2017-07-13 / Front Page

Clayton Twp.: Fire agreement negotiations on hold

BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

CLAYTON TOWNSHIP – Negotiation of the termination clauses in the fire department contract between Clayton Township and the City of Swartz Creek area on hold.

Township Supervisor Chris Gehringer said the proposal to form a committee to renegotiate those clauses was halted “due to the fact that we’ve reconsidered Clayton Township’s position.”

“We’re willing to work with the agreement where it sits, and maybe that will help reduce the friction,” said Gehringer.

He said the intention in forming the committee, which he requested, was to “clean up the language” in the clauses that direct how the two communities would split the shared department.

“It was Clayton Township’s belief that the language wasn’t correct from the inception of the agreement, and there was some agreement with the city, also,” said Gehringer. “But it seems to have created an atmosphere of confusion.

“To alleviate any fears about the township’s position in regards to the long-term value of the fire department, we are withdrawing our request to have a committee formed, if the city so chooses.”

He said township officials are not considering severing ties with the city in regards to the delivery of fire protection services.

“I’m extremely proud of our firefighters,” Gehringer said. “I have the utmost respect for them. They have a tough job to do and I don’t want to make their job any tougher. My job is to solve problems, not create them.”

Gehringer said his intention is to provide the “very best” fire service for the citizens of Clayton Township and Swartz Creek.

He said he will leave it up to the fire board to iron out any differences that may be causing friction.

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