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FIRST MOVE TOWARDS CONSOLIDATION 11-18-10 LMS

The Salmon City Council has unanimously passed Resolution 2010-5 which moves the Salmon Volunteer Fire Department into the boundaries of the Lemhi County Rural Fire Protection District. Adoption of the resolution begins the official process of combining the two departments into one.

The next step will be for the Fire Protection District Board to approve the resolution. The board has already written a letter of support for the consolidation plan.

At the November 17th council meeting it was explained that approximately 1600 homes in the city are currently paying for the city fire department and that blending the city department into the fire district will spread the costs over a much wider base.

City Administrator George Ambrose added the fact the city’s pumper truck is on its last legs and that if city residents had to replace it, the cost of a new one would be in the neighborhood of $300,000. He said if the departments were combined all equipment costs could be spread throughout the district which would mean much less of a burden on all tax payers.

It would also mean $41,000 of the city’s tax dollars would no longer go to support a city department thereby putting an end to the double taxation of city residents.

Both departments have very high ratings when it comes to quality and capability and were among the first all-volunteer units in the state to achieve a Class 5 Fire Protection Rating. Those rankings are what determine fire insurance rates for local property owners. Ambrose said combining department resources will enable the present high level of quality, service and capability to be maintained.

The council topic ended with many thanks to the fire department and fire district volunteer fire fighters, who are all one and the same.

The Lemhi County Rural Fire Protection District Board is expected to approve the resolution at its December 8th meeting.


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