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Agreement a win-win for Carnegie, emergency services

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

An ordinance passed last week by the Carnegie Borough Council spells out the expectations between the borough and the Carnegie Volunteer Fire & Rescue Bureau.

The ordinance also named the bureau the official fire company of the borough.

“We haven't done that in the past,” council President Pat Catena said. “The old ordinance recognized the paid fire department, which has been disbanded since the 70s.”

Representatives from the fire department could not be reached for comment.

The fire company is to provide the borough with emergency services and non-emergency and public service events or functions, such as clean-up after storms, according to the ordinance.

The borough, in turn, is required by the ordinance to establish a funding amount for the fire company in the borough's annual budget. The ordinance spells out what the money can be used for. The department must document how it uses the money.

“The borough is ultimately obligated to financially supporting the fire department,” Catena said.

The department must appoint a borough liaison who will meet with council every month to report on activities at the department. In October, the liaison, fire chief and borough president will meet to provide council with a report on operations and needs for the next year.

The ordinance had been in the works for two years. Council members had cited financial questions as hang-ups in negotiations with the fire department, namely the department's mortgage. The department still owes $680,000 on the building, and some council members looked to the department refinance the mortgage.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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