Both the Berwyn and Radnor Fire Companies have now written public statements concerning their individual budgets and the 5% budget cut contained in Tredyffrin Township’s proposed 2010 budget.
In an open letter to the Tredyffrin community, members of the Berwyn Fire Company respond to the proposed 5% budget cut. The letter also includes required upcoming capital expenditures. Here is an excerpt from their letter, but I encourage you to read it in its entirety and respond accordingly.
For 2010, Easttown Township has decided to maintain the level of funding (both operating and capital) for the Berwyn and Paoli Fire Companies at the 2009 level. Tredyffrin Township has preliminarily approved a budget that will reduce its township contribution to our operating and capital budgets by 5% compared to 2009 funding levels. While this is a relatively small amount of money in the townships’ total budget, we feel it is a mistake for the township to move down this path-both because every dollar matters to our volunteer company and because we feel it sets a precedent that may be hard to reverse in future years.
I have just received notice that the Radnor Fire Company has followed suit and their Radnor Fire Company President David Roderick and Chief James Kelly have issued a formal public statement on the proposed 5% reduction in support from Tredyffrin Township. Their letter likewise details the financial difficulties facing their volunteer fire company. In addition, Radnor Fire Company provides clarification that their organization does not receive capital support from Tredyffrin Township. Below is an excerpt from their public statement.
We will be already dealing with a 10% cut in support we receive from the Commonwealth and our fund drive numbers look to be down based on 2009 numbers. We are not asking for an increase and we stand together with our fellow Tredyffrin fire companies in Berwyn and Paoli.
Unfortunately, we were unaware that Tredyffrin Township was proposing cuts to our funding only until a few weeks ago. Furthermore, we never had an opportunity to present to the Tredyffrin Township Finance Committee or to the Citizen Budget Advisory Work Group that was established to perform a comprehensive budget review in ‘09.
It is interesting to note that the BAWG committee did not contact the Fire Departments directly before making their recommendations in their recently released report. I have stated this before, but will re-state — unlike other reductions contained within the proposed 2010 budget, it must be acknowledged that the fire companies are almost entirely volunteer organizations. Once again, the savings to the taxpayers of Tredyffrin Township is estimated to be $7-12 million annually! The proposed 5% reduction in contribution to Berwyn, Radnor and Paoli Fire Companies is in addition to the 10% cut from the Commonwealth. Read their open letters to the community — these organizations are being honest and transparent in appealing to the community for support!