Alpena Township Fire Chief Dave Robbins resigns

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Fire responders from Alpena Township helped victims of a multi-car crash at the intersection of Ripley Boulevard and Grant Street on Monday. They were assisted by the Alpena Fire Department, Alpena police, and Michigan State Police. On Monday night, the Alpena Township Board of Trustees accepted a letter of resignation from Alpena Township Fire Chief Dave Robbins and the hunt for a new chief will begin soon.

ALPENA — The to-do list for the Alpena Township Board of Trustees for rebuilding its fire department got a little longer on Monday, as it must now find a new fire chief.

At Monday’s trustees meeting, the board voted to accept a letter of resignation by current chief Dave Robbins.

The effective date is Aug. 31.

Robbins’s letter to the trustees was brief, but included a thank you to residents, and to the staff he worked with over the years.

“It has been a privilege to serve as chief for the fire department and I thank you for that opportunity. However, In the best interest of the department moving forward, I feel a fresh perspective and new leadership is needed,” Robbins said in his letter. “Thank you for the time I was able to serve the citizens of the township and work with a great group of fire and EMS personnel.”

Robbins was not at the meeting in person, or present for the fire department’s update that was on the meeting’s agenda.

After accepting Robbins’ resignation, the trustees voted to advertise to find candidates to fill the soon-to-be vacant position. It also decided to hold off any new hiring until a new chief is selected and involved in the process.

The resignation comes at a time when the fire department is in the early stages of a rebuild, after the trustees voted to not enter into a contract with the City of Alpena to provide fire and EMS services.

The township approached the city about a possible deal to thwart an employee shortage, and concerns over operating costs.

Township residents approved a 10-year, 1.5-mill property tax for fire department operations, equipment, and training in August 2018. That millage, which costs the owner of a $100,000 house about $75 a year, will generate about $506,243 annually.

Township officials forecast that it will cost about $800,000 a year to man, operate, and equip both of the township’s two fire stations.

Candidates who have applied for firefighter positions will be notified that their applications have been received and reviewed by the new chief when hired.


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