Two western Marquette County communities that had operated a joint fire department with each other for more than a decade have parted ways.
Champion Township and Humboldt Township created a joint fire department in 2002. It ceased to exist at the end of March. Humboldt Township has opened a new fire hall while also buying two trucks for its new fire service to use. Humboldt and Champion are still working out how the assets of the joint fire department should be divided.
“We have scheduled ongoing negotiations to resolve the fiscal issue, along with Champion,” Humboldt Township Supervisor Joe Derocha said. “Beyond anything like that, I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on anything further as to the direction that’s gone.”
Champion Township Trustee Larry Arsenault also said that because of the negotiations, he and the other members of their township board had no comment.
Humboldt’s new fire department has 23 members. It bought one of its trucks from the Skandia-West Branch Fire Department.
“We purchased the truck and the gear that was on the truck, so we were operational for April 1st,” Derocha said. “That has allowed us to just make a seamless transition in our fire protection for our residents.”
Humboldt’s fast-attack fire truck came from the DNR. It had previously been in use on a naval base in Maryland before the state of Michigan bought it.
Derocha says the township is hoping to get five years of useful life out of each truck.