SECTION 1. Name.
A. The name of this organization shall be The New Hartford Village Fire District (hereinafter called "the District")
SECTION 2. Boundaries.
A. The territorial limits of the district shall be kept on file with the Tax Collector and the Town Assessor of New Hartford.
SECTION 3. Authority.
A. The New Hartford Village Fire District ("District") is a Municipal corporation and political subdivision of the State of Connecticut organized pursuant to Chapter 105 ("Fire, Sewer and Other Districts") Section 7-324-339 of the Connecticut General Statutes ("C.G.S." or General Statutes) to provide fire suppression, fire prevention, rescue, hazardous materials, (hereinafter called, "Emergency Services"), directly or through a third-party service provider. Moreover, the District shall exercise such powers set forth in the General Statutes necessary to accomplish these purposes including the power to levy and collect taxes, and to borrow money.
SECTION 4. Purpose.
A. The purpose of this organization shall be to aid and assist any person in the District or the adjoining communities in case of fire, other emergency, and in fire prevention education.
SECTION 5. Properties.
A. The fire houses, any future fire houses all real-estate property, apparatus and firefighting equipment within the District boundaries.
B. The facilities of the District shall be available for non-district activities and used under such rules and regulations as set forth by the District Committee as long as they do not interfere with regular fire department activities.
C. Except in the case of mutual aid emergency response, the fire apparatus and all firefighting equipment of the District shall remain within the District and shall not be used outside of the geographic boundaries of the District without the consent of the Fire Chief or his designated officers and approval of the District Commissioners.
D. No equipment shall be removed from the apparatus by any person for private venture. No equipment under the control of the District shall be used by any person for private venture. Removal of equipment without consent of the Fire Chief or District Committee shall be cause for legal action.
SECTION 6. Board of Commissioners.
A. All powers, privileges and duties vested in or imposed upon the District by law, including but not limited to the Connecticut State Statute, shall be exercised and performed by and through the District Board of Commissioners, whether specifically stated, inferred or implied in these By-laws. Through an affirmative majority vote of the Board, the Board may delegate to one or more Commissioners, standing committee, special committee, the Fire Chief, an Officer, a District member, an agent or a representative any or all administrative and ministerial powers and duties, and such other powers and duties, to the full extent authorized by law. Without restricting the general powers conferred by these By-laws and the General Statutes, the District, through the affirmative majority vote of the Board, shall have the following authority and powers:
a. To have perpetual existence;
b. To have and use a corporate seal;
c. To enter into contracts and agreements affecting the affairs of the District, including contracts with the United States and any of its agencies or sub-contractors. Except in case in which the District will receive aid from a governmental agency or purchase through State purchasing program, a notice shall be published for bids on all construction contracts for work or materials, or both, involving an expense of $5,000 or more of public monies. The Board may reject any and all bids, and if it appears that the District can perform the work or secure material directly or from another source for less than the lowest bid, the Board may proceed to do so;
d. To borrow money and incur indebtedness and evidence the same by certificates, notes, or debentures, and to issue bonds, and to invest any monies of the District in accordance General Statute;
e. To acquire, dispose of, and encumber real and personal property including, without limitation, rights and interests in property, leases, and easements necessary to the functions or the operation of the District; except that the Board shall not pay more than fair market value and reasonable settlement costs for any interest in real property and shall not pay for any interest in real property which must otherwise be dedicated for public use or the Districts use in accordance with any governmental ordinance, regulation, or law;
f. To manage, control and supervise all of the business and affairs of the District as defined in the General Statute, directly or through the Fire Chief or other District members or third-party providers, as the Board deems appropriate in its sole discretion, including all construction, operation, and maintenance of District improvements.
g. To appoint, hire, and retain agents, employees, volunteers, engineers, accountants, advisers, consultants and attorneys including, without limitation, the following:
1. Tax Collector
3. Fire Chief - Qualification and appointment requirements set in section 12
4. Deputy Chief - Qualification and appointment requirements set in section 12
5. Firefighter/Driver (Paid Daytime Driver)
h. To qualify individuals for the positions of Captain and Lieutenants. Upon being qualified, individuals will be elected by department members at the department annual meeting
i. To accept or dispose of, on behalf of the District, title to real or personal property, and to accept gifts and conveyances made to the District upon such terms and conditions as the Board may approve;
j. To adopt, amend and enforce these By-laws and rules and regulations not in conflict with the constitution and laws of the State of Connecticut for carrying out on the business, objects, and affairs of the Board and the District;
k. To acquire, dispose of, or encumber fire stations, fire protection and firefighting equipment, and any interest therein, including leases and easements;
l. To have and exercise all rights and powers necessary, incidental or implied from the specific powers granted by the General Statutes or other laws, such specific powers shall not be considered as a limitation on any power necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and intent of the Connecticut State Statutes.
SECTION 7. Individual Actions by Commissioners Not Authorized.
A. Individual actions by Commissioners are not authorized. Individual board members have no power or authority to take any action or make any statement on behalf of the Board or the District, unless expressly delegated such power or authority by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Board. Individual Board members shall not give directions to the Fire Chief or other District employees except as specifically authorized by the affirmative majority vote of the Board. In order to foster an effective and efficient line of communication between Chief, staff and the Board, communications between the Board, or individual Board members, and Volunteers or individual, shall be directed to the Fire Chief, unless otherwise determined by the affirmative majority vote of the Board.
SECTION 8. District Office.
A. The principle office of the District shall be at: 3 Greenwoods Road, New Hartford, CT 06057, unless otherwise designated by the Board.
SECTION 9. Meetings.
A. Monthly meetings: Unless otherwise noticed and posted, regular meetings of the District shall be held on the second Thursday of each month at 7 oclock P.M.
B. Special Meetings:
a. Unless otherwise noticed or posted, a special meeting of the District shall be held on the second Monday of June at 8 oclock, P.M. at the District office. Should the June meeting fall on a legal holiday, it shall be held on the following Monday. Legal notice of the meeting must be made in the paper not more than 10 days or less than 5 days before the meeting.
b. The Chairman or any two Commissioners may call a special meeting of the Board by informing the other Commissioners of the date, time and place of the special meeting, and the purpose for which it is called, and by posting a notice of the special meeting not less than 24 hours prior to the meeting in the New Hartford Fire Houses and New Hartford Town
SECTION 10. Conduct of Meetings.
A. Quorum. All official business of the Board shall be transacted at a regular or special meeting at which a quorum of three Commissioners shall be present, except as otherwise provided herein.
B. If no quorum of Commissioners is present, the Secretary/Treasurer may sit at the meeting as a district alternate with all voting privileges if and only if the Secretary/Treasurer is a 1st District voter.
C. To the extent practicable, the Board shall follow the latest edition of the Roberts Rules of Order as a procedural guide for conducting meetings, with the following amendments:
D. The reading of the text of minutes, financial statements, or proposed Resolutions into the record is not required;
E. The Chairperson may make a Motion, and may vote on any Motion.
F. In the absence of the Chairman at the meeting, the following shall serve as the Chairperson in descending order:
G. Commissioner of longest tenure
H. Voting. Any action of the board shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of the Commissioners present and voting. When special or emergency circumstances affecting the affairs of the District and the health and safety of District residents so dictate, reasonable efforts shall be made to locate and notify all commissioners, and then those Commissioners available at the time may undertake whatever action is considered necessary and may instruct the District members to carry out said actions, which shall later be ratified by the Board. Voting by Proxy is prohibited.
I. Order of Business. The Business of all regular meetings of the District shall be transacted, to the extent practicable, in the following manner;
a. Call to Order
b. Previous Meeting Minutes
c. Public Comment on Agenda Items Only
d. Treasurer Report
e. Tax Collector Report
f. Chairman Report
g. Fire Chief Report
h. Committee Report(s)
i. Old Business
j. New Business
k. Bills and Communications
l. Miscellaneous Business
J. Motions and Resolutions. Official Board action may be taken through the adoption of a resolution or a motion duly made, seconded, and passed by a majority vote of a quorum of the Board. Except where a resolution is specifically required by a statute, ordinance or other law, a Board motion has the same legal effect as a resolution.
K. Minutes. Within a reasonable time after approval of minutes, the minutes of the regular or special board meetings shall be prepared and made available for public inspection.
L. Executive Session. The Board may call an executive session at a regular or special meeting of the Board, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the quorum present. The public shall not be permitted in an executive session. In order to maintain the confidentiality of the executive session, only those individuals who are necessary for the topic(s) being discussed during the executive session shall be permitted to attend the executive session. Before going into an executive session, the Chairperson shall announce, and the minutes shall reflect, the specific citation(s) to the portion(s) of the open meetings law that allows the Board to meet in an executive session. Board action shall not be taken while in executive session. The discussion in an executive session shall be limited to the reason(s) for which the executive session was called. All discussions in executive session shall be held in strict confidence by every individual attending the executive session, and shall not be disclosed to any third person or entity. Executive session shall follow State of CT FOI Guidelines (see attached).
SECTION 11. Commissioners and Officers.
A. Election of Commissioners. At the annual meeting of the District the voters shall elect from their number, a Board of Commissioners, consisting of five (5) Commissioners. The Commissioners shall be elected for a term of three (3) years, staggered so that two (2) Commissioners or as many Commissioners as necessary to fill vacancies, are elected each year. The Commissioners shall be comprised of no more than two (2) active New Hartford Volunteer Fire Department (District One) firefighters. The (one) officer of the District, (Chairman) may NOT be an active firefighter and shall be elected from among the Board of Commissioners and shall hold office for one year and/or until his/her successor is elected. The entire management and direction of the affairs of the New Hartford Village Fire District shall be vested in the Board of Commissioners.
B. Commissioners Qualifications. A Commissioner must (1) be a tax payer in voting District One of New Hartford; and (2) must demonstrate primary residence (not business) is in voting District One of New Hartford for a minimum of eight months per calendar year. Each Commissioner must make a minimum of 50% of monthly meetings per a rolling 12-month period. If Commissioner relocates primary residence outside of District One, the New Hartford Village Fire District may exercise the option to appoint a qualified District member to replace the Commissioner based on a nomination by a remaining Commissioner to be approved by a majority vote. Failure to meet above stated requirements may result in automatic replacement of Commissioner.
C. Commissioners Performance of Duties. A District Commissioner shall perform duties as a Commissioner, including duties as a member of any committee of the Board upon which the Commissioner may serve, in good faith, in a manner in which the Commissioner reasonably believes in the best interest of District, and with such care as an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. In performing his/her duties, the Commissioner shall be entitled to rely on information, opinions, reports, or statements, including financial statements and other financial data, in each case prepared or presented by persons and groups listed in subparagraphs of this subsection; but the Commissioner shall not be considered to be acting in good faith if he/she has knowledge concerning the matter in question that would cause such reliance to be unwarranted. A person who so performs the Commissioner's duties shall not have any liability by reason of being or having been a Commissioner of the District. Those programs and groups upon whose information, opinions, reports, and statements a Commissioner is entitled to rely on include but are not limited to professional consultant in fire services, accountant/auditor, and/or lawyer.
SECTION 12. Appointment of Chief and Deputy Chief.
A. Appointments will be made at the September monthly meeting of the District staggering terms so that Chief and Deputy Chief appointments will occur in alternating years with the positions each to be held for a two-year term. Letter of Intent must be received by the June monthly meeting for any interested candidate to be considered.
B. Annual reviews will be conducted; the Chief and/or Deputy Chief can be removed for due cause and are entitled to due process
SECTION 13. Amendments.
A. Changes to the bylaws can occur at any meeting at which all Commissioners are present and a majority vote occurs.