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Geneva Township, Lake Geneva closer to new fire services agreement

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Kevin Hoffman
February 10, 2011
— Lake Geneva will review a proposed fire protection contract with the town of Geneva, following weeks of tweaking after the town decided to go elsewhere for ambulance support.

The Lake Geneva Police and Fire Commission is expected to discuss the proposed two-year contract during its meeting tonight. Geneva Town Board unanimously favored the agreement during its meeting Jan. 24, weeks after its previous contract expired.


The communities have continued operating under terms of the previous deal until a decision was made on whether they'll continue their partnership.


In the proposed agreement:


-- Geneva would pay a $20,000 annual retainer for fire services.


-- An additional $1,000 fee would be charged per fire response, which would be reduced to $500 for false alarms.


-- The town would pay $4,500 for annual inspections, which are required under state law.


The contract also reserves Lake Geneva as a backup to Paratech, who is now the main ambulance responder for the town.


Lake Geneva for years had supplemented ambulance support, but the town opted to use a private company after Lake Geneva requested it be responsible for collecting delinquent bills, Town Board Chairman Dan Lauderdale said.


Lauderdale instead signed a three-year contract with Paratech—a rescue services organization that supports several municipalities throughout southeastern Wisconsin.


Paratech covers more ground than Lake Geneva had, Lauderdale said. It provides service at no extra cost to Geneva National Resort, which previously was supported by Elkhorn.


Other terms of the fire services contract include a termination clause, allowing either party to withdraw "with or without good cause." Geneva Town Board during its meeting last month also added language waiving liability of the $1,000 fee for service outside of the agreed coverage area.


If a new agreement can't be reached with Lake Geneva, Lauderdale said the town might discuss an aid agreement with Elkhorn, Williams Bay or Lyons Township.


Scott Storms, president of Lake Geneva's Police and Fire Commission, previously said negotiations at this point are about "operational control" and not about money.


If approved by the city policy and fire commission tonight, the agreement would go to the city council for a vote. The contract would last through Dec. 31, 2012.



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