Dispute Continues Between Pennsylvania Town, Firefighters

Dec. 3, 2008
The volunteer department is in a financial crisis.


A funding dispute between an area fire company and municipality continues after officials published an open letter in a newspaper.

Shade Township supervisors paid to publish the letter in the Johnstown Tribune Democrat, laying out in detail their position on the current financial crisis facing the Central City Volunteer Fire Department.

In the letter, supervisors said they've given more than $350,000 to the department since 1994 and they??re not in a position to give $60,000 in 2009.

Last month, the fire department held a public meeting to let the communities they serve know about its financial problems. The department claims it doesn't get enough community or local government support and may be forced to stop serving areas that include Shade Township.

The department said that could, in turn, impact homeowners' insurance rates and their safety.

??The real problem really runs into the amount of money needed to actually run a fire department,?? said Chief Dale Russian. "Everybody says it's a volunteer organization. It's actually, it's a small business."

Shade Township supervisors have offered to give the department about $30,000. Stay with WJACTV.com and WJAC-TV News for continuing coverage.

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