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Macungie Borough Council considers agreement with Lower Macungie Fire Department

Lower Macungie Fire Department is offering its services to Macungie, amid continued concerns over the operation of the borough’s volunteer fire department.

Macungie Borough Council opted to table a vote Monday on the Lower Macungie department’s proposal.

The presentation came on the heels of Borough Council’s Aug. 7 vote to withhold funds from the Macungie Volunteer Fire Co., which had failed to provide an audit to council by an Aug. 1 deadline.

Macungie Volunteer Fire Co. remains in service, but Macungie Borough Council has left the door open to working with another fire department.

Lower Macungie Fire Department Chief Dave Nosal gave an hour-long presentation to the council, alongside President Joe Thompson.

“We’re here to present services that we have to offer the borough of Macungie,” Nosal said.

Nosal described some of their services, including fire, rescue operations, and spill response. He told the council how Macungie would be added to their response areas. Nosal said that Macungie would be divided by the railroad tracks.

“I would do one box north of the railroad tracks and then two boxes south of the railroad tracks,” said Nosal. “What this allows us to do is put our stations in order of preference for neighboring units.”

Council President Ron Karboski had a few questions for Nosal about signing a memorandum of understanding with Lower Macungie Township in regards to worker’s compensation. Nosal said Lower Macungie wants to partner with Macungie to provide worker’s compensation, since Lower Macungie Fire Department is an all-volunteer private organization.

“They’re [Lower Macungie Township] covering the lion’s share of the workers comp. [They] would like to collectively do the worker’s compensation. That might actually result in a cost savings,” Nosal said.

Macungie has long had problems with the troubled Macungie Volunteer Fire Co. A 2017 report ordered by Borough Council found a number of issues, including calls that were not answered, mistakes, and showing disrespect at emergency scenes.

According to documents included in a recent council agenda, Mechanics Plus Towing & Transport claims the fire company owes more than $8,000, and as a result it is holding the company’s brush truck until those invoices are paid.

at $50.00 per day until payment arrangements are made and these invoices are satisfied,” said Mark Feirtag, owner of Mechanics Plus Towing & Transport.”]

No one from Macungie Volunteer Fire Co. spoke at Monday’s meeting, but in a letter to Borough Council, department leadership denied it was having issues with members quitting or response times.

While there was discussion about Lower Macungie Fire Department during Monday night’s meeting, Borough Council decided to table the vote until it could agree on terms.

“Ultimately a decision being made by council will result in an ordinance amendment. We would send notification to the Macungie Volunteer Fire Company, as well as some housekeeping items that come up,” said Karboski. “Which takes some time.”

https://www.mcall.com/2023/08/22/this-takes-some-time-macungie-borough-council-considers-agreement-with-lower-macungie-fire-department/ Macungie Borough Council considers agreement with Lower Macungie Fire Department

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