Mid Hudson Times Dec. 06 2017

T IMES MID HUDSON Vol. 29, No 49 3 DECEMBER 6 - 12, 2017 Christmas in New Windsor Special section Page 46 SERVING NEWBURGH AND NEW WINDSOR The City of Newburgh Fire Department is on track to lose 12 fire- fighters following the passing of the city’s draconian 2018 budget, which did not set aside funding to pay for the positions. “It’s a painful, painful, between- a-rock-and-hard-place situation to be in,” said city Mayor Judy Kennedy at a Newburgh City Council meeting last week. “Here we are with firefighters we can’t keep. Here we are needing police officers. We need equipment, we have a $40-million sewer problem... Every Beaver Dam Lake wells test with low levels of PFOS Catch and release advisory remains in effect Firefighters perform a drill in front of the City of Newburgh fire house on Tuesday. which way you turn, more money is needed.” The positions are funded through the end of July by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The more than $2-million grant was awarded to the city twice in a row and city fire officials say it is highly unlikely they will see another. “To get it one time is a big deal, and very few departments get it twice,” said city Assistant Fire Chief Terry Ahlers. “I don’t believe anyone has ever received it a third time.” The fire department averages about ONE DOLLAR Shop Local! Fire department faces major layoffs By SHANTAL RILEY sriley@tcnewspapers.com 3 125 fire incidents per year, Ahlers said. The size of the force went up to 68 last year. “We have the manpower we need and it shows,” Ahlers said. “We’ve been able to put extra fire fighters in the street, doing inspections and code enforcement. Our building permit numbers are up.” Code-enforcement officers are finding illegal night clubs and all manner of buildings that lack required permits, he said. “We won’t have the people to do it,” said Ahlers, speaking of the impending layoffs. “We’re going to lose ground. Everything we’ve done to improve the city, improve safety and cut fire loss is Continued on page 4 WWW.MIDHUDSONTIMES.COM By SHANTAL RILEY sriley@tcnewspapers.com Of the more than 200 private wells sampled in the Beaver Dam Lake area, none tested with PFOS above the lifetime health-advisory level set by the federal Environmental Protections Agency. The news was presented by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health officials at a public forum held at Washingtonville Middle School last month. Speakers provided residents with an update on recent sampling results from Continued on page 27