WEST LIBERTY, Iowa–The City of West Liberty issued a response to a letter they received April 11 for the West Liberty & Rural Townships Fire & EMS Association. After ongoing tensions between the city and the West Liberty Volunteer Fire Department, the department expressed interest in forming an independent 28E agency if they could not come to an agreement with the city by May 1. The city’s response follows verbatim.
We have reviewed a letter from April 7, 2022 (received by the City on April 11) by members of the West Liberty & Rural Townships Fire & EMS Association (furthermore known in this statement as “the Association”). The Association’s letter has now been provided to various media and social media outlets.
The letter contains substantive allegations that the City deems to be either wrong or wholly unfounded. The dispute regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Rural Fire District and the City, which includes the West Liberty Fire Department in the suit, is currently pending in Iowa District Court. The City is confident that there will be a successful outcome for the West Liberty and Rural Community.
We are not able to go into details regarding the Rural Fire District’s allegations due to the pending litigation; however, we can assure you that the City remains committed to participation in formal mediation, where the parties sit down with a third-party neutral mediator in an attempt to reach a resolution to the dispute.
It is our sincerest hope that the Rural Fire District agrees to such participation, amicably resolving the pending dispute between all involved parties. The City remains willing to mediate the matter over the next three weeks.
If an agreement cannot be reached and the Rural Fire District Association volunteer members follow through with their formal resignation, the City remains committed to providing emergency services within the City limits and rural community and is exploring options for alternate fire and EMS protection services, despite our wishes to agree upon a resolution with all involved parties.
The City remains dedicated to the safety and security of ALL of our citizens.