Middletown, Anchorage propose fire dept. merger - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Middletown, Anchorage propose fire dept. merger

The merger would add ambulances to Middletown and create faster response times, while adding man power to Anchorage. (Source: WAVE 3 News) The merger would add ambulances to Middletown and create faster response times, while adding man power to Anchorage. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Residents packed the fire house to discuss the possible merger. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Residents packed the fire house to discuss the possible merger. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Middletown resident Paul Vale walked in and out of a meeting Tuesday night, still on the fence with the idea of the Middletown and Anchorage fire departments merging.

"It's a scary position," Vale said. 

The merger would add ambulances to Middletown and create faster response times, while adding man power to Anchorage.

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"What's yours is mine," Mike Heilman, Anchorage Fire Chief said. "Yes, it's not us and them, it's ours."

Heilman's statement would be true if the idea is approved.

Anchorage residents seem to be on board because for them, nothing really changes.

However, property taxes would go up from $280 a year, to about $420 for folks in Middletown.

"Someone might say, 'Oh it's only 12 bucks more a month, or raising mine up from $280 to $420, well that's initially,'" Vale said. "What happens when there's a greater need?"

Middletown already faces budget cuts. Their chief believes the merger is the cheapest option to get what they need.

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"The tax reform that's being contemplated in Frankfort, and the removal of the tangible inventory taxes, could mean about another $600,000 in lost revenue," Middletown Fire Chief Andy Longstreet said.

Adding ambulances to departments has a regional trend. St. Matthews has them and Jefferstown Fire will get theirs in March.

"People just need to accept the fact that as in everything else, it's going up," Mike Chickwak said.

If the fire district board approves the merger, the decision will go to the mayor. If all goes as planned the merger would be operational by March 1, 2018.

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