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      Traverse City and Metro Fire Departments inch closer to a merge

      The debate is reheating as the long talked about idea to merge the Grand Traverse Metro and Traverse City Fire Departments takes another step.

      The Grand Traverse Metro Fire Department chief, Pat Parker, is proposing a feasibility study to look into the pro's and con's of a possible merger between Metro and City fire departments.

      Metro sent an application for Governor Snyder's Economic Vitality Incentive program. Grant money that helps fund similar studies.

      The study will help determine financial, operational and the public impact of a merger between the two departments.

      City firefights remain confident that despite the results of the study, city supporters will still determine the outcome of the possible merger.

      " We're pretty confident that hopefully it would go to a vote of the citizens," said Traverse City Firefighters president, Chad Rueckery. "Hopefully we would have the citizens support. Sounds like they're trying to avoid that possibly, but we've been around for over 135 years providing a high level of service. "

      25 percent of the total costs which could amount to nearly 85 thousand dollars will be picked up by the state. Leaving the remainder for township taxpayers and the city to cover.