Friday 24 October 2014
 

Ventura fire service area still in question

 

One township fails to return new contract

Fire protection services remain up in the air for a portion of one township served by the soon-to-be disbanded Ventura Protective Association.

According to VPA Fire Chief and Ventura City Council member John Quintus, the Dec. 10 deadline given to townships served by the VPA has passed without a signed contract from the Clear Lake Township for fire protection services with 

the VPA.  As a result, the VPA will now begin notifying the affected property owners that they will no longer have fire protection services from the Ventura Fire Department as of July 1, 2014.  

The portion of Clear Lake Township served by the VPA is bordered on the west by County Road S-14, east by Dogwood Avenue, north by County Road B-20, and south by 160th Street.  The remaining half of the township (18 sections on the east side) are located within the Clear Lake Fire District.  The VPA also serves  the City of Ventura, Grant and Union Townships in Cerro Gordo County, and Ellington in Hancock County.

Ownership of the fire department is scheduled to transfer to the City of Ventura July 1, 2014, the start of the fiscal year.  In preparation for the change, late last summer the VPA drew up new contracts for Grant, Union and Clear Lake Townships for their sections located within the Ventura Fire District.   The new contracts, which the group hoped to have signed by the start of the new year, have provisions for truck replacement, with an annual amount of $30,000 being set aside each year for that purpose.  The goal is to replace a truck every 10 years.  

Grant and Union Townships have signed their respective contracts.  

“The VPA has had the privilege of providing fire protection for the western half of Clear Lake Township for many years and providing mutual aid to the Clear Lake Fire Department for the other half of Clear Lake Township,” said Quintus.  “One of the most cumbersome duties for the VPA Board is to negotiate contracts and fund replacement fire trucks.  Over the years,  running a fire department has become increasingly burdened with higher training mandates and safety regulations, along with increased costs.   The reality of this predicament, is that the residents of Ventura and portions of Grant and Union Township (within the Ventura Fire District) are subsidizing that portion of Clear Lake Township (within the Ventura Fire District) and have done so for many years.”

 

Quintus said the VPA has proposed “a fair and reasonable final proposal” relating to respective responsibilities of the VPA.  He acknowledged that the numbers used for preparing the contract do not necessarily represent a precise application of the generally accepted “formula,” but the additional financial requirements expected for 2014-2015 represent “a recognition and acknowledgement of inadequate contributions over the - Read More VIa e-Edition