The Village of Maybrook became the second municipality to opt into the proposed Town of Montgomery Ambulance District, after a 3-2 vote and a conversation in which emotions ran high.
Town of Montgomery Supervisor Brian Maher and Ambulance Corps trustee Sylvie Rainaldi returned to the village board for their second appearance, with a presentation nearly identical to one made before the Walden Village Board in December.
“You can opt in or choose to give yourselves more time to opt in at the Jan 24 meeting,” Maher told the Maybrook trustees.
Maher said the average homeowner would pay $30-$40 a year in additional taxes to support a town-wide ambulance district.
That was enough to convince Village Trustee Jim Barnett to sign on to the plan.
“We need it now and I’m ready to sign on tonight,” Barnett said. “They are needed and needed now. “
Trustee Daryl Capozzoli agreed.
“If you can go out and spend $3 for a cup of coffee today,” Capozzoli said, “we can spend $80 for ambulance service.”
Mayor Dennis Leahy, however, wasn’t easy to go ahead with the vote.
“I understand how important they are. They have my respect. I completely understand what they are going through,” Leahy said.
Leahy warned that once the village approved a resolution in support of the district, the matter would pass out of the hands of the village board and onto that of the Montgomery Town Board.
Leahy voiced concern that the process was being rushed through. He urged that an outside consultant be hired to put together a firm financial plan, someone who could sit in on negations between the town and the ambulance corps.
“We as elected officials cannot sign off on this until we are absolutely positive that the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed,” the mayor said.
While Leahy and Deputy Mayor Robert Pritchard wanted to hold off a vote until the next village board meeting, Barnett persisted.
“This needs to be done now,” he said, his voice cracking with emotion. “I want an ambulance in this town. I want it now.”
Village Attorney Kelly Naughton requested the board hold off as well, so she’d have time to prepare a resolution.
Barnett asked if they could vote without her doing so.
Maher then produced a copy of the resolution approved by the Montgomery Village Board. He read it aloud, substituting “Maybrook” for “Montgomery.” - the village of Maybrook trustees adopt a resolution authorizing the Village of Maybrook to be included in the proposed Town of Montgomery Ambulance District.
Barnett made the motion. The mayor called for a roll call vote. Trustees Barnett, Capozzoli and Kevin Greany voted yes. Pritchard and Leahy, who wanted to wait, voted no. It passed by a 3-2 vote.