The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 11, 2012

East Buffalo to renew fire company agreement

LEWISBURG —  The East Buffalo Township supervisors plan to sign a renewal contract this fall with William Cameron Engine Company for fire and emergency services, but it may be for only six months pending the township’s own review of its service needs, the supervisors decided Monday.

The township will hire Emergency Services Alliance Group, based at Harrisburg Area Community College, to evaluate its emergency needs, Supervisor Henry Baylor Jr. told The Daily Item. Once the results are in hand, the supervisors will review and decide on a next move.

This is the same fire and emergency services consulting group that William Cameron hired last month to review its operations and management.

Baylor said Emergency Services’ study also “will help us decide how to address future services.”

For instance, one possible situation would be to for East Buffalo Township to contract with Union Township to cover the southern part of East Buffalo, he said. It could lessen insurance costs for homes there because that firehouse is closer to residents there, he said.

The township supervisors also will wait for the results of William Cameron’s study about what it needs to do to prepare for the future in terms of being a hybrid fire department. William Cameron has paid and volunteer firefighters.

“We want to see what they come up with in terms of what needs to be accomplished,” Baylor said. “We won’t make a decision about other services until the results of their evaluation are complete.”

Emergency Services will draft a plan for William Cameron’s operations, including working with unionized employees, public information officer Peter Wiley said last month.

The group will likely present a report to William Cameron by October.

The supervisors also confirmed they received a response to their letter to William Cameron regarding operations and management of the Lewisburg-based firefighting outfit.

The supervisors haven’t discussed the reply yet, Baylor said.

The township asked questions specific to operations, Baylor said, such as the number of responses to East Buffalo Township localities in the last few years, which localities, the types of calls, and the like.

“The information that we asked for was more about data that feelings,” Baylor said.

The township supervisors sent the 15-question letter last month to the engine company following a move by paid firefighters there who voted in May to unionize.

Sensing dissent in the fire company, the supervisors voted to explore other options and sent William Cameron the letter partly as a notice of intent to look for fire and emergency services elsewhere if they decide William Cameron cannot provide what the township needs.

In other news from the township meeting:

- Meridian Development Partners of New York returned a signed memorandum of understanding to the township for work on turning the 47-acre property between North 15th Street and Route 15 into a commercial and retail project that also could include housing units.

- A special East Buffalo Township meeting will take place Monday, July 30, time to be determined, to open bids for the new municipal complex. Baylor said there was good attendance at a recent bid review meeting held to answer any contractor questions about the project, which the township hopes to bring in under $3 million.

- The supervisors approved a change order for work on Smoketown Road that will decrease the cost by about $15,000.

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