CASPER, Wyo.— The Town of Mills issued a press release on Thursday, April 25.
The release states that after June 30, “the Town of Mills will contract with outside agencies to provide day-to-day fire and emergency medical service”
“The Town Council voted to approve a resolution, on April 24th, 2019, that will reduce the staffing of the Mills Fire Department to only administration,” the release reads.
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“The administrative staff will perform the duties of building and occupancy inspections and emergency management planning and preparedness.”
The release wrote that the fire department had previously been a volunteer fire department.
“The volunteer portion of the department became defunct in 2014,” the release states.
The release states that towns the size of Mills often do not have full-time departments.
“Funding a full-time fire department at current levels is unsustainable for the Town of Mills,” it reads. “The Town Council has researched alternate funding opportunities in attempts to continue this service with the current staff load but has not found a viable solution.”
“Despite the loss of contract, the Town has continued to respond to ambulance-related calls, which equated to a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually from uncollected ambulance service fees. As a result, the Town has been forced to spend a large portion of One Cent Sales Tax funds on the department annually, causing a lapse in the maintenance of Town infrastructure that these funds are intended for when they are approved by the voters.”
The release, rends with a statement that says the Town Council appreciates the fire department’s work.
“The Town Council is proud of the department and the professional service they have provided, and regrets having to make this tough financial decision. However, the Mills Town Council is determined to spend the tax payer’s money in Mills in an efficient and responsible way.”
The release includes this link: Mills Fire Department Press Release.
An earlier version of this story said this release was issued by the Mills Fire Department. It has been updated to reflect that the release was issued by the Town of Mills. Oil City regrets this error.