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P.I. Township/fire dept. relationship goes up in flames

Submitted by on August 21, 2013 – 12:24 amNo Comment

The Presque Isle Township District No. 2 Fire Department has stopped operating and owes the IRS for unpaid payroll taxes.

Patrick Pokorski, a former township supervisor and administrator of the privately-owned fire department said in a press release the unit was having problems paying bills because the township was not upholding its end of a contract for fire services.

“That is very false”, says Presque Isle Township Supervisor Brent Koel.  “They are under an IRS levy for wage taxes, do not have workmen’s comp, and have no insurance of any kind on their firefighting equipment.”

Koel told True North Radio that it’s a matter of public record that between July of 2012 and June of this year the department was paid in full for all services rendered, totaling approximately $142,000.

A special meeting was held last Monday at which time the relationship between the township and the fire department was dissolved.  In the meantime, Alpena’s Maple Ridge and Northside departments along with East Grand Lake are covering fire duties for the township.

Taxpayer money paid for all the equipment owned by Pokorski’s fire department.

No stranger to the hot seat, Pokorski survived a recall effort in 2010 amid allegations of misconduct in office following a tree harvesting incident on the historic Presque Isle County Lighthouse property.

The fire department consists of three people.  In addition to Pokorski, that includes his son Ross and Shirley Hart of Alpena.

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