MEXICO — Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously approved a draft plan to provide fire protection for the town of Byron.

The plan to provide fire protection coverage has been in the works for a couple of months. When officials in Byron, a town of about 120 people, learned they could no longer keep up with a myriad of state and federal regulations, talks began with their neighboring town to the south.

As proposed, the town of Mexico would supply fire suppression services for 10 years. In return, Byron would sign over a new 2005 fire engine pumper that the town received from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

For the following 10 years, a fee system would be worked out by mutual agreement, based on the number of calls the Mexico Fire Department responded to in Byron during the first 10 years of the contract.

Town Manager John Madigan said there are five or six calls per year in Byron.

The only exception to the coverage to be provided by Mexico would kick in if a forest fire lasting more than five hours occurred in Byron. Then, costs for firefighters and equipment would be billed to the smaller town.

“This will save us $20,000 a year in reserve funding for a new engine,” Madigan said of the proposal. “A lot of our future budget decisions would be based on this engine.”

The draft will go to the town of Mexico’s lawyer for review and to Byron’s Board of Selectmen.

Selectmen in both towns will meet to discuss the final document, which will then go before Mexico voters for approval.

Mexico fire Chief Gary Wentzell and Madigan reviewed four similar contracts used by other towns when drawing up the proposal.

Foreclosures

The board also learned that Town Clerk Penny Duguay will mail out 63 impending foreclosure notifications, a number significantly higher than in most years.

Duguay said some the the people who will receive notices are on the unpaid list year after year. However, she said many are first-time delinquents who fell behind on paying their property taxes.

Impending foreclosure notices are sent to those who are three years behind in paying their taxes. If delinquents pay at least one year’s taxes within 45 days, or by March 29, the foreclosure notice will be dismissed for the year.

Madigan said the economy likely figures into the higher-than-usual number of foreclosure notices.

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