The Silver Lake Village Board at a Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday night identified several items they would like clarified about a proposed contract from Salem to serve the village for fire and emergency medical services.
Silver Lake is due to vote on the contract at its Feb. 5 meeting. If approved, Salem could conceivably consider the contract at its regular month meeting scheduled for Feb. 10.
While a list of items was developed, the most radical one was proposed right at the beginning of the discussion by village President Sue Gerber, who said she felt the proposed 10-year term was too long.
“I think that’s quite a long time to set an agreement like this,” Gerber said “Ten years is almost like a complete marriage.”
Instead, Gerber said she would prefer a much shorter term or an escape clause so Salem servicing the village could be treated more like an experiment. The agreement is being considered, she acknowledged, because the Silver Lake Fire Department is having trouble, but she is hopeful new leadership “with some vision” might turn the department around in the future and eliminate the need to get fire/EMS services from Salem.
Trustee Soti Wilber also expressed a desire for an escape clause, perhaps after three years.
Other questions or items the board felt needed clarification included:
- Who would pay for utilities for the Silver Lake fire station while it is being leased to Salem.
- A copy of the appraisals done on the village’s station and equipment.
- How the Silver Lake station wil be staffed.
- How yearly fees will be increased.
- A fee schedule for EMS and whether village residents will be charged as Salem residents.
- Clarification on who will be liable for accidents that might happen around the Silver Lake fire station.
- Continuation of fire prevention activities at Riverview School.
Salem is proposing charging Silver Lake about $101,000 after several credits for use of the Silver Lake station, use of SLFD equipment and others for fire and EMS service for the first year of the contract. That’s about $15,000 more than the current village combined budget for the fire department and what it pays to contract with Silver Lake Rescue Squad for EMS.