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Fire district budget hearings tonight

Fire districts across the state will hold public hearings Tuesday night on next year's budgets.

By state law, every fire district must hold a public budget hearing on the third Tuesday in October. The districts also are required to post legal notices and any information about the hearings, such as time and place, on town websites, their own websites, and on any electronic bulletin boards outside their firehouses.

After presenting the budget, fire district commissioners may make changes and must vote on the spending plan by the Nov. 4. Unlike school district budgets, the public does not vote on fire district budgets.

Many districts post budgets on their own websites or town websites before the hearings. State law requires that all districts file two copies of the budget with the town clerk in the town in which the district resides within three days of adoption.

Fire district commissioners are elected each December by the public, and they are the sole financial officers of fire districts.

Not all fire departments are run by a district. Some are village departments or fire protection districts, which contract out their work.

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