DYER | A plan to add two part-time firefighters is running into a snag: tight budgets.
The Dyer Volunteer Fire Department currently has one office employee and a crew of on-call firefighters and EMTs.
Councilwoman Debbie Astor broached the subject of hiring two part-time firefighters, which had been brought up in the past, during the recent study session.
Town officials had talked of hiring two part-time firefighters at $12.50 an hour, a total cost to the town of $35,000 a year. Currently, firefighters are paid per call.
The Fire Department had little money left over in its budget last year and currently has some sizable equipment expenditures coming up, Town Attorney Bill Enslen pointed out.
At present, there is little room in the general fund for an additional $35,000 a year, putting hiring permanent firefighters in limbo.
Councilwoman Mary Tanis pointed out that the town recently obtained $21,000 from the Department of Local Government Finance, but that money is a loan, Clerk-Treasurer Pat Hawrot said, meaning that it can’t be used for new employee salaries.