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Rising call numbers: Alpine Township Fire says they need support for millage

Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 17:09:02-04

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The Alpine Township Fire department says they need to expand staffing. They're hoping to get the support of voters.

The rough math shows a home in Alpine Township valued at 200,000 dollars would cost the owner about 300 dollars a year if the fire millage passes.

The millage would go through 2039, and would pay for things like a new fire station and more full-time staff.

Alpine Township Chief Dave Klonparens says that money is needed, and will go a long way.

"Because of the growth in Alpine Township, there is a definite need for a new station,” he said.

Specifically, they're looking to convert an old church behind Sam's Club into a new station.

"Showers, locker rooms, laundry, all of which we don’t have here to operate out of this station,” Deputy Chief Jeremy Kelly said.

The number of calls in the township, specifically at station one, have gone way up in the last decade or so.

“Since about 2008, our call volume has gone up about 20%," Klonparens said. “In 2019, this small township fire department ran 1200 alarms.”

Which is why Klonparens says they need more staff. Right now it's just the ony full-time firefighters are the Chief and one other person. Aside from that, everyone else is part-time or volunteer.

With the passing of the millage, the department says they'd build a new station and hire as many as seven additional full time staff members and a full-time fire inspector.