To the Times of Ti:
So, the Moriah supervisor wants another study on consolidating the Mineville-Witherbee and Moriah fire districts.
He, himself, conducted the study in 2005 from which he concluded what we had all been saying for some time, that there would be no advantage to consolidation. He alludes to all three departments responding to most fires. For a structure fire we have an automatic mutual aid agreement in place, which works very well. We don’t all need to respond to every incident, such as MVAs (motor vehicle accidents) or minor incidents.
As for the funding, he simply wants to redistribute the costs by eliminating the fire protection districts. This would not really be beneficial or take into account the differences in need. Response time to any incident is crucial and would not benefit from consolidation.
He states the two fire stations could remain open and keep their equipment. So where is the savings there?
He mentions replacing two boards of fire commissioners and two sets of department officers to become one board of fire commissioners and one set of department officers. These people are all unpaid volunteers. Where is that any savings?
The unfunded mandates that are being forced upon the districts are what are hunting us and consolidating the two districts would not even address that issue. The state requirements for accounting and reporting would be much more complicated due to the size of a combined budget.
Very careful consideration of all the facts is important before any decision is made concerning consolidation.
George R. Harrington