MONTEREY, Calif. --
The long-awaited merger of the Monterey and Pacific Grove fire departments became official Tuesday night when the Monterey City Council unanimously approved the consolidation.
The Pacific Grove City Council approved the merger last week.
Fire department officials from both cities said they are very excited to finally become one department and both cities' mayors said the merger will bring better fire and medical service for their citizens.
Monterey Mayor Chuck Della Sala said the two cities will be able to reduce overhead costs by consolidating the two departments and taxpayers will save money.
"We will see a cost savings right away, but we will see more cost savings two years out after we have paid setup costs and gone through the changes," Della Sala said. "If Carmel joins, they'll save more money."
Carmel was in talks with Monterey and Pacific Grove from the outset of the merger, but have decided to take a step back. City officials said they are continuing to take part in talks with the Monterey and Pacific Grove and they will consider joining the merger possibly by spring.
No one is expected to lose their jobs as a result of the merger, although some rearranging is expected.
The Pacific Grove fire chief will become the assistant fire chief for Monterey and the current Monterey fire chief will keep his title.
With the merger comes an additional 52 firefighters that Pacific Grove can now count on, a large increase from the former staff size of 15 people.
The merger is set to officially take effect on Dec. 16.
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