Fire District 1 approves reduced budget, higher pay rates

May 11, 2022

Dartmouth’s Fire District 1 held its annual meeting on Wednesday, May 11 unanimously passing every article of its warrant with little discussion.

In total, the meeting voters approved a budget of $1,358,715, a decrease of $17,672, or about 1.3%, over the previous fiscal year.

“We were financially responsible,” said District 1 Fire Chief Peter Andrade. “We tried to keep the tax rate about the same from last year.”

Though the overall tax levy decreased, the district was able to increase pay rates by $2 for most call firefighters.

“We were concentrating on salaries for the men — they keep this place running,” Andrade said. “We try to keep the pay competitive for a part-time job.”

The district also appropriated $25,000 to replace two outboard motors that power the district fire boat.

“The boat itself is in great shape, but the time for the outboard motors is gonna come,” Andrade said, adding that they were requesting money for the replacements early because supply chain issues could delay their delivery by more than a year.

The district was able to spend the extra money without raising taxes by reducing the amount of money appropriated to the stabilization fund from $200,000 to $100,000.

The highest value appropriation was $655,000 for the support of the district, which includes bills and insurance.

Dartmouth’s Fire District 1 covers the Southeastern portion of the town, including Padanaram. The district is bordered by Allen Street to the north and Tucker and Russells Mills roads to the west.