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Edgeworth, Sewickley in Accord on Fire Services

Sewickley Council to vote on 10-year agreement, which calls for an annual fee of $50,000.

Edgeworth and Sewickley boroughs have come to an agreement in which Sewickley-based Cochran Hose Co. will serve as Edgeworth's fire department.

Edgeworth has agreed to pay Sewickley Borough $50,000 annually for Cochran Hose Co. fire services, Sewickley officials said in Tuesday night's committee meeting.

Sewickley Council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance Monday at the general meeting. 

Borough Manager Kevin Flannery said the ordinance would establish the agreement between the two boroughs to have Cochran Hose Co. provide fire services for an annual fee of $50,000 and a $9,000 contribution to the Fire Capital Reserve Fund. 

The agreement would be for 10 years.

"We look forward to having reliable fire service at a great rate for Edgeworth,"  Flannery said. 

Last month, Edgeworth Council voted to decertify its volunteer fire department as a result of fewer volunteers providing fire protection in , officials said in a statement.

Cochran Hose began coverage as Edgeworth’s exclusive provider of fire protection services.

Edgeworth Manager Marty McDaniel said the decision was not made to save money, but was rather a public safety issue.

"Cost is not a factor when people's lives and property are at stake," McDaniel said. 

He said Edgeworth was paying about $45,000 a year for operating supplies, equipment, firetruck repair, parts, gas and other needs, and was using some of it to put money away for a new firetruck. 

Now, with the insurance and payment to Sewickley, the total is $59,000, but Edgeworth is hoping to sell the firetrucks, which will defer some of the new cost. 

McDaniel said the borough will be sharing equipment with Cochran Hose Co., so there won't be any operating or maintenance cost, which could potentially end up costing less in the long run.

Solicitor Richard Tucker added that he was an Edgeworth resident and was glad that Cochran Hose would be serving the borough.

In addition to servicing Sewickley and Edgeworth, . covers and . The fire services agreement has a 60-day trial period. 

 

The council also discussed the following issues:

  • Quaker Valley Council of Governments, which partners with Sewickley, has reviewed a new garbage and recycling contract that will be reviewed at next Monday's regular meeting. The contract would reduce garbage and recycling collection costs for Sewickley residents by 4 percent and would include pickup of garden chemicals, batteries, computers and other hazardous waste materials.
  • - sidewalk bricks will be laid, lamp posts will be installed, and trees will be planted by the end of this month.
  • Milling of Sewickley streets will begin this week and next Tuesday workers will begin paving. Street work is to be completed by Nov. 3.
  • Streets in Sewickley are swept when temperatures are at 40 degrees or above. Council members emphasized the need to keep leaves out of the wastewater treatment plant. Cars parked on the street during street sweeping will receive $25 tickets.
  • The property on Ohio River Boulevard is proving to be a "dead property," according to Council President Robert Hague, since an ongoing lawsuit over the property's development is costing the borough monthly legal fees.
  • Flannery advocated utilizing 2011 numbers for the 2012 tax year, noting that it would cause less of a financial burden on Sewickley residents.
  • Flannery submitted an application for a government grant to fund the repair or replacement of three traffic signals on Ohio River Boulevard. If Sewickley were to fund this project itself, he said, it would require one-third of the borough's annual budget.

This article was updated on Oct. 18 to reflect comments from Edgeworth Manager Marty McDaniel. 

Annie Kirk October 12, 2011 at 03:14 PM
Hi - good article. I was wondering if the move to have Cochran Hose take care of the fire services would save Edgeworth money and if so, how much? Do you know how much having their own fire dept has cost them?
Larissa Dudkiewicz October 13, 2011 at 02:23 AM
That's a good question and we're hoping to get you a good answer soon.
Alie Gensheimer October 20, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Hi Annie Kirk, We spoke with Edgeworth Borough manager, Marty McDaniel, who told us that Edgeworth was paying about $45,000 annually for its own fire department. This money funded the firetrucks, fire station, repairs, equipment, etc. Now, Edgeworth will pay $50,000 plus $9,000 in insurance costs annually. So it will cost the borough more now, but Edgeworth plans to sell its firetrucks, which will offset some of the new cost to Sewickley Borough.

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