Fire contract change is most efficient use of tax dollars


The Chesterfield Township trustees would like to respond to the Jan. 9 article, “Canceled fire contracts put Wauseon in limbo.”

For the record, Chesterfield Township trustees sent letter dated Sept. 16, 2019 to Wauseon City Council to cancel our contract for primary (first department called) fire coverage through the City, Wauseon Fire Department and Clinton Township. More than the required 90 days notice was given.

The primary fire contract change affects 3.5 square miles on the south side of Chesterfield Township only. This change does not affect EMS coverage in the township.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, township residents who live on or own property on the north side of County Road M, east of State Route 108 will have contracted primary fire coverage through Royalton Township Fire Department.

Township residents who live on or own property on the north side of County Road M, west of State Route 108 will have contracted primary fire coverage through Morenci City Fire Department.

There is no change in primary fire coverage for the remainder of the township residents as they have always been covered by either Morenci or Royalton fire departments.

All areas of the township will remain covered by a secondary umbrella of fire coverage through a Fulton County wide “Mutual Aid” agreement between all the departments in the county and the Morenci, Mich. department.

The trustees believe this change represents the most efficient use of our township residents’ fire protection tax dollars and will not increase response times in the event of a fire emergency.

With regard to the potential for confusion in 911 dispatching, we were in contact early and often with the Fulton County Sheriff’s office and the Director of 911 Operations to insure the transition was seamless.

As a township that does not muster its own fire department, volunteer or otherwise, we recognize the significant investment made by our city cousins to rise up, staff and equip a modern department. We understand the loss of revenue to Wauseon and the Wauseon Fire Department is problematic.

Finally, we appreciate how lucky we are to be surrounded on all four sides by top-notch fire departments.

Paul Holman, Jim Stubbins and Clark Emmons

Chesterfield Township trustees