Discussions with the Fire District about a possible merger are at the "very beginning", reported Selectboard member Linda Cook at the Selectboard meeting on Wednesday, as seen on CATV. That was confirmed earlier in an email from the Chair of the Prudential Committee, which governs the Fire District. "We are just beginning to ponder the concept of a merger with the town. So far there aren't any outlines - we're hoping to put some ideas on paper by our next Fire District meeting October 22nd," said Chair Michael Goodrich.
Why merge? "In 1922, Norwich wasn't sophisticated enough to have it's own fire department, water department, dump, sidewalks, etc., so the Fire District was a necessity - today, the town is completely capable of maintaining everything itself," added Prudential Committee Chair Goodrich.
One question Town residents ask is whether Town taxes will increase if the merger happens? See Did you know: The Fire District Charges Property Taxes.
The Fire District today is essentially a municipal water company serving approximately 310 homes and 20 commercial businesses in the Village that make up the District. Revenues are raised through water charges and property taxes that are assessed in its jurisdiction. See Fire District Merger With Town?. The Town's fire house is located within the Fire District. The Town pays for water used at the fire house to fill the tanker and it also pays a hydrant fee. Town property is tax exempt.