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Archbold To Propose Fire Contract, But Prepare Separation Papers



The Archbold Village Council Police & Fire Committee will put another proposal for operation of the Archbold Fire Department before the German Township Trustees.

At the same time, the committee directed Donna Dettling, village administrator, to prepare documents for a second request for separation from the township, to be filed if the trustees balk at the latest deal.

An earlier request for separation was denied.

That’s what came out of a meeting of the committee, Monday, June 19, prior to the regular council meeting.

Council and the trustees have been negotiating over the operation of the fire department for several months after council decided the department could be more efficiently operated by one entity.

Currently, the two groups split management duties.

In examining the costs involved with the department, council discovered property owners in Archbold are paying more for operation of the department than German Township residents outside the village. 30 Years

The latest sticking point in the negotiations is future commitment.

Randy Ruffer, a township trustee, said he wants the village to commit to provide fire protection to the township for 30 years.

The village proposal commits to five years, but says the intention is to provide fire protection to the township in the future.

Bob Bohmer, village attorney, said during the committee meeting the village can no more guarantee 30 years of fire protection than the trustees can guarantee property tax levies passing every five years for the next 30 years.

Equipment

Another issue within the contract is the fire equipment: trucks, fire hoses, radios, etc.

Ruffer wants the trustees to retain ownership of the equipment.

Village officials want to own the equipment.

The committee will offer the trustees three options:

•The village will pay the trustees $487,000 for their equity in the fire equipment. The village had made an earlier offer of $569,000.

No village official could immediately explain how council arrived at the $487,000 figure.

•The township can turn over the equipment, but leave the money “on credit” with the village, in case the village begins charging the township for fire protection.

•The village can pay a depreciated price at a later date.

The trustees are scheduled to meet Monday, June 26, 7 pm, at the German Township Garage.

Dettling said if the trustees do not agree to the contract, an emergency council meeting will be called Tuesday, June 27, to discuss the issue.

Committee members said at the emergency meeting, filing the separation request with the Fulton County Commissioners could be discussed.

Bohmer said after talking with Scott Haselman, Fulton County prosecuting attorney who represents the trustees, Haselman is optimistic the trustees will accept the version of the fire protection contract discussed by the committee Monday night.



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