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Published: Tuesday, 2/6/2007

Firefighting options under study

Sylvania city councilmen last night agreed to start considering new options for fire protection, including the possible establishment of the city s own fire department.

The decision to move forward came after some city officials felt they had been snubbed by two of the three Sylvania Township trustees.

Pam Hanley and DeeDee Liedel, the township board s president, both declined the council s invitation to attend last night s meeting.

The Sylvania council s safety committee and the city administration will review four options that include assuming management of the current township fire department; joining a regional fire department; creating a joint fire district with Sylvania Township, or setting up its own fire department.

In January, city officials invited Sylvania township trustees to last night s meeting in hopes of engaging in a city-township discussion over how best to accommodate long-term financing for fire personnel, equipment, and facilities.

Sylvania mayor Craig Stough received a letter from Mrs. Liedel that said trustees are trying to provide excellent fire and EMS service to our community within the budget constraints that are present.

Carol Contrada, the lone township trustee who attended last night s meeting, said she has not heard back on her request to have the township board begin the process of developing long-term plans for the fire department.

The trustees voted 2-1 in December to lay off five firefighters and eliminate the medical transport unit in an effort to reduce a deficit in the fire department s 2007 budget.

Mrs. Contrada was the lone dissenter in that vote.

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