Fire Merger Won't Happen

The Weston Village board voted Monday night not to buy an aerial fire truck with the city of Wausau. According to Weston administrator Dean Zuleger, there were three reasons the board decided not to share the purchase of a truck as proposed by Wausau.

The first was a mutual aid charge Wausau wanted other municipalities to pay. Another was a clause that allowed Wausau to back out of the deal if it wasn't working out. Weston would then be required to buy back the truck, but without any depreciated value. And finally, 95% or better of our taxpayers didn't want to cooperate with Wausau and if anything you have to commend the board for voting what their taxpayers thought.

But Zuleger did also express concern that the decision will end up costing the taxpayers money. Wausau City Council President Jim Rosenberg says staffing is actually more expensive than equipment. That's why they won't depreciate the value of the truck if Weston buys it back.

As far as charging for mutual aid, “We couldn't just have a blank check and extend that to people that weren't involved in the agreement and so I think that was a reasonable request on the part of Wausau.”

The village of Weston still plans on buying an aerial fire truck; Wausau simply won't be sharing it. However, Zuleger says they don't plan on charging a fee for mutual aid.