Calumet not dissolving its fire department

Daily Mining Gazette file photo The Calumet Fire Department, seen here at a fatal downtown fire last year, asked the Village Council about a report of consolidation with the township's Fire Department.

CALUMET — The Village Council says it has no immediate plans to dissolve its volunteer Fire Department.

Village firefighter Tim Gasperich addressed the board at its regular February meeting and requested clarification on the issue.

“When we hear the village administrator is negotiating with the township, we’d like to know what is going on,” Gasperich said. “Is there a consolidation? Is there something to be concerned about?”

The Fire Department does not cost the village much in revenue to operate annually, he said, so the village will not benefit much in savings by taking such an action.

Trustee Nathan Anderson confirmed the council received the recommendation, and if the trustees did not follow up on it and consider it, they would not be doing due diligence.

He said absolutely the village could save money by consolidating its fire department with the township’s.

“But is it a discussion among council members?” Anderson said, “Is there a motion? No. There is not.”

Anderson said the village administrator had had discussions with the township, but he was not asked or instructed by the council to do so.

“Our administrator goes to meetings, just like any other member of the township,” Anderson said, “and expresses his concerns, just like anybody else.”

The topic was brought up at a meeting, but was not part of any special session. It was a discussion on what it will take to get the village back, said Anderson.

However, Anderson said, the council at some point will be required to look for places to make fiscal cuts, but right now, the Fire Department is not one of those areas.

“The bottom line is, if we are going to succeed at bringing this village back,” Anderson said, “bringing our streets back up to par, maybe being able to afford a Police Department, because that was brought up before as well, we’re going to face some hard decisions and some hard choices.”