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Here’s The Scoop …. THE LBTS-VFD Beach Patrol … The “Devil” Is In The Details ….

TWO  LBTS-VFD “DETAILED” ATVS …. $$$$$$$ ……

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Dear Readers …. At the Budget Fire Workshop in June Commissioner Dodd asked about the VFD and their medical calls/ Beach Patrol being allowed to be paid for from the fire assessment (prev. posts)…While we watched the “2-Hats” adamantly state there was no conflict (per an insurance agent’s say-so per Comm. Silverstone) shortly afterward we heard they scrambled behind the scenes and decided to call it “training” when they responded to medical calls (Town Manager Colon even jumped on that bandwagon on the dais) with the “2-Hats” within the department “leading” the members in deciding the last 6 months of beach patrol/ medical calls would be compensated through the elusive and bottomless pit flush with monies VFD Booster Fund… At the next Fire Workshop in July, the topic was addressed again by Comm. Dodd with Mr. Burton of Burton and Associates….and he disagreed with the premise that the VFD could not go on the medical calls…saying they would fall under “first responders” and as long as they did no medical assistance beyond basic acts and no transporting they were okay…Mr Burton added that calling it “training” (cover)  was not the description he would use… After that meeting a response came from the Town Manager to Comm. Dodd who had inquired about the Beach Patrol funding for the VFD, which she said was separate, due to the non-allowance of it being paid for by the fire assessment …She told Comm. Dodd prior to this memo that the funds were in an account and she was waiting for a bill from the VFD (this was curious due to the fact that it was now July with only a few months left until the 1st year contract was done)…The memorandum on July 29, 2009 had a cover letter “Subject:”Fire Assessment Balance” stating “As requested, attached please find the balance in the Fire Assessment account as of today.”…On the second page was a copy of a Sun Trust transaction activity for an acct. ending in “7588”…with the “Current Balance of $35,000.00″…”Collected Balance $35,000.00″…”Available Balance $35,000.00″…”Pending Transactions Activity on 07/29/09′ showing nothing…”Posted Transactions between o7/14/09 and 07/29/09 Date 07/14/09/ Transaction Description Credit image DEPOSIT/ Transaction Number D/ Credit $35,000.00/ Balance $35,000.00″…

So did this mean $35,000.00 was deposited into an account on 07/14/09? If so why did the cover page say it was the “Balance of the Fire Assessment account?”….Was it taken from a larger Fire Assessment account?… Comm. Dodd asked for a list of accounts and received a non- answer of “Response; Monthly bank statements are received by bank and reconciled”…(prev. post…OOPS! Of course it is the Town that reconciles the bank statements)…thereby not providing an answer of accounts the Town has….

Comm. Dodd followed up with an e-mail on 8/15/09 and received some responses in a memo on 8/20/09 (the memos with Mayor Minuet etc…prev. post)…Here is the questions with the responses from the Town Manager ..

1) The account for $35,000.00 for the beach patrol- will it be a line item in the final budget document?

RESPONSE: NO

2) From what account was this new account started- General Funds? Presumably this will be in next year’s figures.

RESPONSE: FIRE ASSESSMENT REVENUE

3) Does the fire assessment money paid to the VFD as per the contract show a corresponding reduction of $35,000.00 now that the beach patrol is funded separately?

RESPONSE: NO

BC- The questions were due to discussion that the Beach Patrol could not be funded by the fire assessment funds…(prior to the exchange by Mr Burton dealing with medical calls at the July 28, 09 special meeting…and no discussion on his assertions including the Beach Patrol, as well as Comm. Dodd’s understanding from the Town Manager that the Beach Patrol was in a separate account awaiting a “bill” from the VFD”

It is all rather curious ….more “chasing tales”….zigging and zagging to accommodate whatever might be the correct determination of what is and is not allowed under the fire assessment fees…

A look at the VFD income and expense reports (3rd to be posted) from Oct. 2008- June 30, 2009 show that the VFD was in receipt of the full amount of their contract they receive quarterly…So unless the 4th report shows a deficit of $35,000.00 it would appear that something is askew…

The Beach patrol is included in the Sept 25,2008 agreement between the Town and the VFD…on page 2 “Article 2 General Operating Conditions”…

“2.2-Additional Services

2.2.5- The VFD shall provide a beach patrol division, operating on a part time basis to promote safety and fire prevention and provide surveillance of the public beaches of the Town.

2.2.5.1- The VFD shall patrol the beach and water front for emergency situations according to schedule approved by the Town, during special events, or upon the request of the Town Administration.

2.2.5.2- THE VFD BEACH PATROL SHALL PROVIDE EMERGENCY FIRST AID SERVICE AS NEEDED.

2.2.5.3- The VFD beach patrol shall inform the public of dangerous swimming conditions.

2.2.5.4- The VFD beach patrol division shall operate and maintain two (2) all terrain vehicles (ATVs) FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF PROVIDING EMERGENCY SERVICES upon all beaches within the Service Area.”

BC- So, with the inclusion of the beach patrol in the agreement (contract) and the only funding for the VFD being from the fire assessment it should mean the $35,000.00 is from the contracted price of $844,022.00 in 2008-09/ and again in 2009-10 …$877,783.00a ($73,148.57 per month)…So what was the Town Manager talking about a “bill ” from the VFD?…It would not make sense as the Beach patrol is part of the contract and the Manager has often said from the dais the Town/VFD abide by the contract (we also heard that when the Town/VFD thought there was indeed a problem with including the Beach patrol on the fire assessment there was talk of changing the contract)…Is it the correct terminology within that 2008 agreement to state the VFD  “shall provide emergency first aid service” and the ATVs will be used “for the express purpose of providing emergency services upon all beaches within the Service Area”?…That should be another question that requires yet another definitive determination….

more to come………

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