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Letter: Fully fund the firehouse; cut budget to manage it

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

The March 7 issue of this paper carried the scathing remarks Gloucester Volunteer Fire and Rescue chief J.D. Clements made to county supervisors during last week’s public hearing on the county budget. Chief Clements requested supervisors to fully fund the new buildings in the upcoming budget cycle.

He has discussed expansion with every member of the board several times each year over the past 16 years. Over the last three years, the board led Clements to understand that the new work would be covered by the budget and commence in 2024. Land was acquired, the old firehouse was being sold back to the county. Under these representations, the construction was able to be accomplished with low-interest federal funding, exclusively available for this project.

Unfortunately, the county administrator had a different strategy. She convinced a majority of the board to bundle the new firehouse construction in a referendum whereby the county would wrap a number of ...

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