Fire officials propose temporary merger

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first_imgCAMAS — The Camas and Washougal fire departments could soon become one, albeit for a temporary period.Officials from both departments told members of Camas and Washougal’s councils that a six-month merger would lower a projected $310,000 budget shortfall for emergency medical services. It would also show if and how a discussed permanent merger would work between the two departments, fire officials said.Council members did not vote on the proposal Monday. City government officials said such a vote would likely not happen until early May. But officials with both cities said the temporary merger proposal was significant. “It’s a huge step for the two communities to work together as one unit,” acting Camas Fire Chief Monte Brachmann said after the meeting. Camas is looking to hire a full-time fire chief by the end of May.“It gives us time to see if consolidation is the answer,” Camas Mayor Pro-Tem Scott Higgins added. “I sensed everyone’s aware of the problem and doing nothing is not an option. We have to do something.”Monday’s meeting at the Camas Library included presentations by Brachmann and Washougal Fire Chief Ron Schumacher outlining four possible options for reducing the deficit. The shortage stems from drastically reduced property tax revenue, they said.last_img

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