By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Lafayette, Carlton eye firefighting merger

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Carlton Fire District board room at 343 W. Roosevelt St. in Carlton. It is open to the public.

It will include a tour of the Carlton fire station, which opened in 2011. A presentation will follow by a consultant, Emergency Services Consulting International, which recently completed a feasibility study of the pros and cons.

The consultants noted the two agencies already share a chief, and are accustomed to “a high level of cooperation.” They said, “Although it involves a complex and exacting legal process, we conclude that the integration of LFD and NCFD is feasible and preferred over other less complete alternatives.”

In the process, they recommend making the fire chief full-time, upgrading or replacing the aging Lafayette station, developing a plan for ongoing funding of equipment and infrastructure, developing a common set of regulations, upgrading and formalizing standards and training, and creating a program to assure businesses and institutions within the service area are regularly inspected for fire hazards and code compliance.

Lafayette is currently funding its firefighting operation out of its general fund at “an amount equal to a property tax of $1.40 per $1,000 of assessed value,” the study noted. If the agencies were merged, Lafayette residents would join their Carlton counterparts in paying $1.05 per $1,000 of assessed value, freeing up general fund money for other city uses.

The study is available online at

The room is wheelchair accessible. Anyone require special accommodation to participate is asked to notify the city at least 24 hours in advance at 503-864-2451.

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