Falls Village Board OKs plan to negotiate fire department merger with Lannon
Village manager given green light to reach formal agreement
Menomonee Falls - The villages of Lannon and Menomonee Falls could reach an agreement to consolidate fire departments by the end of summer, Menomonee Falls village officials said Monday.
Menomonee Falls followed Lannon's lead, adopting a resolution that formalizes nearly 18 months of negotiations between the municipalities to consolidate or share fire and ambulance services.
On Monday, the Falls Village Board approved a resolution that directs Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald to negotiate a formal agreement with Lannon and bring it back to the board for final approval. It also directs him to investigate additional opportunities for intergovernmental cooperation between the two villages.
Lannon adopted a similar resolution last week. The two municipalities can now work out details of a merger, with the hope of having an agreement in front of the Menomonee Falls Village Board by the end of summer.
"This formalizes this as a matter of policy so we will get down to the nitty-gritty," Fitzgerald said. "Now, we'll kick off in a more formal way and the goal is before the end of summer to bring you back a tentative agreement and we can move through a ratification process, if possible. That is our time frame."
Menomonee Falls currently provides fire dispatch resources to Lannon, while Lannon provides services to the southwest portion of the village, said Village Trustee Sharon Ellis.
As part of the Menomonee Falls' 2013 capital budget, the village is funding the design to relocate Fire Station 1 from downtown to Menomonee Avenue and Main Street, while using the same designs to build a new fire station on Silver Spring Road, west of Pilgrim Road. Lannon would close their fire station in downtown, moving personnel to the new station to help run it, said Village President Randy Newman. Falls would fund construction of the fire stations in its 2014 capital budget.
"We've been talking about this for a while. We think that's a great use of resources," he said.
Merging fire departments is one in a slew of intergovernmental agreements between the two villages. The dispatch agreement for fire services has been in place since 2009. In 1989, a mutual aid response agreement was implemented with Sussex and the Town of Lisbon.
Menomonee Falls also provides Lannon with snow plowing services for a set fee, which is the latest in a list of agreements.
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