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Cedarville seeks to establish city fire department

Cedarville city officials agreed to put $5,000 in a base fund for the establishment of a city fire department during a special budget and planning meeting April 14.

Mayor Glenanna O’Mara initially made a request to use $10,000 for the fund, but after discussion councilmen agreed to start a base fund of $5,000. The measure to appropriate the money passed 3-0.

The money will be used for grant matches, equipment purchases and personnel training if possible, O’Mara said.

Because money is tight, it will be some time before the city will have a fully functioning department that can provide services to residents, O’Mara said. She hopes to have it up and running by the end of the year, she said.

District 4 Volunteer Fire Department will continue to provide services for city residents until the Cedarville City Fire Department is prepared to take on those services, O’Mara said.

An ordinance to establish the fire department must also be passed by council members, which she hopes to do at the next regular meeting, she said.

The ordinance will have its first reading and the council will hear from the public at a special meeting, though the date and time of that meeting had not yet been set. The ordinance will be posted for viewing after the meeting, O’Mara said.

If the ordinance is approved, city officials will begin the process of establishing the fire department, she said.

A fire chief will be appointed, and the city will begin accepting applications for firefighters. About 12 residents from Cedarville and the surrounding area have already signed up, O’Mara said.

Training and certification for the firefighters will be set up, and fire gear that has been donated will be collected, she said.

O’Mara also will begin writing grants and the city will hold fundraisers to help with starting the department, she said.

Also during the special meeting, a request by Chief of Police David Goss for an additional reserve officer - which would also require an additional paid officer - was declined by council members because of the lack of money.

All payroll costs for officers are paid out of general funds transferred to the police department.

Ticket funds acquired by the department are used to pay one time, short term or emergency expenditures as well as up-keep for all cars and vehicle equipment, additional officer equipment, and all other expenses of the department.

While general and street funds are permanent, ticket funds are not and the amount varies greatly month to month, O’Mara said. Ticket funds can not be used to for payroll, she said.

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