Bel Aire, Haysville Look At Alternative Fire Services

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July 21, 2010

City leaders say the issue isn't about what kind of fire service they're getting from Sedgwick county, it's about whether the cities of Bel Aire and Haysville can save money by going with the city of Wichita.

Budget time has cities like Bel Aire and Haysville looking for ways to try and save money.

"We were talking about the opportunity of contracting with the city of Wichita to provide fire service." Bel Aire City Manager, Ty Lasher

Bel Aire and Haysville have been getting fire services from the Sedgwick County Fire Department and neither seems to have an issue with the county’s fire service

"We are very happy with the service we receive from our fire district," Haysville Director of Governmental Services, Carol Neugent said. “That has never been the issue.”

But, taxpayer costs for those services is an issue especially when local governments are trying to find places to squeeze fewer dollars.

"For Haysville being a part of fire district number one the mil levy is pretty significant and it's a large investment for the city,” Neugent said. “And we're just looking at alternatives and obviously one alternative would be the city of Wichita."

So, both communities are asking the city of Wichita to make fire service proposals. Bel Aire and Haysville city limits connect with Wichita’s and city fire stations nearby.

Besides the bottom line of costs, the communities want to know what fire response times will be if they make the switch. The communities also want to make certain there wouldn’t be any change to insurance rates for citizens if fire coverage were switched.

If there are any changes the earliest they could come would be in the middle of 2011.

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