(Beaver Dam) As we have reported, a lot of progress was recently made in negotiations involving the five townships that contract services with the Beaver Dam Fire Department, even though a new contract was not be in place when the current document expired at years’ end. The townships of Calamus, Lowell, Westford, Trenton and Beaver Dam comprise the Beaver Dam Community Fire and Rescue Association. At their last meeting, the townships agreed on a major sticking point: funding 25-percent of the cost to upgrade deteriorating water rescue equipment. Some township officials had previously indicated that they did not want to be charged for water rescue and cited state statute which places that responsibility at the county level. Fire Chief Alan Mannel says there is still a chance that the county funds a portion of water rescue in future budgets and if that is the case the townships would see a portion of their contribution returned. County Board Chairman Russ Kottke says he discussed the matter last year with the county administrator, vice chair of the county executive committee and the Dodge County Fire Chief’s Association. At the time it was determined that the 2017 budget was too tight but they would try to allocate $100-thousand dollars in 2018 with a similar amount possible in the two subsequent budgets. The fire chief’s association would then determine how to split it up amongst the county fire rescue entities. That is of course, if county officials adopt the budget with the funding in place. Kottke says it is “on the agenda,” but ultimately depends on how much sales tax revenue is collected. Fire Chief Mannel says he has the expectation that Beaver Dam would realize some of the funds. If the new contract is approved, the townships would contribute a total of around $55-thousand dollars over five years beginning in 2018 for water rescue equipment. While the contract with the Association expired on December 31, city and township officials agreed to a contract extension through the end of February. The Association is drafting their counter-offer and a final vote is expected during their regular meeting next month.