1. #1
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    Default Restructuring our department

    I am looking for a bit of advice. Our department has been told by our Village (i.e. current governing body) that they are separating the fire department from the Village. As most of our volunteer firefighters have no clue relating to the politics and legal meanings of this, we have questions. (By the way, the department is working with the Village attorney but I am looking for advice on how other departments are set up.)

    Our lawyer has advised us to organize as a nonprofit, nonstock corporation. Is anyone out there organized this way? I understand the corporation part of it, but what are the requirements of a department to be nonprofit? I know churches, schools, etc. all are nonprofit (actually the company I work full time for is a nonprofit corp.) but I did not realize that fire departments qualified for this status. Can anyone with knowledge on this clarify?

    Thanks,
    Beth

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    Why would they want to separate you from the village? Fire Protection is a community responsibility, and it would seem odd that the community wants to let go of fire protection.

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    One thing I would do is get your own lawyer. Don't rely on the village's attorney. How can he/she look out for the best interests of two parties? Someone might get screwed, and if its the village's attorney, it's probably going to be you guy's. Also, try to find one that is experienced with fire dept. seperations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geinandputitout View Post
    Why would they want to separate you from the village? Fire Protection is a community responsibility, and it would seem odd that the community wants to let go of fire protection.
    I can't go into detail, but because of happenings on our department, the Village feels for legal reasons they need to separate (yeah, it's not good ). We're dealing with the problem in our own way, but let's just say I don't blame them. Under further investigation, it looks like the lawyer recommended the department's Board of Directors be made up of 2 representatives from each of the 2 Townships and Village we cover. So in essence, they would still have some control. Does that make a little sense?

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    Cool well

    This sounds like there are alot of proplems going on.......... Anyway, why not become a fire protection district?????

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    you need to incorporate into a 501c3 (tax exmpt organization)
    get your own lawyer
    Your board can and should be made up ofthe people within your organization If they want to seperate you from the village then cut the strings clean the village can't have it both ways and thats what they want
    "get your own lawyer" he will look out for you guys not the village

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    Quote Originally Posted by des622 View Post
    you need to incorporate into a 501c3 (tax exmpt organization)
    get your own lawyer
    Your board can and should be made up ofthe people within your organization If they want to seperate you from the village then cut the strings clean the village can't have it both ways and thats what they want
    "get your own lawyer" he will look out for you guys not the village
    Wow so much has happened since I posted this. An update: We incorporated into a non-profit corporation w/ the state. Got out Board set up. Filed for federal tax exempt (501c3) and have been approved for that. We are getting there, and I think things are going pretty smoothly. All fell into place pretty well.

    Beth

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommygo2540 View Post
    This sounds like there are alot of proplems going on.......... Anyway, why not become a fire protection district?????
    The State of Wisconsin currently does not allow for any taxing benefit for a department to be classified as a true fire protection district that levy's its own tax. Current state law only permits water and sanitary districts to do this. If the law is ever changed, you will see many departments within the state consolidate into fire protection districts.

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    Just out of curiosity, what will be your funding source? Will you essentially be contracting with the Village and the two townships?

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