Hamtramck offering to provide fire service to part of Detroit - New York News

Hamtramck offering to provide fire service to part of Detroit

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HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (WJBK) -

We've been telling you about the problems plaguing the Detroit Fire Department, including cutbacks in money and manpower.  Now city officials in Hamtramck are proposing a partnership.

"We cannot continue to provide the same level of service with the financial resources that we have today," said Nevrus Nazarko, Hamtramck's finance director and acting city manager.

So he is doing the next logical thing.  He is searching for ways Hamtramck can generate new revenue, and he's proposing a plan that he believes will save his city from devastating cuts while also helping the City of Detroit.

"We are offering to take over, providing fire services in an adjacent area that encompasses Hamtramck."

Nazarko estimates covering that three square miles bordering Hamtramck costs Detroit $4 million.

"I believe that we can provide services, a better level of service, for less money."

That's exactly how he hopes to sell this plan to decision makers in Detroit.  He said Hamtramck has a lot to gain, as well.

"We're going to cover our costs and provide better service."

So what do people in the neighborhoods affected have to say?  Here's what we heard on the Detroit side.

"I really [wouldn't] care if they came from Hamtramck or Detroit as long as they came."

"It doesn't really matter to me who [responds] to putting the fire out."

There were some questions, however.

"If they've got a fire over there, how would they have time to get to a fire over here?"

Nazarko said if Detroit and Hamtramck reach a deal, he is prepared to hire more firefighters, including some who may be facing layoffs in Detroit.

While the plan may sound good to some, the real question is will it have the same appeal inside Detroit City Hall?

"I have a firm belief that ... it would be something that benefits both of the cities," Nazarko said.

Nazarko will go before Detroit City Council Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. to give them more specifics about the plan.

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