Keeping town government and the fire department separate will not be sustainable long-term if growth continues to put pressure on local resources, a consultant told Wake Forest leaders this week, while warning that a merger will not come cheap.
The consultant, EnviroSafe, analyzed the feasibility of the town absorbing the Wake Forest Fire Department and making it a department within the town. The fire department is currently an independent nonprofit that receives funding from the town but is administered through a separate board of directors.
The study found a unification with the town government would likely improve efficiency and reduce costly firefighter turnover. But the town would probably pay at least $1 million more in the first year of a merger to provide retirement benefits, information technology and other resources to the department.