SYLVANIA TOWNSHIP -- Trustees for Sylvania Township could vote as soon as Tuesday night to close a fire station, but they've already been threatened with a lawsuit if they do. Sylvania Township trustees are considering closing Fire Station 1, the only one in the city limits of Sylvania, to help with a budget deficit. That has residents and now Sylvania's City Council a little steamed.
The township provides fire protection for both the city and the township. The closing would be done to fix Sylvania Township's multi-million-dollar deficit, and would lay off 9 firefighters.
"It really makes be sick," said Michael Cook, one of the firefighters who would be affected. He's a father of two, and has been on the force for 4 1/2 years. "This is all I've ever wanted to do in my life which is be a firefighter," said Cook. "Got the job I wanted. Love this community."
Other firefighters agree, saying residents should have the ultimate say -- not trustees. "Put up to a vote of the people. Let the people decide whether they want services cut or keep things the way they are," said Mike Froelich, a Sylvania Township firefighter.
Sylvania's City Council is now threatening the township with legal action if the station is closed. Council members say they will file a lawsuit to keep Fire Station 1 open if trustees vote to close it, citing safety reasons.
Members also call for a 60 day moritorium on any decision about the fire department -- an effort to find other budget closing options. "Their budget issues are difficult. But they can't recoup all the loss they got in one year," said Barbara Sears, the president of the Sylvania City Council. "They have to slip it out over a multitude of years and they have to keep the city residents safe."
The recommendations will be hand-delivered to trustees before their Tuesday meeting -- a meeting that could determine the future of fire service in the Sylvania area.
Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.
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