Discussions continue over the future of the Providence Volunteer Fire Department. During the Monday, Dec. 13 meeting of the Weddington town council, members of both Providence and the Wesley Chapel fire departments acknowledged their respective boards had voted to move forward with talks. Each group appointed members to a steering committee, which will work to examine how a merger would work and what changes that would entail for both groups. While no definitive deadline for a first meeting of the committee has been set, the groups said they expected to start talks before February.
Weddington gives $210,300 to Providence each year. Even after Union County increased fees for homes in the Providence district to $82.75 for the 2010-11 fiscal year, Providence came up $58,114 short of it’s $517,367 budget, requiring a subsidy from the county’s General Fund. This year, Providence was one of four Union County departments to show a shortfall. It was the second largest, behind Wingate’s $71,853 shortfall. Faced with that reality, Providence officials said they were open to discussing a merger with Wesley Chapel.