MADISON, Wis. -

The Madison Fire Department will be taking over service for the Village of Shorewood Hills.

City and village leaders said work on the agreement started in the spring and led to the takeover at midnight Monday.

Before that, the Shorewood Hills department had protected the village for the last 86 years.

Community leaders explained the reason behind the change Wednesday, citing an aging volunteer force, the rising cost to run the department, a lack of new recruits and increased response times.

“The village led the talks. The village came up with terms. And the village even suggested the base price for the agreement. The city of Madison was gracious in their acceptance,” said Keith Anderson, former Shorewood Hills fire chief.

“It makes sense in this day and age to look to consolidate some of these resources in the county. We have a lot of functioning fire departments, and we have dwindling resources for personnel,” said Steven Davis, city of Madison fire chief.

Officials from both communities said they’ve been working together for years and the 50 year contract will keep that partnership running for a long time to come.