Maplewood & South Orange to Form Joint Exploratory Committee on Fire Services

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Tonight, the Maplewood Township Committee will introduce a resolution “committing to the creation of a joint exploratory committee with the township of South Orange Village for the purposes of investigating possible shared efficiencies in the delivery of fire protection services.” (See the meeting agenda below.)

The topic was also broached by South Orange Village President Sheena Collum at the August 24 South Orange Board of Trustees meeting.

Collum revealed that Maplewood and South Orange leadership had again begun discussions about joint fire services. Collum said that South Orange leadership had sat down with South Orange Acting Fire Chief Danny Sullivan (soon to be fire chief, according to Collum) to discuss “what went well and what didn’t go well last time” when the two towns sat down to discuss shared fire services.

“Our department felt slighted by the process,” Collum noted. With that in mind, Collum said that both towns would this time be “taking an objective look” and were looking to hire a third party to assess each town’s needs and resources “so that no one gets defensive.”

Collum said that a meeting would take place between the towns in early September to “set out goals, parameters, budget and team.”

Collum said she was “excited” that Maplewood Mayor Vic Deluca and Township Administrator Joseph Manning were “very open to doing this again.”  Collum also reported that Maplewood’s Public Safety liaison on the Township Committee, Marlon K. Brownlee, was involved. Collum said that the South Orange team would include herself, Trustee Howard Levison, Village Administrator Barry Lewis and Acting Fire Chief Danny Sullivan. Collum said that the group would update Public Safety Committee Chair Jeff DuBowy on progress.

See Collum’s report at 1:59:30 an the August 24 Board of Trustee meeting video here. will be reporting updates on this topic from the Maplewood Township Committee meeting tonight.

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