One invoice asked Hartford trustees to pay a portion of the Brookfield Township fire chief’s registration fees to a conference. Another requested that Hartford help pay for embroidered golf shirts. A third sought
partial reimbursement of the cost for a pre-employment drug test.
Hartford Trustee Rebecca Whitman said, personally, she did not have a problem paying any of these invoices – especially when Brookfield trustees explained that the golf shirts were part of the department’s
summer uniform, and were not a perk – but she had a hard time justifying the payments under the contract
the two townships have in which Brookfield provides fire and medical service to Hartford.
The contract requires Hartford to pay “a percentage share of any replacement purchases or repairs and
maintenance where the actual cost of purchase or repair relates to the provision of fire, EMS or hazmat
services to the residents of Hartford Township.”
Where do golf shirts and drug tests fit in under repairs and maintenance? Whitman asked at a joint
meeting Sept. 13.
“You want to bill for those things that are considered personnel or administrative,” Whitman said. “I
think, we want to pay those, but also we want it to be in the contract. If someone else looks at it and they
say, ‘Well, what are you doing that for?’ Believe me, it happens,” she said of residents questioning
The meeting led to a contract addendum, later approved by both sets of trustees, that allows Hartford to be billed for personnel and administrative costs of the department, said Brookfield Trustee Dan Suttles.
The contract has Hartford paying 14 percent of repair and maintenance costs this year and 15 percent in 2022, and the addendum adds personnel and administrative costs without altering the percentages. The addendum also keeps the cap on Hartford’s share of these costs at $20,000 a year, a figure that Suttles said
Hartford has not gotten close to.
Hartford also is paying $45,375 this year and $49,112 in 2022 as a base fee to Brookfield for fire service,
and can be billed up to $2,000 a year for training and education.
Brookfield trustees promoted their fire department as a career, professional fire department that treats
Hartford as it does Brookfield, but Whitman said she already knew that.
“You can ask anybody – I say you’re the best,” Whitman said. “You’re the best in Trumbull County. I do
brag you up. Working in EMA, I’ve seen what other departments do. We’re so lucky to have you, that we
can work with you.”
The two sets of trustees discussed ways that Brookfield firefighters can be more visible in Hartford
outside of responding to calls for service; the status of Hartford’s desire to buy a new fire truck; and a
request that Hartford buy a new pickup truck for the department.
Concerning the pickup, Hartford Trustee Phil Wilhelm said he would like a written request with cost
estimates for the purchase of the truck and equipment that would be placed on it