HANNIBAL — Hannibal town leaders this month tentatively approved a multi-year contract with the Hannibal Fire Company and set a date next month for the public to voice their comments and concerns regarding the agreement.

The three-year contract represents a long-standing tradition and agreement between the town and fire company representatives, and is required because of the town of Hannibal doesn’t have a fire district like most local municipalities. 

“We don’t have a fire district in the town of Hannibal, we have a fire protection contract with the local fire department,” Hannibal Supervisor Floyd Calkins told The Palladium-Times earlier this month. “They are their own business and that’s how it’s been forever in the town.”

Municipalities with a fire protection district — such as the town and village of Hannibal — include the contract as part of their tax levy limit, while fire districts often have their own separate tax levy independent the municipal taxes.

The contract, if approved in its current state, would see the town pay the Hannibal Fire Company more than $800,000 across the next three years — $276,278 in 2022, $281,804 in 2023 and $287,440 in 2024 — for “consideration of furnishing aid and use of its apparatus” during emergencies.

These rates represent a zero percent tax levy increase for 2022, a two percent tax increase in 2023 and a subsequent 2 percent increase in 2024, according to Calkins. Last year, town and fire company officials agreed to a one-year $276,278 contract.

Calkins said earlier this year fire company officials proposed a contract with cost of living adjustments worked in to the town’s tax levy in 2023 and 2024, but due to the uncertainty of the adjustments, Calkins expressed hesitancy. 

“We do not know what (cost of living adjustment) will be for 2023, 2024, and I do not think it’s in the best interest of the town to commit to something that is unknown,” Calkins told the Palladium-Times. 

Calkins said the tentative fire contract’s public hearing is scheduled for the town’s next board meeting on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. Hannibal Town board meetings are held at the Hannibal Town Hall, located at 824 county Route 34.

Town officials urge the community to provide input on the contract, according to Calkins. 

Hannibal officials are starting to work on the town’s broader 2022 budget. The 2021 spending plan was roughly $1.3 million.

For more information visit www.hannibalny.org or call (315) 564-6037.