Swanton Village Council on Monday approved a resolution supporting a feasibility study for a joint fire district in eastern Fulton County.
“The Village of Swanton supports the efforts to have a feasibility study completed to determine if a joint fire district is viable for jurisdictions within eastern Fulton County,” the resolution stated.
Representatives from Swancreek, York, Pike, Royalton, and Amboy townships and the villages of Delta and Swanton attended a meeting to discuss the possibility of a fire district on Nov. 23.
“This is a many step process, but the first thing is make the decision that you want to participate in a study,” said Swanton Mayor Ann Roth.
The study would be conducted by the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association. It would be comprised of numerous statistics, physical inventory of equipment and apparatus, staffing, geographical locations, and response times.
Once the study is approved by the various governmental entities, it is estimated to take three to six months to complete.
“This would tell us a whole lot about whether this would work for our area or whether it wouldn’t,” Roth said. “Whether it would work for some municipalities and some townships, and perhaps not benefit others.”
The cost for the study for the entities was estimated at between $14,000 and $25,000.
Roth said it could be at least two to three years before a fire district could be put in place, if it is approved.
“(The study) is a way to be proactive. To look at what the possibilities are to get ourselves informed, because I just don’t see all of these individual departments being able to carry on,” she said.
Swanton Councilman Mike Rochelle agreed, saying the village should definitely support the study. “I don’t know how we can operate. We have to look at other options,” he said, while citing the costs of running the fire department.
The other interested parties will also have to approve resolutions in support of the feasibility study before it can get underway. The entities are scheduled to meet again on Jan. 12.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010