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Village won't contribute to fire study

 Village of Merton - It appears Village officials are unlikely to contribute to the cost of a consultant's study into how three privately chartered volunteer fire departments can provide more cost efficient services to the village and Town of Merton.

"I am against spending $50,000 on a study," said Village President Robert Weber.

"It is putting the cart before the horse," added Village Administrator Tom Nelson.

Nelson said there are internal issues between the departments that should be resolved before the study is conducted.

After the meeting, Nelson predicted the board may reconsider whether to contribute to the study when fire fighters with the Merton department  are satisfied the issues  between the departments have been resolved.

The Merton department along with volunteer departments in Stone Bank and North Lake provide contractual emergency services to the town and village,

Trustee Bruce Blawat urged his fellow board members to "keep an open"mind." Blawat said the three departments are considering hiring the Illinois based consulting firm to study whether consolidation of the departments is the most cost effective alternative to providing services in the future.

Trustee Ronald Reinowski warned the board that there may have to be some kind of reorganization of fire and emergency medical services in the village and township because the departments are having a difficult time maintaining volunteers.

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