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Delafield town board, citizens agree on fire talks

 Town of Delafield - Town residents and officials agreed Tuesday night to continue discussions about fire department consolidation with representatives of the Lake Country Fire and Rescue (LCFR) even though Town Chairman Paul Kanter has described the talks as "a very frustrating endeavor."

Kanter and three town supervisors spent nearly an hour discussing with eight town residents whether to continue considering consolidating the town fire department with LCFR.

The citizens are among several groups of residents who have been monitoring the consolidation discussions. A larger crowd was expected at tonight's meeting but was apparently kept away by the near blizzard weather conditions.

The Town of Delafield, the villages of Hartland and Pewaukee, and the City of Oconomowoc, are considering consolidating their fire departments into Lake Country Fire and Rescue which serves the City of Delafield and the villages of Nashotah and Chenequa.

Supervisor Larry Krause strongly hinted during tonights meeting that he was prepared to abandon consolidation for several reasons; particularly after a stormy meeting last week among representatives of the six communities.

However, Kanter said he is not "ready to throw in the towel even as frustrating as it has been," suggesting LCFR officials have not been willing to accomodate the town in the discussions.

Krause added that while consolidating with LCFR might save the town money, it will result in town residents paying higher ambulance fees to LCFR.

Town resident Betty Thill said she was skeptical of LCFR officials' estimates that the town could save $60,000 annually through consolidation.

She pointed out that the LCFR cost estimates did include money that would have to be spent hiring full and part time paramedics to provide around the clock paramedic level emergency medical services to the Town of Delafield and the Village of Hartland which do not have paramedic programs.

The citizens and the elected officials agreed that if consolidation with LCFR was rejected, there were alternative consolidations possibly with the Village of Hartland, City and Village of Pewaukee, and possibly the Wales-Genesse Fire Department.

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