1. #1
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    Default FD reorganization and who owns AFG funded equipment

    Vol FD has received 3x AFG (TO gear/SCBA, pumper tanker, hose/etc). Very small town FD. 5% local match for each grant has come from FD Association fund raising. That is FF effort no local tax $.

    City Council has become impossible to work with as adults (5 out of 5 are women) and city is on the ropes financially and likely to be "out of business" within 2 years. Council is unwilling to address the city financial problems other than wanting to micromanage FD budget. FD (the City) contracts with rural townships to provide fire protection and the FD which is entirely funded by these rural township/farm property tax $/transfers plus some local option sales tax $ desigated by law (ballot vote) for fire protection/FD. That is, NO city property tax to FD or even possibly available for FD after paying the local Sheriff "law enfocement" contract. Fire Station (with attached "community hall") was built (with FF vol labo r and tax $) 30 years ago.

    FD is looking at perhaps reorganization as an independent 501C3 not for profit and contract with the rural township and with the city (as above is currently spending 100% of small public safety budget is extorted by County for police).

    In my view the FD is the organization and membership. Not a building or the equipment. The FD will continue exist as an organization even if in a new building.

    If reorganize, who owns the AFG equipment? Truck titles say "City of _____" Cite precident if you know of similar situation (vs how you think should be). Examples of how AFG program has ruled on similar issues.

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    There are 5 principals to be followed here.

    1. Get an attorney
    2. Contact legal counsel
    3. Get legal representation
    4. Hire an attorney
    5. He who has himself as his attorney has a fool for a client.

    And you would want to consider getting an attorney also.

    Really. I can't stress it enough. No one here is going to be able to help you, the help desk is not going to give you the answers you want, and I suspect neither is an attorney. (the titles being in the cities name will pretty much dictate who they are going to belong to, my non-attorney brain says)

    And what does the sex of the board members have to do with anything?

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    Ever worked with a group where all the members/"leaders" are women? Obviously not.

    Other obviously correct. HOWEVER the Federal Gov't frequently "works" in less than logical manner. I want examples to cite of similar situation. For a lawyer to come up with such information to cite either will not happen or will be very expensive (as what lawyer has even heard of AFG). The view of AFG likely trumps all other and watching the truck/equipment riding off into the sunset is a nonstarter.

    If you worked with a lawyer much you're aware you typically have to lead them down the garden path if you want to get to the desired destination. Then write a big check.

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    It appears the FD is operated by the City and governed by the City; correct/incorrect?
    Last edited by onebugle; 07-10-2012 at 02:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    Ever worked with a group where all the members/"leaders" are women? Obviously not.

    Other obviously correct. HOWEVER the Federal Gov't frequently "works" in less than logical manner. I want examples to cite of similar situation. For a lawyer to come up with such information to cite either will not happen or will be very expensive (as what lawyer has even heard of AFG). The view of AFG likely trumps all other and watching the truck/equipment riding off into the sunset is a nonstarter.

    If you worked with a lawyer much you're aware you typically have to lead them down

    the garden path if you want to get to the desired destination. Then write a big check.
    Women board? I have worked with a number of ES related boards that have either been mainly women or all women. To be honest, they often work better than a male board, at least in the situations I have been in. A lot less territorial.

    Anyways, your legal issue is going to come down to an ownership issue - plain and simple. Who is on the title. Who is on the deed. As long as the period of performance is done on the AFG they will tell you they have no dog in the hunt.

    If the equipment is titled to the city, it is going to be real tough to get it away from the city.

    Who owns the fire station? Who started the FD?

    I deal with attornies all time in my business, across the country. I think sometimes I have put a number of their children through private school. I find that if you find the RIGHT attorney, you are not going to have to lead them anywhere. Sort of defeats the whole purpose in hiring them if you have to tell them how to do their job.

    Most attornies will give you the first visit free, where they will give you an honest appraisal of your case.

    You can call the help desk and be routed around to the experts who will tell you what you don't want to hear on the titled equipment at least.

    What do the grant applications say for an agency name? What EIN was used? What does your charter say?

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    The AFG viewpoint in past similar issues is that it was awarded to an entity for the benefits of the geographical area stated in the application. Now if it was the FD as the applicant for the benefit of the city residents only then it belongs to whoever is going to use it to handle fire calls in the city.

    If it was awarded to the FD and the surrounding townships and their statistical information was also included in the application then the truck has to be used for all fire calls in that area. It can't be taken by the city and used as a "city-only" fire truck that can't leave city limits for any reason. It was awarded to the whole area and whoever is going to handle those fires.

    So even if the FD reorganizes, if the newly EIN'd entity is still handling the fire business in the city then the FD gets to use the truck no matter what. If it was a case where it was just city statistics on the pumper award then they could restrict usage to just city limits, AFG doesn't get involved in that.

    But Blake is pretty much on with the lawyer comments, the truck is titled in the city's name so not much going to be done about that if they've been paying for it, insuring it, etc.

    Especially on target with the lawyer jokes, hence the reason I write my own plain English contracts. I'll put my own kids through school instead of the lawyer's. I argue better anyway...

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    There are 5 principals to be followed here.

    1. Get an attorney
    2. Contact legal counsel
    3. Get legal representation
    4. Hire an attorney
    5. He who has himself as his attorney has a fool for a client.
    Not that you haven't given great advice, but how about step zero? Ask your contact at AFG. The answer might remove the need to go on to steps 1 through 5 altogether.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Hit the nail on the head with it being Step 0, since 0 is the amount of help you'll get. They don't get involved unless there is some kind of fraud involved. Otherwise it's a local legal matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Not that you haven't given great advice, but how about step zero? Ask your contact at AFG. The answer might remove the need to go on to steps 1 through 5 altogether.

    I did not go there because although the AFG plays a part in this, after the period of performance is done then you can do basically what you want - in accordance with your local disposition procedures. It also sounds like they are trying to seperate the entire department from the city, which AFG has no concerns about.

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    I believe it would be a pretty safe bet for you to contact the State Fire Chief's Association and get their legal counsel to recommend a "knowledgeable" attorney.
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    The AFG viewpoint in past similar issues is that it was awarded to an entity for the benefits of the geographical area stated in the application. Now if it was the FD as the applicant for the benefit of the city residents only then it belongs to whoever is going to use it to handle fire calls in the city.

    If it was awarded to the FD and the surrounding townships and their statistical information was also included in the application then the truck has to be used for all fire calls in that area. It can't be taken by the city and used as a "city-only" fire truck that can't leave city limits for any reason. It was awarded to the whole area and whoever is going to handle those fires.
    Thanks that's the kind if info looking for/useful.

    AFG Applications were specifically written to include and narritive discussion was that we would be able TO provide appropriate coverage to rural area. Rural pop twice that of the town.

    As above, rural tax levys pay the operational costs of the FD (to include insurance). Operational/overhead costs being the price of admission you don't gain ownership rights when you by a ticket to a movie/Disneyland or rent a car.

    FD membership raised the 5% match with minimal to no contributions from any residents of the city. FF purchased ownership.

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    Think your issue is going to be the title, since all that stuff is the case with the matching and everything doesn't make sense to have the City's name on it but kind of too late for that.

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    I know this is going to be a volatile statement - and I am sure you will tell us that everything that can be done along this line has been done BUT,

    You asked for legal determinations on a forum. You got some. IE, discussions and emails from the grant team about disposition of items after the period of performance. They don't care. You also were told that the grants team won't get involved in the dispute and it will be a local ownership issue.

    Another legal given - vehicle titles. This LOCAL issue is most likely where the vehicles will come down to. A reason for an attorney. I have gotten corporate donations to pay the 5% on the trucks we have gotten AFG for - that does not give those companies any say in how those trucks are used, where they are kept, etc. In your case the FF membership made the donation of the 5% - so how are they entitled to governing how/where etc the trucks are kept? The title is in the cities name!

    You have ignored all comments, all specific statements, even case law, and latched on to one small comment - that about the area covered in the narrative. (Yet, you don't state that anyone is trying to reduce the geographical area covered by the city fire department) But later, that same poster states that it is going to come down to basic legal tenents concerning the title, and that the AFG folks are not going to get into it.

    Everyone here has stated you should get some legal advice, not the advice of keypounders on a forum - yet you state you are better than any attorney, and cheaper too.

    Finally, you resort to sexist personal feelings about the city board. It is real obvious that you all are having problems getting along for whatever reason. Perhaps for the good of the department you should let someone else without those sexist biases be the contact with the board, even if you have to go outside of the department, or you should man up and act like an adult and deal with them as adults. If they insist on not acting adult, then you should maintain the high road.

    There ARE better ways to deal with this.

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    Thant BC for the info always helpful.

    LVFD go cry you PC nonsense at www.NOW.org or www.americanbar.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    Thant BC for the info always helpful.

    LVFD go cry you PC nonsense at www.NOW.org or www.americanbar.org
    Wow. I did not even realize NOW was still around.

    After reading this enlightning post, I have no doubt that the problem does not primarily lay with the city council.

    Did a member of the city council run off with your wife?

    Anyways, I may have to try to figure out where you are. I bet the news stories about all this are/will be hilarious.

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