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Townships approve final resolution of Northfield Center-Sagamore Hills Fire District affairs

By Mike Lesko | Reporter Published: February 9, 2017 9:21 AM
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The Northfield Center Township-Sagamore Hills Township Fire District is one step closer to being history.

Northfield Center Trustees unanimously approved an agreement Feb. 6 and Sagamore Hills Trustees did the same Feb. 7 “for the final wrap-up of the fire district,” according to Sagamore Hills Fiscal Officer Scott Gale.

All fire district bills have been paid through Feb. 7, according to Jeff Snell, attorney for Sagamore Hills and the fire district.

Previously, Rosemary Barrett, secretary for the fire district, reported the total amount of unpaid bills by Sagamore Hills was more than $109,000.

However, Snell said since all the bills have been paid, that debt no longer exists because the fire district continued to collect ambulance billing, “and ambulance billing revenue continues to flow in from past calls. So that’s revenue,” Snell explained. “Each month, the fire district would calculate what the expenses were vs. revenue. So they had more revenue because they paid all the bills.”

Snell said Northfield Center overpaid its bills by about $16,000, and the township will receive a refund.

Richard Reville for Northfield Center and David DePasquale for Sagamore Hills have been assigned to oversee the final completion of the affairs of the fire district.

Barrett will be retained on a part-time basis to help prepare for the fire district audit for 2016, which Snell said could occur as soon as March, and organize the fire district records at a maximum of 32 hours a week with the two townships splitting the costs.

The fire district bank account will continue for the collection of ambulance billing. Snell said it will always have a $1,000 balance until it is finally closed. After the completion of the audit, the account will be used to pay for the audit. Northfield Center will maintain the custody of all books, records and computers of the fire district.

Macedonia firefighters began staffing the two fire department substations Sept. 16 after the Northfield Center-Sagamore Hills Fire District disbanded Sept. 14. Sagamore Hills forced the district to close after agreeing to a contract with Macedonia for fire service earlier in 2016.

Northfield Center voters turned down a 6-mill levy meant to resurrect the Northfield Center Fire Department in August, and Northfield Center Trustees agreed to a contract for fire service with Macedonia as well.

Mike Lesko: 330-541-9432

mlesko@recordpub.com

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