Ferndale City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the continuation of a contract with Pleasant Ridge for shared fire and ambulance services.
Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter said he is “very happy” the city will continue its 90-year relationship with Pleasant Ridge and thanked city staff for their hard work on the contract.
"It was always our hope that they would stay with Ferndale and I'm delighted that they did," Coulter said after the meeting.
The total cost to Pleasant Ridge in 2012 was $265,000. Starting in 2014, the cost will be $250,000 with a rate increase based on the Inflationary Rate Multiplier, which is set by the state.
"Nobody took a big hit," Ferndale council member Mike Lenon said.
Ferndale City Manager April McGrath said not much has changed about the contract, but renewing it was an opportunity to discuss the partnership with Pleasant Ridge.
"It just was an opportunity for us to kind of sit down and talk with them and make sure they were happy with our services," she said.
The Pleasant Ridge City Commission is scheduled to vote on the agreement Tuesday.
Pleasant Ridge Mayor Ralph Castelli said in a press release last week that considering other options was a difficult but necessary choice.
“We still want to have a strong, healthy relationship with our neighbors,” Castelli said. “Considering alternatives to our relationship with Ferndale was a difficult thing to do, but we felt we needed to explore our options as it relates to fire services, and the contract required an extensive notice provision.”
McGrath said the contract required Pleasant Ridge to give two years' notice before a cancellation could occur. The new contract with Ferndale requires Pleasant Ridge to continue the agreement until at least 2016, McGrath said.
The agreement would continue indefinitely, barring any termination from either city, she said.
"It's a great thing for both communities," Lenon said after the meeting, adding that the money Ferndale receives from Pleasant Ridge for the services helps pay for a few of the city's firefighters. "We've had a good working relationship for a long time. Our response time over there is phenomenal."
Council member Melanie Piana said she especially appreciated the work of McGrath, Coulter and council member Scott Galloway in working with Pleasant Ridge community leaders to come to a conclusion on the fire contract.
“Thank you for all the hard work that you did on both communities' behalf,” she said.