Hempstead Town & Village of Freeport Working Together: Intergovernmental Cooperation Saves Money, Provides Fire Protection and Sanitation Services

Displaying intergovernmental cooperation, providing more efficient municipal services and safeguarding residents are important priorities.  Embracing these governmental imperatives, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray and Freeport Village Mayor Robert Kennedy today signed an inter-municipal agreement that will provide fire protection services through the village’s fire department to a new condominium complex in an unincorporated section of Freeport.  At the same time, Hempstead Town will provide access at the “homeowner disposal area” of its sanitation facility in Merrick to all Freeport Village residents.  In short, a group of 61 new homeowners will have the benefit of fire protection, and village residents can drop-off “bulky debris” and other non-hazardous household waste at the town’s sanitation facility.  Standing in front of a Freeport fire truck and a Town of Hempstead sanitation vehicle at a signing ceremony for the agreement, Murray and Kennedy were joined by firefighters and Councilwomen Dorothy Goosby and Erin King Sweeney.

“Today is a good day for a group of new homeowners who will have their new homes protected in the event of a fire or other emergency,” stated Murray.  “At the same time, Freeport residents will be able to drop off yard waste, debris from home improvement projects and other household waste at a convenient location.  What’s more, this arrangement will save taxpayers money through the synergy of two governments working together.”

“This agreement will improve the quality of life of our residents while effectively controlling taxes. We are committed to cooperating with all levels of government to help us maintain municipal services for our residents with zero increases to their taxes,” said Mayor Kennedy. 

The inter-municipal agreement has a term of three years, running from June of 2015 through May of 2018.  Prior to the formal agreement, Murray and Kennedy agreed that fire protection would be accorded to the condominium complex known as Ocean Watch in recognition of the mutual commitment on the part of the officials to reach an agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Town of Hempstead, on behalf of the South Freeport Fire Protection District, will pay $6,500 per year to the Freeport Fire Department.  This amount is a $500 increase over the existing contact, which covers an area that includes 2 marinas, a municipal park and the 61 new condominiums.  The meager $500 increase in the contract represents a small fraction of typical fee increases associated with the construction of 61 new homes.  Residents of Freeport Village will be provided the benefit of using Hempstead Town’s “homeowner disposal area” at its sanitation facility for their household waste and debris without incurring any additional taxes or fees for the service.

The Hempstead Town Board is anticipated to officially vote on the inter-municipal agreement at its June 23rd meeting.  Freeport Village is considering the measure at its June 1st meeting.

“This agreement is a perfect example of intergovernmental cooperation with no cost to our tax payers. The Board of Trustees thanks Supervisor Murray for her support and assistance,” said Kennedy.

“This agreement is a benefit for Freeport Village residents and a group of new homeowners in the Town of Hempstead,” said Murray.  “By working together, Hempstead Town and the Village of Freeport are operating in an efficient, cost-effective manner while ensuring fire protection for some new neighbors and sanitation services for Freeport residents.”