Bradley County Commission rejects fire departments merger

Arkansas-Ole Miss Live Blog

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - The Bradley County Commission has rejected a merger between the county fire department and the Cleveland Fire Department.

The vote was 8-6 on Monday.

Commissioner Mel Griffith, who made the motion that received the majority vote, said the county will continue to develop its full-time department. The decision does not rule out any future talks with the city on some contract, Griffith said.

The county now contracts with the city to provide fire protection service in an urban area around the city limits. That contract expires in 18 months.

The county fire department has two full-time stations backed by eight volunteer stations. It responds to calls in the rural areas.

A city-county task force to examine the fire department merger recently presented its findings to the Cleveland City Council and County Commission after a six-month study.