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Township turns down fire department consolidation

September 4, 2012
Emily Siegmon - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

ALPENA - The Alpena Township Board of Trustees did not support a consolidation effort between the city and township's fire departments. Supervisor Marie Twite said she is not interested in the consolidation personally, but said if the city would like to move forward with the effort, the full board would either accept or reject the recommendation.

When Twite asked what the board's interest is in consolidating fire department services, Trustee Lou Baker said he was not interested at this point.

"I think our fire department works perfectly well," Twite said. "If the city is serious about moving forward with this they can be put on the agenda and we'll make a decision through the board only. At this point I'm still interested in working together with programs we've already started."

In a memorandum to Greg Sundin, interim city manager, Fire Chief Bill Forbush said in 2007 a comprehensive analysis was performed of the city and township fire departments by an outside consultant. A number of recommendations were made including the need for an M-32 corridor facility, joint training, use of the city's fire marshal and a combined command structure.

Forbush states in the memorandum that Twite is not interested in consolidating the departments, but is supportive of working together on the ambulance transfer program, joint officer meetings to enhance relationships, and improved mutual aid.

While interests in consolidating fire department services are not approved by the trustees, Forbush is continuing intergovernmental cooperative efforts. At this time the city and township are continuing discussions with DNR officials about the potential M-32 station. At this time a drafted agreement has been made with split costs. The agreement is in Lansing, but nothing has come back regionally.

In other business:

Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5687.



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