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City Council OKs fire protection agreement with village of Superior

Under the new agreement, the village will pay a flat rate every time the Superior Fire Department responds to a call for service.

Fire truck
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SUPERIOR — The Superior City Council approved an agreement Tuesday, Nov. 15, with the village of Superior to continue providing emergency response services in the village with the city’s fire department.

What’s changed is the city is no longer charging for those services using a formula established long ago. Now, the city will charge the village $1,200 for each response.

Whether the city responds to a crash, a medical emergency or a fire that takes hours to extinguish, the village will pay one price for each call the city responds to.

In 2021, the Superior Fire Department responded to 125 calls in the village and is on a similar pace this year, said Fire Chief Scott Gordon.

“We’re trying to make the costs equitable for the city,” Councilor Jack Sweeney said during a finance committee meeting Nov. 10. The cost reflects operational expenses and doesn’t include capital expenses, he said.

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The finance committee approved the agreement for one year to see how the new billing process goes with the intention of approving a three-year agreement next year for 2024-2026.

Sweeney said when that new contract is considered, he would like to see an escalator clause built into it for the third year of the agreement.

Village residents pay for the service through a special assessment on their taxes for fire protection services, said John Wick, village board president.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved an agreement with Baker Tilly LLP to provide municipal audit and accounting services through Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Renewed a lease with Skydive Duluth Superior LLC to lease property at the Richard I. Bong Memorial Airport for $500 per year.
  • Approved a joint powers agreement with Western Lake Superior Sanitary District to accept household hazardous waste from Superior. Councilor Jenny Van Sickle encouraged residents to join with neighbors to transport the waste to the facility in Duluth because the city pays each time a Superior resident drops off materials. The estimated cost of the agreement is $30,000.
Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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