Taylor, AP fire departments could combine

Photo by Andrea Poteet

Firefighter Ed Cann checks pumps on a fire truck inside the Allen Park Fire Department Feb. 24.

‘We’re looking at every option to try to help the community out.’
— Jeff O’Riley
Firefighters Local
1410 President

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — The city is looking into the possibility of combining its Fire Department with the city of Taylor’s.

Department representatives met Feb. 25 to discuss the possibility with city officials and representatives from Taylor.

Firefighters Local 1410 President Jeff O’Riley said the meeting was a preliminary talk about possible solutions for his department, which received 30-day notices of layoffs from the city Feb. 24.

The notices were required by the firefighters’ contract, and city officials said they were a jumping-off point to allow for negotiations. City officials have said keeping some Allen Park firefighters on if the two departments combine could be an option, but O’Riley said as of now, the layoff notices still stand. If no agreement is reached, the entire Fire Department will be laid off March 26.

O’Riley said the negotiations will require more meetings between the Fire Department and city. He said the department wants to verify that the city’s budget numbers are accurate. Officials recently reported a $7 million budget deficit for the next four years.

“We’re basically still in the dark with how everything is,all the financial situation,” O’Riley said. “We’re looking at every option to try to help the community out.”

Officials said the consolidation could help cut costs for the cities, both of which are anticipating revenue decreases this year due to Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan to cut the state’s revenue-sharing program. Allen Park anticipates a loss of $750,000 in revenue, while Taylor is projecting losses of more than $2 million.

City Administrator Eric Waidelich and City Attorney Peter Kruse and Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand did not return calls seeking comment for this story by press time.