Ilion and Little Falls to share fire chief

Ilion and Little Falls to share fire chief

ILION – The village of Ilion and the city of Little Falls are dipping their toes into shared services by sharing the two municipalities’ fire chief and village treasurer, said Ilion Mayor Brian Lamica.

During the Little Falls regular common council meeting Tuesday night, council members approved the resolution, which sends their city’s fire chief to serve as Ilion’s chief part-time, and in turn, accepts the village of Ilion treasurer to work for the city part-time as an assistant treasurer.

“They needed a little assistance on the one end, and we needed a little assistance on the other end,” Lamica said. “There’s been a lot of talk about shared services over the years and we’re going to try it out. Like test-driving a new car.”

Lamica said the arrangement is not long-term, but will serve the village well as it continues to investigate and consider changes in the village fire department. A complaint made in November by a former employee has recently lead to some changes within the fire department, including the removal of Fire Chief Tom Pedersen.

The complaint could possibly open up the village to litigation and is thus being taken very seriously by village officials, Lamica said. Their investigation into the claims made and the workings of the fire department are ongoing.

In the meantime, Little Falls Fire Chief Robert Parese will come to the Ilion station Tuesdays and Thursdays for about 4 hours at a time, said Little Falls Mayor Mark Blask.

“I think it’s a real positive thing for both of us,” Lamica said.

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