Sedgwick County looking at fire dept plan

KFDI – April 19, 2017

Sedgwick County officials are working on a budget for the fire district for 2018, along with a long-term plan for the future of the department.

Public safety director Tom Stolz told county commissioners Wednesday that fire chief Tavis Leake is looking at some reorganization opportunities within the department, and the long-term plan is to look at the budget health over the next few years. Stolz said officials are looking at all vehicles and staff, but “for the short-term, until we get the larger discussion going about unification or reorganization, we’re trying to maintain vehicles and firefighter positions.”

Commissioners voted Wednesday to approve the purchase of several squad trucks. Chief Leake said the current vehicles are eight years old and they’re getting to the point where it costly to repair and maintain them. Commissioner Richard Ranzau said he’s not hearing of any progress on evaluating the fire district’s financial status, and he wants the commission to get more updates.

Commissioners voted last year to end collective bargaining with the union that has represented county firefighters over the past 37 years. Stolz said at the time that the county will have to find a new approach to operating the fire service. He said the fire district is getting smaller and costs are increasing, and it will become insolvent in a few years if something isn’t done. He told commissioners Wednesday that staff is looking at all options.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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