The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 13, 2010

Boro Council: Fire merger will aid Lorain

— Lorain Borough Council said at its meeting Wednesday that it expects to finalize an agreement next week with Stonycreek Township supervisors under which Oakland Volunteer Fire Company, which is merging with Lorain Volunteer Fire Company, would serve the borough.

Lorain fire Chief Paul Rutledge said the merger is great for his fire company and also for the community.

He said that by joining the two companies, firefighters will be able to provide better protection for both Lorain and Oakland.

The companies have been working together for about eight years.

Lorain firefighters have been working out of the Oakland fire station during much of that span because their fire hall became unsuitable for use.

Final details about the merger will be forthcoming, Rutledge said.

Last month, Borough Council unanimously approved a 30-year agreement with the Oakland fire company, said council President James Hollis.

For the first 10 years of the contract, there will be no cost to the borough for fire protection, Hollis said.

The only stipulation is that Lorain’s fire engine, owned by the borough, be turned over the Oakland, he said.

Lorain will pay Oakland $5,000 annually for the following 10 years and slightly more than $5,000 in each of the succeeding 10 years, Hollis said.

The borough currently makes donations to help fund the Lorain fire company and pays for maintenance on the engine, which is paid off.

The borough donated $3,800 to support the Lorain company this year.

“It’s best for residents,” Hollis said about the merger. “We’re getting the same fire protection. We will save money.”

He said council discussed buying fire protection from Johnstown, which wanted $5,000 a year plus the fire truck.

Mayor George Randolph called the merger the best thing that could happen to Lorain.

Councilman John Raspotnik likewise is pleased with the merger.

“It will be the same firefighters and same equipment,” he said.

“The only thing that is changing is the name.”


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