Allouez, WI (WFRV) By all appearances, there is support in the village of Allouez to merge its fire department with the city of Green Bay's fire department. Yet a final decision by village trustees on whether to proceed has again been postponed - at least for another two weeks.
The sticking point is the recent discussion by Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, to create a new public safety director position, to oversee both Green Bay's fire and police departments. With leadership vacancies in both, Schmitt has said he would like to study the possibility , as a cost-cutting measure.
Allouez leaders say while they understand the mayor's motivation, in all their discussions with Green Bay over a proposed merger, it was always assumed a separate fire chief would lead the two merged departments. So, with too many unanswered questions, the village president asked trustees to table a decision until the next board meeting.
"I think the consensus by everyone is that this is a good idea," said Steve Vanden Avond, village president. "But the devil is in the details and I'm afraid we might not pass this tonight and next we are in the position of forming a fire department - when none of us don't really deep down want that."
Mayor Schmitt did write the village board a letter, telling them a dedicated fire chief would be in place. But the trustees aren't so sure - especially with that talk of a public safety director by Mayor Schmitt. The village now plans to have additional talks with Green Bay, to make sure both communities understand each other.