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Louisville town council and fire department agree to 2014 contract

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LOUISVILLE — After operating for nearly six months without a contract, the Louisville Volunteer Fire Department and the town have finally signed a deal for the 2014 fiscal year.

Councilman Roy A. Beshaw said that for the most part the contract is the same agreement the town has had with the volunteer fire department in the past.

“It’s hardly any different,” Mr. Beshaw said.

The two significant changes are the structure in which the department is paid by the town, and the fact that the department no longer is being billed a flat rate for fuel.

“They will now only pay for the fuel they use,” Town Supervisor Larry R. Legault said.

While the structure of the payments may be different, Town Clerk Joanne H. Cameron said, the total amount paid by the town is the same.

Under the new contract, the fire department will receive payment of $74,705 upon the initiation of the contract, with a second payment of $26,795 to be made Aug. 1

A third payment of $7,000 will also be given to the department, but placed in reserves to be used for the purchase of pagers and turnout gear.

Mr. Legault said now that there’s a new contract in place, he’s expecting next year’s contract to go smoother.

“We’re expecting better communication between the board and the fire department,” Mr. Legault said. “Come budget time now we know what to expect from them, and they’ll know what to expect from us.”

Sandy Roberts, who chairs the department’s board of trustees, said he is pleased the contract is signed.

“It takes a lot off of our minds,” he said, adding the department is looking forward to maintaining a good working relationship with town officials.

“We just want to get along with everyone and move forward,” he said.

After several months of negotiations between the department’s attorney and Town Attorney Eric J. Gustafson, the contract was approved unanimously by fire department trustees earlier this week. The Town Council also lent its unanimous support to the deal, approving the contract at its meeting this week.

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