2/17/17 – An agreement was reached last night on a new five-year contract between the Beaver Dam Fire Department and the five townships that contract services with the city. The townships of Calamus, Lowell, Westford, Trenton and Beaver Dam comprise the Beaver Dam Community Fire and Rescue Association. At their meeting last night, the latest contract was approved on an 11-to-3 vote, along with a separate water and ice rescue contribution agreement. A primary sticking point over the past few months had been the townships role in contributing to costs associated with the replacement of deteriorating water rescue equipment owned by the city. The agreement as approved gives the city $55,720, which 25-percent of the total cost to upgrade the equipment, split five-ways and payable over five years beginning in 2018. Jeff Schmitt of the Town of Beaver Dam spoke against the contract last night, before ultimately supporting it, because he did not like wording that tied the townships to water rescue obligations. Schmitt maintained right up to the vote that state statute places the responsibility of water rescue at the county level. Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel said he does not disagree with the townships and while the sheriff is providing a basic service and the city chose to upgrade the service because the city can get out there much quicker. If the county does contribute, or if grant dollars for water rescue are realized, the townships will see 25-percent of their contribution returned.