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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 171
Petition and hearing
Town (TWN) CHAPTER 62, ARTICLE 11
§ 171. Petition and hearing. 1. A petition to establish or extend a
fire, fire alarm or fire protection district pursuant to the provisions
of section one hundred seventy of this article shall be signed, and
acknowledged or proved in the same manner as a deed to be recorded, or
authenticated in the manner provided by the election law for the
authentication of nominating petitions, by resident taxpayers owning
taxable real property aggregating at least one-half of the assessed
valuation of all the taxable real property of the proposed district or
extension thereof owned by resident taxpayers, as such valuations appear
upon the latest completed assessment roll of said town or towns, except
that where there are no resident taxpayers within a proposed fire
protection district or fire alarm district or a proposed extension of a
fire district, fire protection district or fire alarm district then the
petition shall be signed by non-resident taxpayers owning taxable real
property aggregating at least one-half of the assessed valuation of all
the taxable real property in the proposed district or extension as shown
on such last completed assessment roll. If a portion only of a parcel of
such real estate appearing upon the assessment roll is situated within
the proposed district or extension, then the town board or boards may
determine the relative value of that part thereof within the proposed
district or extension, based upon the valuation of the entire parcel as
the same appears upon the assessment roll. If the boundaries of a
proposed fire district as described in the petition therefor shall be
coterminous with those of an existing water supply district having no
bonded indebtedness, the petition may provide for the dissolution of
such water supply district upon the establishment of said fire district
and the assumption by said fire district of all the liabilities and
indebtedness of such water supply district.

2. a. The town board or town boards shall hold a public hearing upon
such petition and shall cause a notice thereof to be published at least
once in a newspaper having general circulation in the territory
affected, the first publication thereof to be not less than ten days nor
more than twenty days before the day designated therein for the hearing,
and the town clerk or town clerks shall cause copies of such notice to
be posted on the sign-board of the town maintained pursuant to
subdivision six of section thirty of this chapter, and conspicuously in
such other places within or without the territory affected as the town
board or town boards may direct, not less than ten nor more than twenty
days before the day designated for the hearing as aforesaid. In the
event that the town maintains a website, such information may also be
provided on the website. Such notice shall contain a description of the
proposed district or extension, state the estimated rate per thousand
dollars of assessed valuation, based on the aggregate assessed valuation
of taxable real property of the proposed district or extension district
shown in the latest completed final assessment roll, projected to be
assessed, levied and collected for purposes of the proposed district or
extended district for the fiscal year of its operation and specify the
time when and the place where the town board or boards will meet to
consider such petition and to hear all persons interested in the subject
concerning the same. If the petition shall provide for the dissolution
of an existing water supply district upon the establishment of the fire
district, the notice of hearing shall so specify. If, upon the
establishment or extension of a fire district, the fire district would
become the sponsor of a service award program pursuant to section two
hundred sixteen-b of the general municipal law, the notice of hearing
shall so specify and contain a statement of the estimated annual cost of
the service award program to the fire district; provided, however, that
if, upon the establishment or extension of a fire district, the ensuing
fire district would become the sponsor of a service award program
pursuant to section two hundred sixteen-b of the general municipal law,
the resolutions establishing the districts shall be submitted in each
such town in the manner provided by article seven of this chapter. Prior
to the publication of the notice, the board or boards shall cause to be
prepared, and file for public inspection with the town clerk, a detailed
explanation of how the estimated rate of assessment for the proposed
district or extended district was computed.

b. (1) If the permission of the state comptroller is not required
pursuant to section one hundred seventy-three of this article because it
is not proposed to finance an expenditure for the district or extension
by the issuance of bonds, notes, certificates or other evidences of
indebtedness of the fire district, a certified copy of the notice shall
be filed with the state comptroller on or about the date of the
publication of such notice.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph one of this
paragraph the state comptroller shall not be precluded from requiring
the submission of additional information or data in such form and detail
as the state comptroller shall deem sufficient or from causing an
investigation to be made with respect to the establishment or extension
of a district or an increase in the maximum amount to be expended.

3. After a hearing held upon notice as hereinbefore provided and upon
the evidence given thereat, the town board or boards shall determine by
resolution:

(a) Whether the petition is signed, and acknowledged or proved, or
authenticated as required by law and is otherwise sufficient;

(b) Whether all the property and property owners within the proposed
district or extension are benefited thereby;

(c) Whether all the property and property owners benefited are
included within the limits of the proposed district or extension;

(d) Whether it is in the public interest to grant in whole or in part
the relief sought.

If the town board shall determine that the petition is not signed, and
acknowledged or proved, or authenticated as required by law or that it
is otherwise insufficient, or if it is determined that it be not in the
public interest to grant in whole or in part the relief sought, the town
board shall deny the petition.

If the town board shall determine that the petition is signed, and
acknowledged or proved, or authenticated as required by law and is
otherwise sufficient and that it is in the public interest to grant the
relief sought, either in whole or in part, but shall find that any part
or portion of the property or property owners within the proposed
district or extension are not benefited thereby or that certain property
or property owners benefited thereby have not been included therein, the
town board shall specify the necessary changes of the boundaries of the
proposed district or extension to be made in order that all of the
property and property owners and only such property and property owners
as are benefited shall be included within such proposed district or
extension, and the board shall call a further hearing at a definite
place and time not less than fifteen nor more than twenty-five days
after such determination. Notice of such further hearing shall be
posted, published and mailed in the manner provided in this section
except that such notice shall also specify the manner in which it is
proposed to alter the boundaries of the proposed district or extension.
Such further hearing shall be conducted in the same manner as an
original hearing upon a petition. If and when the town board shall
determine in the affirmative all of the questions set forth in this
subdivision, the board may adopt a resolution approving the
establishment or extension of the district as the boundaries shall be
finally determined, but no such resolution so approving shall be adopted
unless the petition shall comply with the requirements of this section
as to sufficiency of signers as the boundaries of the proposed district
or extension shall be finally determined.