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Parishville seeks certificate of need to cover Colton

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PARISHVILLE — The Parishville Volunteer Fire Company is seeking a certificate of need from the state Department of Health after discovering the support it has long provided to Colton is illegal.

The company has a mutual aid agreement with Colton to provide fire and rescue services when requested. Volunteers have provided the support for years but recently discovered that by doing so they were at risk of running afoul of the law.

The Department of Health requires rescue squads to possess a certificate of need to provide assistance to an area outside their boundaries.

“We’ve been doing it for years, but we got turned in,” said Parishville Fire Chief Edwin Cool.

Potsdam Rescue Squad members recently informed Mr. Cool the well-intentioned assistance was illegal and the squad could get it in trouble if the state found out.

The company held a public meeting Wednesday night to discuss concerns the community has with the changes, but Mr. Cool said the certificate is primarily a legal formality.

Assuming the community has no major concerns, Mr. Cool will send paperwork to the Department of Health by the end of the week.

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