Andreas Fire Company decertified
The West Penn board of supervisors finalized the decertification of the Andreas Fire Company at last night's regular monthly meeting.
The vote on the ordinance was unanimous and, in addition, recognized West Penn Fire Company No. 1 as the sole service provider for the township.
During the public commentary session, several members of the public raised concerns over what will happen now that the fire company has been decertified.
Paul Breiner, a former fire chief for the company, and current president of the fireman's relief association, asked what will happen to the debts that the company owes. Supervisor Alfonso Martinez added, "some of the vendors that are owed money have been trying to contact them."
Martinez asked the township solicitor what authority or responsibility the supervisors had for the company. Solicitor Gretchen Sterns replied that the organization may be functioning as any other nonprofit, and as such would be responsible for its debts, but added that the township has not guaranteed anything on behalf of the organization.
Breiner, and others, also asked what would happen to the equipment that belonged to the organization, some of which was purchased by the relief organization, and as such belongs to the state.
Code enforcement officer Harry Barron said he sent a letter to the company, advising it that the property needed to be mowed. There is a large amount of debris, including mattresses located on the property. Barron said that he had seen someone mowing the area and asked about the debris and had been told that the company could no longer burn the items, as its insurance had been canceled.
Supervisors said that the company is still responsible for disposing of the items. Members of the audience said that the area has been cleaned up in the past, but people are using it as a dumping ground.
"I want to make this clear," Supervisor James Akins added. "We didn't do this to them. They brought this on themselves."
Martinez asked anyone with any information about the fire company to contact the supervisors.