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Gorath

Consolidated Fire Departments

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The cities of Grand Rapids, Wyoming & Kentwood are in talks to merge their fire departments.

Isn't the idea behind consolidation is to save tax payers money. I find it odd that the Kentwood mayor said it would cost taxpayers more to merge the departments.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2010/11/grand_rapids_wyoming_and_kentw.html

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^^Considering what he (Kentwood mayor) said about public works photography...

This is where I cue up my "former city of Detroit employee" tagline. City manager = excellent form of government.

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Yeah, I'd take anything the Kentwood mayor says with a grain of salt. Maybe the whole shaker.

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To be fair, he didn't say it was going to cost more, just that he had "not figured out how much it would cost" and he wanted to have those discussions. And based on the context, I think he was referring to the execution of a consolidation plan, which would bear varying upfront costs depending on how good the plan is; he wasn't referring to the general concept of consolidation itself. All in all, it wasn't a controversial thing for a mayor to say.

On another note...

-- The Kentwood Fire Department has 41 firefighters with six paid-per-call employees who respond only when called to a scene. According to the department's website, it responded to 3,956 calls last year.

-- The Wyoming Fire Department has 24 full-time firefighters and 26 paid-per-call firefighters and responded to 4,863 calls last year.

Wyoming has a larger population than Kentwood, a larger mass of developed land, and responds to more calls, yet has about 60% of the full time staff. Is Wyoming more efficient? Or did they just have to sacrifice "quality" of fire protection to save money? I wonder.

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K'wood has a bigger tax base. Maybe they have more money to spend.

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