Editor's note: This is the third in a five-part series highlighting five of the top stories around Plymouth and Canton in 2012.
Residents in both the City of Plymouth and Plymouth Township saw significant changes to the structure of the municipalities' respective fire services in 2012.
The City of Plymouth, beginning on Jan. 1, began its new joint fire agreement with the City of Northville, complete with a new fire station in downtown Plymouth. The move, however, meant a nearly $1 million shortfall for Plymouth Township, with whom the city had previously shared services.
For Plymouth Township, the shortfall led to the layoffs of six firefightersafter a millage proposal aimed at preserving fire department jobs failed to pass on the Feb. 28 ballot. For both the city and township, the moves called for utilizing a sizable network of paid on-call firefighters to respond to emergencies.
Not everyone was pleased with the moves, however. In Plymouth Township, citizen groups organized to try to stop the cuts. Plymouth Township's Citizens Action Group, which gathered petitions for the failed millage proposal, in particular was outspoken about the cuts—and the wording of the millage proposal on the Feb. 28 ballot.
The group, which had sought a 1-mill, five-year tax on a Special Assessment District to preserve staffing, took umbrage with the ballot language that stated the millage allowed up to 10 mills for the department's capital expenses, plus an unlimited millage for maintenance and operations with the figure decided annually by the board. A three-judge panel upheld the revised language in December.
- Follow the backstory on Plymouth Township's fire cuts here.
- View a timeline of the fire department changes here.