Thursday December 8th, 2022 5:06AM

Cleveland, White County explore consolidation of fire services

By Dean Dyer, WRWH
Officials with the City of Cleveland and White County have announced they will enter into discussions about the possible consolidation of fire protection services. 

The announcement was made separately by each government during meetings on Monday, June 7. 

White County Commission Chairman Travis Turner said his hope is to have enhanced services for the county, so the commission needs to explore all possibilities.

"Let’s run the numbers, let's see financially if this is going to be a win-win, but at the end of the day are we giving enhanced service to not only the City of Cleveland but also to our citizens of White County,” said Chairman Turner. The White County Board of Commissioners gave unanimous approval to the proposal to study the consolidation.

Cleveland City Council also voted unanimously to approve the idea after Mayor Josh Turner floated the idea to council members Monday night. 

Mayor Turner asked for a motion for approval, and there was a long pause before Councilwoman Nan Bowen finally made the motion to approve; Councilwoman Rebecca Yardley seconded the motion.  

"There will be ample opportunity for the public to provide input and share concerns throughout this process, including a public hearing," Mayor Turner said. 

Up to now, White County and Cleveland have been working together under a mutual aid agreement.

The two governments issued a joint statement about the possible consolidation.

"While the current mutual aid agreement allows the city and county to work closely with each other on the delivery of fire services, it is important to note that both agencies have an obligation to the taxpayers to operate as efficiently as possible and reduce any duplication of services," the statement said. 

Chairman Turner said he wants the county's Emergency Services Director David Murphy and County Fire Chief Seth Weaver to work with Cleveland Fire Chief Ricky Pruitt as negotiations move forward. One particular concern would be the operation of the current Cleveland City Fire Station and how that station might become part of White County Fire Services. 

If a plan can be worked out, officials hope to implement any agreement starting July 1, 2022.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News
  • Associated Tags: White County Board of Commissioners, Cleveland City Council , consolidation of fire services, fire services , mutual aid
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Cleveland, White County explore consolidation of fire services
Officials with the City of Cleveland and White County have announced they will enter into discussions about the possible consolidation of fire protection services.
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