WM-Shenango hearth merger progressing | Information


WEST MIDDLESEX — As an illustration of the belief that exists between Shenango Township and its hearth division officers, township Supervisor Tom Hubert talked about the helicopters.

“In the event that they got here to us and stated, ‘We’d like a helicopter to drop water on fires,’” Hubert stated Wednesday throughout a gathering of the West Middlesex-Shenango Township Fireplace Division Consolidation Steering Committee. “And so they had a superb motive …”

Township Supervisor Carol Budanka rapidly spun in her chair to face a trio of Shenango Township firefighters behind the room.

“No,” she stated, to laughter all through the room. “You’re not getting a helicopter.”

However Hubert made his level when he stated that the township supervisors belief the township hearth division to spend cash responsibly.

“It might be refreshing to have that,” stated steering committee member Ray Lucich, a West Middlesex firefighter.

Committee members invited officers from each municipalities to attend Wednesday’s assembly, and all 5 Shenango Township supervisors — together with Hubert, the board chairman — turned out.

Solely two West Middlesex officers, Mayor Jarrod Palmer and Councilwoman Melissa Calvert, attended the assembly, which didn’t go unnoticed by John DiCola, who’s advising the steering committee on the merger course of.

“I’m a bit of dismayed that extra folks from West Middlesex aren’t right here,” DiCola stated.

Adam Garrett, president of West Middlesex Volunteer Fireplace Division and a member of the steering committee, added, “Embarrassing.”

DiCola stated the merger’s subsequent phases would require enter from officers in each municipalities.

With most organizational steps within the proposed merger between West Middlesex and Shenango Township hearth departments accomplished, the method strikes on to the sophisticated half — placing collectively two entities with vastly totally different monetary and demographic profiles.

Shenango has a inhabitants roughly 4 and a half occasions that of West Middlesex. The township is, geographically, about 30 occasions as massive because the borough, and has about 4 occasions as many improved properties.

Each communities have designated three mills in taxes for hearth service, however DiCola stated these figures elevate wildly totally different quantities of cash.

“That’s why it’s taking a bit of bit longer than some of us want it might,” he stated.

In a steering committee assembly this week, DiCola went by means of an inventory of required steps the group has taken since formal talks started in September. These actions embrace the formation of a steering committee, which incorporates three members from each departments, and a by-laws committee to draft a brand new framing doc for the merged division.

The merger is already in place in a single facet. When a hearth breaks out in both Shenango Township or West Middlesex, each departments get known as out and each departments usually reply.

Now, stated DiCola, comes the troublesome half — finding out the 2 departments’ belongings, income streams and the quantities every municipality will contribute to the operation of a single hearth company.

Hubert stated Shenango Township had bought $1 million price of apparatus for the division. He stated the merged division might use these gadgets, however the township wouldn’t merely hand over the tools, a few of which isn’t absolutely paid for.

The best association, he stated, would contain a lease settlement.

Hubert stated resolving the funding points would most likely incorporate a population-based plan, which might require Shenango Township to soak up many of the merged division’s bills.

“I feel that’s the fairest means of doing it,” he stated.

DiCola stated each of Hubert’s strategies may very well be a part of a closing settlement.

Although the borough’s enter into Wednesday’s assembly was minimal, Shenango Township Supervisor Dale Perry stated he thought West Middlesex council would finally get entangled within the merger course of, and Calvert agreed.

“I don’t suppose there will likely be an issue getting collectively to fulfill with you guys,” Calvert stated.

Hubert stated he anticipated each departments — and each municipalities — would iron out their variations.

“Personalities need to be put apart for the nice of the communities,” he stated. “I don’t care the place the hearth vans come from. I simply don’t need anybody’s home to burn down.”

Observe Eric Poole on Fb and Twitter at @HeraldEricPoole. E-mail him at epoole@sharonherald.com


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