixfield/Peru/Canton first response when available and needed. There would be plenty of garage space, office space, and living space. Yes, we would still have to do some work to bring the Rumford station to code, but that is cheaper than building a new ambulance facility.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Mainiac1 on Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:43 pm

What specifically has held up the process of regionalizing or sharing services particularly between Rumford and Mexico, is not because the involved parties did not want it. The primary reason is that members of both current boards could simply not work together. While having had the opportunity to sit in on several meetings, it was quite clear that members of the board of selectmen from Rumford have the need or desire to control everything, with little or no consideration to the other communities needs. The initial conversations proposed were in the area of public works, specifically with snow removal. Sharing services was the term being used, starting with small bits and progessing from there. Mexico would utilize Rumford's equipment, share in the cost, etc. etc. But Mr. Diconzo went on another babbling tirate saying nothing but words, and bythe time he was done, no one wanted anything to do with him or Rumford. Take it or leave it, but if you don't have people who can work well or play well with others, any kind of success is limited at best. It won't be said publicly very often, but the majority of Rumford's board are difficult to work with or even like at all.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Timeout on Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:58 pm

This is an excellent post about what really happens. But we don't want to say that out loud because there is a Victim of the Year Competition and we don't want to give anyone an unfair advantage in the "Picked On" scoring component.

Someone, I think it was Dave, said, "If you can't change the people, then change the people. Let's apply that to the selectboard...starting with Boivin.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Vigs on Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:29 pm

blah blahblahblah
Lets start and replace the facts and start the board new?
cheers Touch Down

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Z on Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:25 pm

The Mexico board won't do it with Rumford unless it saves them money. They ignore the increase in service, and the potential savings in insurance premiums to the homeowner.


The mexico board won't do it because of the antics on the Rumford board. Imagine yourself a Mexico taxpayer. Would you want your selectmen getting into any partnerships with Rumford? Rumford is cutting every public safety entity they have. What happens if Mexico and Rumford do share those services? Is Rumford going to start cutting those services too? That is if they ever get beyond the in-fighting at the meetings. Three of the Rumford selectmen can't see beyond their own noses. Unfortunately, three is the majority.Maybe there should be seven selectmen. Two more selectmen who actually have the interest of Rumford, not themselves, on their agenda.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:32 pm

Is your opinion based upon discussions with Mexico board members?
Mine is.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Z on Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:44 pm

Not board members. But taxpayers.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:27 pm

How do you gather valid information on what the selectmen are thinking by asking the citizens? I asked them, and that is the answer I recieved. Yes, there are concerns over the other issues, but when asked specificly about regional planning, the answer was clearly a matter of dollars and cents.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:29 pm

Vigs,
What does Z think about using tax incentives to encourage the growth of Black Mountain?

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Timeout on Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:46 pm

Taken from Maine.gov Department of Administrative & Financial Services page:

The Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Local and Regional Services 30-A MRSA, Chapter 231
Program Statement
Purpose of Fund The State of Maine seeks to support municipalities, counties, and regional government subdivisions in developing joint ventures for delivering government services. The Fund for the Efficient Delivery of Local and Regional Services (Fund) is established to encourage and support intergovernmental cooperation in order to reduce property taxes. Municipalities, counties, and regional government subdivisions may apply for grants from the Fund for projects that reduce property taxes through:

1. achieving cost savings and reducing municipal/county spending
2. improving efficiencies in the delivery of local services
3. improving the quality or quantity of the delivery of government services


The Fund also seeks to pilot projects that serve as models from which other regions in Maine may learn and follow, as well as to explore innovative projects and partnerships that will serve as models for the future.

No need to reinvent the wheel on this if we decide to work on regionalization.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Z on Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:47 pm

Vigs,
What does Z think about using tax incentives to encourage the growth of Black Mountain?


Why are you asking Vigs what Z thinks? Why don't you ask Z what Z thinks?

I will tell you. I am not much for tax incentives if the business does not do much for the area. However, Rumford is in such trouble right now, and dragging the rest of The River Valley down with them, that tax incentives for just about anybody that will bring business and employment to the area could only be beneficial.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Z on Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:48 pm

Now that that is out of the way, let's return to the thread. Regionalization.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:04 pm

Z wrote:
Vigs,
What does Z think about using tax incentives to encourage the growth of Black Mountain?


Why are you asking Vigs what Z thinks? Why don't you ask Z what Z thinks?


I am asking Vigs for the same reason you ask citizens of Mexico what the selectmen think. I will get just as valid of an answer.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Timeout on Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:39 pm

re-posted below


Last edited by Timeout on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:30 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Z on Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:01 am

KevinNSaisi wrote:
Z wrote:
Vigs,
What does Z think about using tax incentives to encourage the growth of Black Mountain?


Why are you asking Vigs what Z thinks? Why don't you ask Z what Z thinks?


I am asking Vigs for the same reason you ask citizens of Mexico what the selectmen think. I will get just as valid of an answer.


You are comparing apples to oranges. Vigs does not answer to me. The selectmen answer to the taxpayers.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:14 am

The Rumford Selectmen are accountable to the Rumford Citizens, do you know what they are thinking?

My point is that you cannot accurately understand where the Mexico selectboard is coming from by talking to Reggie Arsenault or any other citizen of Mexico (accountability or not).

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Timeout on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:29 am

So, to the discussion of regionalization as Z says:
Suppose we were to discuss the possibility of regionalization without reserve. It's such a broad topic and entails more than any one department. Would we begin with discussing a two-town merger? Or would we begin on a department by department basis, seeing how regionalization could work for each aspect of municipal government.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Vigs on Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:06 am

"Z" I feel that we answer to each other on why we are in the predicament that all the towns are looking for answers and it seem that no one can answer or agree on! Its time we stand and work together dont you think

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Mainiac1 on Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:46 am

When the towns met a year or so ago it was decided that it may be in evryone's best interest to start small and expand a little at a time. To trial what could be trialed, with minimal financial impact and expand sharing of services, involving citizens when moves may require their approval(vote) on oportunities. However and again as long as Rumford has people in positions of leadership, who sit at at table and say 'ok' 'ah' 'ok (diconzo),' and Boivin with the finger pointing and threatening tone of language backed up by self centered thoughts, and Belanger wanting to cut the fire department out meeting by meeting, you are going nowhere. It is as simple as that. The past action of these clowns with the trees, and the dismissals, and all the controversies, nobody wants to work with them. Replace them with people who can play well with others and you would see these trials happening.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Timeout on Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:35 am

Vigs wrote:...Its time we stand and work together dont you think

Vigs, I like your thought. Where do you see the regionalization thing going? It sounds like you are for it - what do you suggest? What kind of approach should be taken?

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Timeout on Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:00 pm

A simple change of one selectmen has potential to change the "tone" of the board and eliminate the 3-man majority voting block we have at present.

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Re: Regionalization - What's holding it up?

Post by Vigs on Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:04 pm

Have them explain each time they go "ah", "oh", we need more of a sentence they one words. Its time to explain yourself then an easy way out on every question.....

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