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Tensions arise between fire department, Angola Village Board

Tensions flared between the Angola Volunteer Fire Department and the Village of Angola Board at the monthly board meeting Monday night (May 13) after several issues were raised.

During the fire department’s report at the meeting, Fire Commissioner Robert Beck brought up the fire department needing a new fire engine. Beck has brought up getting a new truck at previous board meetings. According to Beck, one truck is outdated, and another truck will be outdated in two years.

“In two years, because it takes a year to build a truck, the village is going to get caught buying two trucks very shortly,” he said.

Trustee John Wilson disagreed with Beck’s assessment.

“I don’t think so,” he said.

Beck then said that state law mandated the trucks be updated.

Wilson countered, asking if Beck had a copy of the law.

“I want a copy of that,” he said.

Beck also brought up the recent vote for fire commissioner. Former Fire Chief Todd Dybdahl won the vote in the fire hall, Beck said, but did not receive the appointment from Mayor Hub Frawley. Frawley does not have to follow the fire department’s recommendation.

“I was told by this village board, including you, Mr. Mayor, that you would go with what the fire company’s wishes were,” he said.

“I don’t remember saying that,” Frawley responded.

The fire commissioner should be an ex-chief, Beck said.

“They have the most knowledge,” he said.

“There is nothing in the paperwork or anywhere that says it has to be even an ex-firemen,” Wilson said.

According to Dybdahl, he has requested two meetings with Frawley to discuss the situation, to no reply.

“You have to tell me what you want to meet for,” Frawley said. “I’m not going to drop everything on a dime to come in here and meet with you or a firemen and that stuff, unless I have some information on what you want to meet about.”

Dybdahl went on to accuse Frawley of not putting him in as fire commissioner based on a previous altercation between Frawley and Dybdahl’s father.

“You said that to (current fire commissioner) Scott Russell in a meeting in your office that you weren’t going to put me in there because of my father coming up here and yelling at the board,” he said.

“I don’t recall that, Mr. Dybdahl,” Frawley said. “You want to do all of this stuff and then you turn around and whack me and everything else.”

Before the fire department report was given, a 45 minute executive session was held to discuss “personnel.” During the session, Fire Chief Chuck Carlson was called into the room. No action was taken during the executive session.

In other board news:

• A resolution was passed authorizing the clerk-treasurer to borrow $125,000 on a five year bond to pay for large paving projects and any related infrastructure or drainage issues that may occur as a result of the paving.

• The meeting was adjourned in the memory of Town of Evans Police Officer Frederick Garrasi III, who died in a motorcycle accident on May 3.

• The next meeting of the village board is June 10 at 7 p.m., with a workshop at 6:30 p.m. if needed.


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