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Manlius fire departments look to cooperate, not consolidate

Fayetteville Fire Department. File Photo, April 2012.

Fayetteville Fire Department. File Photo, April 2012. Photo by Amanda Seef.

— Instead of consolidation, Manlius fire departments are looking at cooperation.

The four fire chiefs in the town -- Kirkville, Minoa, Manlius and Fayetteville -- are working together to consolidate costs in the town.

Background

An implementation advisory committee has been meeting since the spring when a fire study, commissioned by the town, was completed. That study by Ron Graner, of Georgia, strongly recommended the formation of a joint fire district to improve efficiency and save taxpayer money.

Supervisor Ed Theobald said the committee has not come to any conclusions, but is currently studying the financials of two kinds of consolidation — operational and jurisdictional.

The first option, he said, would be an operational joint district. The three departments, Manlius, Fayetteville and Minoa, and the Kirkville Fire District would partner for purchasing power.

The second option the Implementation Advisory Committee is considering is a jurisdictional consolidation. All fire companies in Manlius would dissolve and create one large district covering all of Manlius and parts of the town of Pompey, already covered by the Manlius Fire Department.

The results of that Implementation Advisory Committee’s report is expected later this week, Theobald said.

Town taxpayers fund $2,990,067 of the three village’s budgets, a cost split between the villages and other towns, such as Pompey and Sullivan, that the districts protect.

In an effort to save money, the town of Manlius had commissioned a study by Ron Graner, of Georgia, to figure out logistics of a potential consolidation of fire districts. Graner’s study recommended the formation of a joint fire district to improve efficiency and save taxpayer’s money. That decision was made last year, and since then, an implementation advisory committee has been working to study the options for the departments.

Meetings between the chiefs, the advisory committee, and the executive committee — which consists of the village’s three mayors — have been left behind closed doors. Manlius Supervisor Ed Theobald says the advisory committee should be presenting their final report to the executive committee later this week.

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