WESTFIELD - Some of the most iconic village traditions were subjects of much of the discussion at the Tuesday, June 5 meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners.
Bingo, the upcoming Ox Roast on Sunday, July 8 and Turkey Party highlighted tensions among the commissioners, fire department and Exempt Volunteer Association about the disposition of money generated by fundraising.
"The fire department ain't covering the whole costs," Commission Chairman Barry Underwood said regarding profits generated by the annual Ox Roast, perhaps the most well-known local fundraiser. "The fire department owns the license for games - pull tabs, etc. They should minimally get the proceeds for that."
Jim Pacanowski had earlier told the board Ox Roast profits had, "always gone to the fire department." The money is, "transferred through the Exempts to the fire department," according to Pacanowski.
It was Pacanowski's statement, "100 percent of the profit (from the Ox Roast) goes to the fire department each year," which led to an exchange between him and Underwood regarding cost allocation.
Regarding Bingo, "We don't make what we used to," Pacanowski said.
He defended holding Bingo at the Exempts Hall
"Bingo is run there and they don't charge us rent," said.
"They (the Exempts) do get something out of it," Underwood said.
For examples, he said the Exempts conduct the refreshment concession, the hall is cleaned after Bingo at no cost to the Exempts and improvements made to the hall and adjacent parking lot add property value which could aid the Exempts current effort to sell the hall.
Pacanowski told the commission Bingo will be offered through 2013 and the Bingo account has a balance of $2,190.
Underwood revealed the commission may move the Turkey Party from the Exempts' Hall to the fire house on Clinton Street
Lyle Holland countered logistics favor the hall because, "tables and chairs plus the liquor license at the premises."
The commissioner unanimously voted to table the proposed change of location to allow more study.