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RFD offers counter proposal
Monroe Fire Dept

MONROE —  After months of deliberation, the Rural Fire Department provided the Monroe Common Council with a counter proposal of a long-term contract between the departments at its regular meeting July 20.

The RFD proposed a 15-year contract that included a $469,000 budget. The budget is based off the median of the Brodhead, Monticello and Juda fire departments’ operating costs with an additional $200,000 for capital expenditures. The city’s numbers based off of equalized value were then used to come up with a percentage increase value of 1.6%.

With the proposed contract, the RFD would give up the yearly dues of approximately $10,000 and turn over all fire equipment to the Monroe Fire Department. The RFD would also have no say in MFD operations. 

“We’re trying to compare really what’s the actual value the township receives from the fire department,” Chad Spotts of the RFD said. 

Members of the RFD said that equalized value will not allow the same benefit to the rural communities as it does to the City of Monroe.

The recent long-term contract between the departments ended in 2019. Since then, there have been two six-month extensions approved for the Monroe Fire Department to provide protection to the rural fire district, which includes the towns of Monroe and Clarno. 

Earlier this year the towns turned down a long-term contract that was based on charging residents for fire protection based on equalized property tax value. The city charges its residents based on the equalized property value for fire protection.

The council approved a 10% increase for a one-year contract during a special meeting June 29 which was then turned down by the RFD in early July. 

The common council will continue to deliberate the proposal after receiving it on paper.