"I don't know if it'll pass or fail," says John Kingsley, Webster's supervisor. "But I know if we voted on it in January, it would have been six to one against, and I would've been the only one for it." Kingsley was for it because he's convinced that the merger will save the rural township's residents money while improving fire response times. The rest of his board wasn't so sure--and if they aren't convinced by the 20th, the merger won't happen.
Along with Dexter village and Dexter Township and part of Lima Township, Webster is currently served by the Dexter Area Fire Department. So was Scio Township--until it chose to form its own department in 1986.
"I was around when Scio split off," says Harley Rider, Dexter Township clerk. "They thought they could do it better alone. It didn't make a whole lot of sense to me then, and it doesn't now, when they've got a station right across the street from one of ours."
But times change, and so do township boards. For the last two years, Scio has been in talks to consolidate fire services with the Dexter department.