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Hillsboro Votes to Disband Fire Department
HILLSBORO, Ohio (Paula Toti) -- The Hillsboro city council voted Tuesday night to disband the city's fire department after more than 150 years.
The department has been in service since 1857 but it will be dissolved at the end of the year. Most of the people who came to the council meeting were upset with the decision.
The decision by council, after the third reading of the proposal, has the Paint Creek fire department in a building just a few blocks from the Hillsboro fire station, taking over service for the city.
Hillsboro will spend about eight hundred fifty thousand dollars for the service, for a one year contract. The idea was sold as a money saver, but not everyone at the meeting agreed, especially after the fire department offered new concessions. Still the vote was four to three to disband.
Long-time resident Mary Jane Stephens was heart-broken. She said "her husband a former firefighter, had been with the department for thirty three years". She said he wrote council members letters to not disband, but thought they probably didn't do any good.
Hillsboro firefighter Ryan Passet said "public safety shouldn't be for sale" and he is concerned about response time.
Some fear after the first contract year it will cost more to contract for another year with Paint Creek. They also say many issues are unresolved like what to do with fire station equipment paid for by the city, and the new station itself which is only a few years old.
Currently the department has six full-time firefighters.
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