An appeal on behalf of the Town of Montgomery Volunteer Ambulance Corps was among the many critiques of the 2020 Town of Montgomery preliminary budget at the public hearing on Thursday night.
Former Walden Village Trustee Mary Ellen Matise asked why there was no funding in the budget regarding the town’s ambulance corps. The volunteer ambulance corps is severely underfunded, lacking up-to-date ambulances. Matise added that she has pitched this issue to the board since 2004. In the event of an emergency, the ambulance corps needs to be at full strength.
“We can’t have a community that feels secure and safe and not have an ambulance service,” she said. “We can’t have all the development going on without an ambulance service.”
Councilman Mark Hoyt reported that his office reached out to an attorney an ambulance corps several weeks ago to begin discussions about getting a contract going. The board needs full financials to justify the monetary request of the ambulance company.
Montgomery resident Don Berger suggested that the town supervisor and town board should be full-time positions. This would allow for issues to be dealt with in a more timely manner. He claims that the problems like the ones with the ambulance corps would not be drawn out for 15 years with the board working full time.
Berger also believes that more money should be allocated to the parks. In addition, he noted that the parks should have employees that maintain them.
“The parks, for youth and adults, are the backbone of this community,” he said.
More needs were expressed during the public hearing. Susan Cockburn believed that the town needs both a comptroller and municipal separate storm sewer systems enforcement officer.
The town board will continue to review the 2020 budget. They will hold an additional meeting for it on Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m. They will vote on the budget on Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.