After more than a year of preparation, the city of Nowthen expects to have an independent fire department by early next month.
“I think it’ll be exciting for the city of Nowthen to finally have their own department,” Mayor Jeff Pilon said. “It’s going to be good for the community to have our own identity in this area.”
Since 2007 the Ramsey Fire Department has provided fire service to Nowthen under a joint powers agreement, but in 2019 Ramsey initiated the two-year process to leave the agreement, after raising concerns over administrative costs to Ramsey as well as Ramsey’s needs as it grows. As Nowthen launches its department, it is contracting with St. Francis for administrative services. Although the department will be independent, St. Francis’ chief and assistant chief will lead the Nowthen department for the next three years.
According to Pilon, the city will pay $75,000 to $80,000 a year for administrative services from St. Francis, compared to the approximately $160,000 Ramsey was asking if the joint powers agreement continued.