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West Liberty Volunteer Fire Department worried about changes

West Liberty Volunteer Fire Department worried about changes
West Liberty Volunteer Fire Department worried about changes
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 10:54 PM CST
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WEST LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG) - Some West Liberty residents and first responders have raised concerns over potential changes to the city’s volunteer fire department.

Eric Christensen, one of the volunteer first responders, said the city wasn’t being as transparent as it could be when it came to discussion for a full-time fire chief position. He believed Tuesday was the first day changes would be brought up to the council after seeing a salary for a full-time chief on the agenda.

“The members of our department didn’t know what the city was thinking,” Christensen said. “We’re the ones on the frontlines with fire and EMS services. I think it’s important our voices are heard.”

The city clerk said this was procedural, and the council has not discussed changes to the department just yet. The city clerk and the mayor declined to go on camera but said no changes were coming before the council Tuesday.

“We aren’t taking any action or have any immediate meetings about the fire department outside of the 28E agreement that we need to make with the rural board of trustees,” Mayor Robert Hartman said.

Hartman asked the community to hold off on making public comments until an item was on the agenda in regards to the fire chief position. Christensen said a council member did reach out and said they would include the department before changes were made.

“We’re hopeful that, with that increased communication, things will work out better,” Christensen said. “The city has told us that there will be no voting or anything discussed regarding the department without input.”

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