The Cambridge Community Fire and EMS Commission has sent a 2020 budget request to participating municipalities, that increases spending 6.7 percent over 2019.

The 2020 budget adopted by the commission on Oct. 9 amounts to about $888,000, up from $832,000 in 2019.

It’s a drastically different picture from late 2019, when the commission sent municipalities a budget request with an 87 percent increase in spending over 2018. That increase was largely tied to the controversial hiring of six full-time EMTs.

The commission has representatives from the villages of Cambridge and Rockdale and the towns of Lake Mills, Oakland and Christiana. It operates fire and EMS services in those municipalities from a fire and EMS station in Cambridge

The budget is split between the five municipalities based on their equalized values.

Based on past equalized values, the approximate breakdown is 25 percent for Cambridge, 48 percent for Oakland, 21 percent for Christiana, 3.5 percent for the Town of Lake Mills and 2.5 percent for Rockdale. The actual dollar and percentage breakdowns for 2020 for each municipality haven’t yet been set as equalized values are still being finalized.

A budget report presented at the Oct. 9 meeting showed that in 2019, the portions amounted to $142,000 for Cambridge, $120,000 for Christiana, $20,000 for the Town of Lake Mills, $275,000 for Oakland and $14,000 for Rockdale. The rest of the $833,000 2019 budget -- about $260,000 -- was covered by ambulance run fees, rental of a communications tower, reserves and other sources.

Fire-EMS Station

In other matters, the commission voted to reach out to a design-building firm that has worked with the Fort Atkinson Fire Department, to beging planning for a new building. Ground is expected to be broken soon on the Fort Atkinson station, Oakland Town Chairman Eugene Kapsner said.

The meeting would be purely informational, at no cost, helping them step confidently into expansion of the fire and EMS station in Cambridge, commission members said.

A representative from the firm “has indicated they’re willing to come over and talk. I think that’s where we start,” Kapsner said.

“I’m all for getting information,” Cambridge Village President Mark McNally responded.

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