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An Uncertain Future for City Fire Department
HILLSBORO, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- A local fire department may be eliminated.
The union says that would hurt public safety but the city says contracting with another agency will actually make things safer.
City leaders meeting Monday evening in Hillsboro will hear what people have to say about eliminating the city's fire department and contracting with another fire agency to pick up the work.
The contract has been negotiated, but not signed yet. The Hillsboro Fire Department dates to before the Civil War. But now, it's down to just six people.
The Hillsboro Fire Department is down to six people. That's six total not six per shift.
The new fire house was built when Hillsboro had more fire fighters and served the surrounding townships as well as the city. But those contracts were not renewed, the union blames the city, but the city says it was a township decision.
The townships joined the Paint Creek District which moved into the old Hillsboro fire station earlier this year. That's why you have two fire departments two blocks apart, at least for now.
Hillsboro City Council meets Monday at seven to consider the contract then again on Thursday night.
A vote is expected one week from Monday. The union says it is willing to give concessions and says the city could have gotten a federal grant to hire more fire fighters and keep the department alive.
The city says the concessions won't save enough money, and the federal grant came with too many costly strings attached.