Boardman Township leaders have released a statement after Canfield City Council decided to oppose a merger between the Boardman Fire Department and the Cardinal Joint Fire District.

Township administrator Jason Loree penned the statement in conjunction with the Boardman Fire Chief and Trustees. The letter called Canfield City Council's decision "disheartening" and said the resolution opposing the merger passed without prior discussions, attending work sessions or participating in educational efforts.

The letter said the "if it isn't broke, don't fix it," mentality overlooks challenges facing fire and EMS systems in Mahoning County.

According to the statement, the discussions between Boardman Township and the Cardinal Joint Fire District revealed a critical issue - no one community has the capability to provide fire and EMS services simultaneously.

Boardman leaders argue that the proposed merger is more efficient and cost-effective to meet the needs of all involved. The statement says the notion that neighboring communities will provide support to cover service deficiencies is "unsustainable and jeopardizes public safety."

According to the release, the consolidation would save $3 million and the establishment of a Fire Prevention Bureau would add to overall fire safety efforts. They also argue that the merger would create a more attractive employment destination and help with recruitment issues.

Boardman leaders say they're committed to "researching and making decisions based on facts and data."

They also extended an invite to Canfield City Council to attend work sessions and ask questions.

You can read the full release below: