Fire protection

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

When the City of Eudora was elevated to a city of the Second Class in December 2010, there were two side effects of doing so.  The first allows the city, if desired by the council and a vote of the citizens, to change their form of government giving more power to the Mayor and City Administrator. Exploratory discussions about this possibility exist, but there has been no action discussed or acted upon by the City Council.

The second impact is that residents of the City of Eudora will no longer pay a Eudora Township tax that has been always on their property tax bill. While elimination of this tax may help residents of the City of Eudora, this now means that Eudora Township will lose approximately $50,000 from this revenue source.

Obviously Township officials, as anyone who would find out their budget is about to be reduced, were not happy about this change.  Township officials will now have to deal with this loss of income as they look to prepare a 2012 budget this year.

In the spirit of cooperation and trying to reach out to the Township, Eudora City Administrator John Harrenstein attended the Eudora Township monthly board meeting this past Friday night.  Harrenstein stated to the board that he wants to work with the Township to assist them as best he and the City of Eudora can with the coming loss of funds.  Harrenstein has proposed the possibility of a merger of the Eudora Township Fire Department and the City Fire Department.

Harrenstein, in a statement to Eudorareporter.com, stated that with the proximity of both departments, there could be a cost savings realized by both the City and the Township. He went on to add “We realize that our move to the city of the second class will cause a financial burden to the township and want to be good neighbors….so we extended an offer to coordinate services in an area that makes sense.”

The relationship between the City of Eudora and Eudora Township has been limited at very best over a long period of time. Past city administrations are to have reportedly not been interested in working with the Township at all and had very little interest in the Township community.  Harrenstein appears that he is trying to change this sentiment by extending this invitation.

Harrenstein and Eudora Township Fire Chief Mike Baxter have held some initial contact meetings about possibly combining forces in a joint City and Township Fire Protection District.  The city is looking to build a new Public Service building that would house fire, police and EMS services in the future.  The location of that building and staffing issues remain to be discussed and would depend on any possible joint agreements between the City and the Township.

At the conclusion of the session with Harrenstein and the Township board, both sides agreed to put together proposals and start discussions to see if this is mutually beneficial to both the Township and the City.

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