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April 2014

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Fire chiefs work on merger agreements

Village of Lannon - Discussions over merging the village Fire Department with the Menomonee Falls Fire Department are nearing legal and contractual components, Village President Jerry Newman said last week.

The two municipalities began discussing merging the two departments last year, but Newman said a merged department likely wouldn't be official until 2014. Last week he said that's still the mark officials are working toward, although the Lannon department would like the merger to be effective by July. "There's a lot of work to do and government works slowly," Newman said.

Newman said he has asked Lannon Fire Chief Patrick Curtis to develop a memorandum of understanding (MOU) because everything so far as been just discussions. "I haven't seen anything in writing, and I told him to prepare for contract discussions we need a MOU between the chiefs," Newman said.

Newman said he could not share any preliminary operational figures. "There's been numbers thrown around showing that we do achieve a savings, but I don't know if any of those have been calculated," he said.

Curtis said the Lannon Fire Department 2013 operating budget is $184,255.

Newman said in the coming weeks the Public Safety Committee will continue discussions and work out details to prepare information for the village Finance and Personnel Committee. "Then we'll get a contract worked out between me, (Menomonee Falls Village Administrator) Mark Fitzgerald and the two attorneys," Newman said. The contract would be presented at the committee meeting, he said.

Last year, Newman said there wouldn't be a merger until Falls constructed one of two planned fire stations. However, last week he said officials are going ahead with the merger, regardless of any new station. He also suggested the possibility of the Town of Lisbon being involved in the merger, but said there has been no discussion of that happening so far.

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