Caledonia Nixes Talks for Consolidation Of Fire Department
Caledonia's Village President, Ron Coutts, said he's been talking about the idea of consolidating fire departments with Racine and South Shore for months with the Mayor and Village presidents, but the idea has been tabled.
Caledonia's Fire Department will not merge with any others, after the Village Board voted against continuing consolidation talks with the Racine or South Shore fire departments on Tuesday.
In a closed session meeting, Ron Coutts, president of the Village of Caledonia, told the rest of the Board that over the past six months he had met with officials from Racine, Mount Pleasant and Sturtevant to talk about consolidating the three fire departments into one.
After an hour of discussion, the Board came out of closed session and unanimously rejected the idea of exploring the matter any further. Coutts said he voted against it because of Mount Pleasant’s budget instability as that village tries to plug a $300,000 hole in the South Shore budget caused by overtime.
Kathy Trentadue, a Village Board member, said consolidating fire departments doesn’t fit within the scope of expansion at this time.
“There has to be a savings for the Village to consider this,” Coutts said. “And if there’s no savings, we shouldn’t do it. But with the problems Mount Pleasant has we have to wonder, are we going to be picking up their problems if we do this?”
But while the door has been shut for now, they might wait for a later date to reconsider the issue, Coutts said.