Saline Township Board Discusses Fire Department Funding Issues

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The Saline Township Board spent twenty minutes discussing the request for additional funding from the Saline Area Fire Department at its meeting Wednesday night at the Saline Township Hall. The board had previously approved additional funding, over and above the normal service charge, to assist the department with its fiscal woes.

Saline Fire Department Increased Funding Request

Township Supervisor Jim Marion reported that at the Saline Area Fire Board meeting, the department proposed a change in the way participating municipalities are assessed their service charge. Marion said, “currently, and this is a very rough estimate, Saline and York Township provide approximately one third of the budget, the City of Saline one third and Lodi Township one third.” 

In the most recent conversations between the fire department and the fire board, which is made up of two representatives of the municipalities contracting for fire service, the City of Saline and Lodi Township cited tight budgets and had asked for relief from the proposed cost increases, Marion said.

Karl A. Barr, a local attorney who is a candidate in the primary election for District Court 14A Judge, was at the meeting to introduce himself to the board and residents in attendance and talk about his candidacy for district judge. He informed the board his recollection about work he had done for a different governmental unit in setting fire service rates in the past. 

“The methodology for the formula used to determine how rates for fire service are determined is included in the intergovernmental agreement and that the formula cannot be changed unless a change is approved by all the parties to the agreement.” 

Barr said he thought the formula considered the total residences in the municipality, the call volume and number of runs the department made to each area,

Township Clerk Kelly Marion added, “we recognize that the township will benefit from improved firefighter training and upgrades in the department’s equipment.’

Township Zoning Administrator Robert Marion said, “Saline Township pays the lowest amount of any governmental unit but its residents pay the highest per capita rate.”

Discussions will continue between the fire department and the fire board to determine how to resolve the fiscal difficulties of the department.

Andelina Farms

Jim Marion reported that he had received a complaint from a resident of Austin Commons about trash and debris from the development that blows up against the fence and she asked the township board to ask the development to clean up its trash. Marion indicated he would contact consulting engineer Dan Cabege to talk with Andelina Farms at his next meeting with developer. Robert Marion reported that he continues to provide addresses as the building continues.

Andelina Farms reported that it has its first signee for a home in its development.

Saline Township Planning Commission

The Saline Township Planning Committee met on Tuesday and gave approval to the township’s master plan, making no recommended changes. The Master Plan will be up for final approval by the board at its July meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m. The next township board meeting will be on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at 7 p.m. in the township hall on Braun Road.

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