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Quincy, Waynesboro hope to work out fire protection deal

December 27, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. ? Quincy Township will start 2008 without a fire protection agreement in place for one in five of its homes.

The Waynesboro Fire Department will continue to serve those homes under the old agreement while a new one is negotiated, Township Supervisor Robert "Bob" Gunder said.

He said he believes a new agreement can be signed by the end of January.

"They decided it's probably best to sit down with us," said Craig Newcomer, president of the Waynesboro Borough Council.

At issue is Quincy Township's annual payment to the borough for fire service. Waynesboro acts as the first responder for 21 percent of township homes, while the Mont Alto (Pa.) Fire Department serves as the first responder for the other township dwellings.

The township paid the Borough of Waynesboro approximately $13,900 for the service in 2007, officials said.

Gunder said the board of supervisors developed a matrix that shows the number of homes serviced is "out of kilter" with the amount of the subsidy.

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"We've known for three or four years that the percentages are out of kilter," Gunder said.

The supervisors have been in talks with the Mont Alto Fire Department to act as the first responder for the entire township, he said.

Gunder said the supervisors provided the council with the matrix, but made no official proposal for an annual contribution. Discussion at the last borough council meeting estimated the contribution amount derived from the matrix to be approximately $7,900 a year.

The borough council countered that it wanted a $15,000 annual contribution. The council later said it would accept the same amount paid in 2007.

It costs the borough about $21,000 a year to respond to fires in Quincy Township, Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said at the last council meeting.

"All we wanted to do was negotiate, and they didn't want to negotiate," Newcomer said.

The supervisors need to look at the latest proposal from Waynesboro and "clear the air a little bit," Gunder said.

The supervisors have no problem with the quality of service from the Waynesboro Fire Department, he said.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Quincy Township's population at 5,896 in 2006.

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