HANOVER TWP. — A state lawmaker says the Hanover Township-Sugar Notch area is ripe for more fire department consolidation.
The grouping of six volunteer fire companies within a six-mile radius sparked a study by the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services nearly a decade ago to merge the stations into one or two companies — a move that never materialized.
Consider this situation:
• High atop McGovern Hill sits the Askam Hose Co. for the Hanover Township Volunteer Fire Department.
• Less than a half mile away is the firehouse for Warrior Run firefighters.
• A mile from there is the Sugar Notch Fire Department.
• About two miles from Sugar Notch is the Preston Hose Co. for Hanover Township.
• A mile from Preston is the Ashley Fire Department.
• A mile from Ashley is Hanover Township’s Newtown Hose Co.
With the announcement of Hanover Township Fire being awarded a $1 million grant for a centralized fire headquarters, the time might be right to revisit consolidation of more hose companies, said state Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township.
“As municipal budgets get tighter, so do municipal services,” Yudichak said. “What Hanover Township is doing is a big step to consolidate some of their fire companies to be more efficient. I know they are in discussions with neighboring communities.”
The $1 million is part of the Local Share Account, which receives gaming money from casinos, including Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. Hanover Township fire plans to construct its headquarters at the former Square H lumber yard on the Sans Souci Parkway and close its hose companies in Breslau, Hanover Green and Preston. Lee Park’s firehouse closed about three years ago.
Demolition of buildings at the new site began last September.
The study analyzed the fire departments and companies in the township, Ashley, Sugar Notch and Warrior Run. Ashley quickly backed out of any plans to consolidate and was followed by Sugar Notch and Warrior Run.
“We’re going to continue to push progress,” said Yudichak. “I know it’s slow, too slow for my liking. For most folks, regionalization is the way to go.”