Princeton Fire could again serve part of Spencer Brook

The Spencer Brook Township Board may draft a contract soon to have the Princeton Fire & Rescue Department serve part of the township as the department once did about 10 years ago.
The majority of voters in the Spencer Brook Township election this past March said yes in a straw poll to a question of whether they would want the Princeton department to be the fire and rescue provider for part of their township.
As a result of the favorable response by the voters, the Spencer Brook board sent a May 15 letter to Princeton asking if its fire and rescue department would take over part of the township coverage. The letter noted the straw poll and the Spencer Brook Board passing a motion on May 13 to move 14 to 18 sections of the township into the Princeton Fire & Rescue territory.
The Princeton department once served the approximately west half of Spencer Brook Township. But as the Isanti Fire District expanded its facilities, that district took over the territory that the Princeton department had. Baldwin Township’s new fire and rescue department became operational about the same time and so Princeton also lost the Baldwin territory.
The Princeton department some years ago also lost the portion of Santiago Township that it had been serving for many years.
Princeton Fire & Rescue’s present territory includes all of the city of Princeton and the townships of Princeton, Greenbush and Blue Hill, and part of Bogus Brook and Wyanett Townships. Princeton once had just part of Blue Hill but took over the rest within the past few years, taking over the part the Zimmerman-Livonia Fire District had.
Princeton accepts invite
The Princeton City Council, with little discussion, passed a motion at its study session last Thursday to send a letter to the Spencer Brook Board to work on a contract for coverage by Princeton Fire & Rescue.
Princeton Fire Chief Jim Roxbury says the contract would detail the exact sections of Spencer Brook Township that would go into the Princeton Fire & Rescue territory, when Princeton’s coverage there would begin, and what the cost would be for Spencer Brook. Roxbury said on Tuesday that the Spencer Brook Board was scheduled to meet that evening, which was after the Union-Eagle went to press.
Roxbury said last week that having Princeton cover the western part of Spencer Brook Township would be beneficial for the township because of the Princeton department’s response time and its charges for coverage.
City council member Thom Walker asked Roxbury if taking on part of Spencer Brook might be too challenging for the Princeton department if there are fire calls in multiple locations at one time.
Roxbury and City Administrator Mark Karnowski responded that it wouldn’t be a problem. When the Princeton department is faced with multiple calls it makes use of mutual aid with other departments, Karnowski noted.
Roxbury also mentioned a tactic the department uses called “station shuttling.” For example, if Princeton firefighters need to assist the Milaca department, then Baldwin firefighters post themselves at the Princeton fire station to make sure the Princeton area is fully covered, Roxbury said.