WAITE PARK (WJON News) -- The City of Waite Park has formalized its fire service agreement with St. Cloud. The Waite Park City Council voted four to one Monday night to approve a ten-year fire service agreement.

St. Cloud had been helping provide fire service for Waite Park since June under a mutual aid agreement. The cost for the service to Waite Park is about $300,000 to $500,000 a year. Mayor Rick Miller says it was important to get a contract in place:

"I think it's important. Their response time is very good, ours is very good as a volunteer fire department, but this truck will come out of fire station number two, and fire station number two is pretty much in our back yard so I think it's very important for our citizens."

Miller says the city's volunteer firefighter numbers are down to 13 from a normal 30 which is why St. Cloud's assistance is needed, and it would cost the city over two million dollars a year to have a full-time fire department.

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He says he hopes the city can get back up to full staff sooner versus later and the entire length of the contract won't be needed. Either city can opt out of the contract with one year's written notice.


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