Fire deparment merger negotiations between Menomonee Falls and Lannon took a big step forward Monday.
Preliminary discussions regarding merging the two departments have been ongoing for some time. However, the Village Board on Tuesday authorized Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald to dig deep into the negotiations with Lannon and craft an agreement that would be brought forward for approvals by both boards.
Now, the two communities will get down to the nitty-gritty details of a merged department.
“We hope to bring back a tentative agreement to move through the ratification process,” Fitzgerald said. “We hope to have a final resolution by the end of summer.”
Last week, the Lannon Village Board passed a similar resolution, which authorized Lannon Village President Jerry Newman to engage in merger negotiations.
A collaborative relationship already exists between the Lannon and Falls fire departments. Falls provides dispatch services for Lannon, and Lannon provides fire services to the southwest side of the village.
Falls Village President Randy Newman said Lannon would likely close its current fire station once Falls constructs two new stations. The Village Board approved its 2013 capital projects plan earlier in March, which includes funding to draw up designs for the stations.
One new fire station would be built on Silver Spring Road west of Pilgrim Road. Then, Fire Station #1, which is on Appleton Avenue in downtown Falls, would be relocated to Main Street and Menomonee Avenue on the former Sunnyside School property.
“Lannon would close their fire station in downtown Lannon, and we would use them to help equip and run those new stations,” Newman said. “We’ve been talking about this for a while and we think this is a great use of our resources.”