WEST MIDDLESEX – If West Middlesex Fire Department and Shenango Township Volunteer Department successfully merge, the resulting entity will be called West Middlesex Area Fire District.

Officials from the two existing departments released that information to West Middlesex Council last week as talks to combine the two departments continue. Formal discussions between the two have been ongoing since last September.

Members of the merger committee told council members that the committee's work in crafting a merger agreement was nearing completion. However, they said in order for the merger to proceed it required approval of West Middlesex Council and Shenango Township Board of Supervisors.

Bob Tesone, West Middlesex's solicitor, said there were a number of issues that had to be addressed by the borough. Tesone said those issues include borough lien on at least one fire truck used by West Middlesex Fire Department.

"You would also need approval of the lender,'' Tesone said on the outstanding loan.

He said any agreement also would require approval from Common Pleas Court of Mercer County to ensure that the pact addresses all of the legal requirements.

Both municipalities collect property taxes designated for the fire department, which would have to be standardized for the new entity.

Fire department members said they are also looking for a location to build a new fire station, with work expected to begin in about five years. Members of the merger committee said they are looking at locations central to the to-be-formed fire district along Route 18 near West Middlesex borough.

West Middlesex Council President Bob Lark said council will take the request under advisement after reviewing the matter with Tesone. He also said council will meet with Shenango Township supervisors to discuss further steps.

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