01STOCK_MILTON_FIREDEPT

Edgerton-area residents will not be paying for two new fire stations the city of Milton hopes to build even though Milton and four surrounding towns wish to join the Edgerton Fire Protection District.

The petition to join the district spells out that the cost of build the fire stations will not be shared with Edgerton taxpayers. The city of Milton has hired a consulting firm to write and market a referendum that will ask Milton-area voters to agree to pay for the fire stations.

Conversely, Milton-area residents will not be required to foot any bills related to improvements of Edgerton’s existing facilities, such as the Edgerton Fire Station, until well after an intergovernmental agreement is established. Cost won’t be shared by the five petitioning municipalities until 2033—10 years after they are admitted into the district.

The joint petition of the city and town of Milton and the towns of Harmony Johnstown and Lima spells out the conditions under which they will share costs of EMS and fire protection once they’re part of the district. which currently includes the city of Edgerton and the towns of Fulton, Porter, Albion and Sumner.

Construction-related costs and engineering of the two new proposed fire stations, to be located in Milton East and Milton West, will be covered by Milton and the four other petitioning communities.

Upon completion of the stations, operational costs would then be paid for by the Edgerton fire district as a whole.

Furthermore, the smaller townships of Harmony, Johnstown and Lima, under the agreement, would be only required to pay a proportionate share of expenditures based on the equalized value of their property that lies within the new fire district.

Now that Edgerton’s Fire Protection District Commission board has received the petition, its members will evaluate fire and EMS services requested by the intergovernmental group. If the board determines the request is feasible, and approves the requests, a planned transitional phase will be set into motion.

This will ensure the new members “have no lapse in fire protection or EMS paramedic service coverage,” according to the petition.

In the meantime, the Janesville’s fire district will provide mutual aid, as it has since a fire protection agreement with Milton expired at the end of 2021.

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