Credit: Ed Betz

It's time to ease the heavy burden on taxpayers in the Gordon Heights Fire District.

The Town of Brookhaven rejected a 2006 petition to dissolve the district. Citizens submitted new petitions at the end of 2008, and the town accepted them. Then Brookhaven commissioned a study to explore costs and alternatives. The study is now done, and the town is holding an informational hearing on the report March 15. After that, the town should move quickly and decide.

Some want to keep the status quo, and no politician likes to take on volunteer firefighters. But when people in a tiny 1.7-square-mile district are paying an average of $1,500, that takes precedence over political fears.

The study lays out four options and prefers two. Its top choice: The district cuts expenses sharply, and the town exercises greater oversight. If the district is willing, and the town is ready for new responsibility, it might work. But those are big ifs.

Its second choice is just what the activists want: dissolution of the district, making room for a new arrangement. The town could ask the neighboring districts for proposals to serve it. In fact, it could even choose the current fire department, which would still exist, even after the district is dissolved.

We like option two better, but whatever the town decides, it needs to happen soon. The tax burden isn't getting any lighter.

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