WFD

 

Fire Department Funding:

A Changing History

Initially the fire department required that residence subscribe for fire services. If the resident paid the subscription fee, then the fire department would respond to their home and put out any fires that might occur. If the individual had not paid the fee, they may respond to the residence but would not put out the fire, they would just protect the residence of individuals that subscribed.

In the early 1940's the units of government (Williamstown Township, Wheatfield Township, Locke Township, and the City of Williamston) started funding the fire department and formed the first Fire Board. The expenses for the fire department were covered by those units of government and it was based on the population at the time. Williamstown Township, Wheatfield Township, and the City of Williamston, each paid 2/7 th’s of the expenses of the fire department, and Locke Township paid 1/7 th of the expense (there population was smaller). The Fire Board consisted of one representative from each unit of government.

In the early 1950's Locke Township withdrew from the Fire Board, and the remaining three units of government each funded 1/3rd of the cost for the fire department. Locke Township paid a standby fee on an annual basis. The Fire Board representation changed to two individuals from each unit of government, and a member-at-large that represented the entire coverage area.

The Fire Board continued to operate, and the units of government continued to fund the fire department out of their general fund until December 31, 1998. At that time, the Northeast Ingham Emergency Service Authority (NIESA) came into existence, and they began funding the department.

NIESA was established in November 1998, and took over funding the fire department as of January 1, 1999. It is an emergency service authority recognized by the State and Federal government and is able to levy a millage, that taxes the individual property owners, in our service areas, for the funds to operate. The funds received pay for the operation of Williamston Fire Department, Leroy Township Fire Department, and NIESA EMS. The governmental units that a part of NIESA are; Williamstown Township, Leroy Township, Locke Township, Wheatfield Township, City of Williamston, and the Village of Webberville. The NIESA Board consists of one representative from each unit of government, and a member-at-large that represents all governmental units.