The Milan City Council has opened a debate on how the current Milan Area Fire Department should be managed. This is a public policy debate. There are many questions, and there are many different scenarios that must be considered before any decision should be made.
There will always be fire service here in this community. Always. No one on the city council is suggesting leaving any of the townships out, and those who tell you different are misinformed or have misunderstood our goal.
I believe it is possible to provide fire service to the same exact area that is currently served by the MAFD; but under the sole ownership of the City of Milan as the only discernible difference.
The city's insurance carrier has assured us, that if the city has its own fire department, our ISO rating will either stay the same, or most likely, most likely go UP.
Yes—if the city of Milan has its own fire department, Milan city residents are likely to experience a reduction in their home insurance rates. This is because one of the most important factors in this determination is distance from the fire station, (among other values.)
It seems possible to do this, while at the same time operating at the same high standards the current MAFD provides, yet at a lower cost to the Milan taxpayers and most likely, townships as well.
It seems possible to do this. It SEEMS possible. Holding this discussion at council work sessions, and thoroughly researching every aspect of this issue is the only way to know for sure if it IS possible.
Under the current model, each township is also struggling to afford this service. From the beginning of this discussion it was never my intent to give the impression that we have no interest in providing fire protection to the townships that we share fire service with now.
We know for sure, that one or more of the co-owning townships have also initiated exploring withdrawing from the MAFD—knowing this, we must ensure we have a back-up plan for our fire service and not be left unprepared. This is an important point to remember when entering into this public policy debate. This is possibly the most important point to keep in mind.
I believe it MAY be possible to continue the same service at a cost savings to all involved. Right now we are in the beginning phase of exploring this idea.
I urge everyone to ask questions before making blind accusations or jumping to any rash conclusions about the future of our fire service.
I realize the citizens of Milan, and the nearby townships, want the best quality fire safety they can have. However, these same citizens want to keep their taxes under control. I believe this is possible-- we can reduce the taxpayer burden without raising fire insurance rates or interfering with fire safety.
While I completely understand that this is a highly emotional issue, I urge everyone to please take a step back with me and look at the bigger picture as we openly discuss this issue.