Judge temporarily sides with Long Lake in lawsuit against Orono over future of fire department

A Hennepin County judge granted the city of Long Lake’s motion for injunctive relief in a lawsuit with the city of Orono over the future of the fire department.

Long Lake Fire Department has been contractually bound with Orono for 20 years — this partnership is set to contractually end Dec. 31, 2025.

Orono City Council voted in June to take over Fire Station 2 and build its own department by the summer of 2024. Long Lake filed a lawsuit shortly after, claiming a breach of contract.

RELATED: Long Lake sues Orono over future of fire department

Under the judge’s order, Orono is urged to not violate the contract or try to recruit any of Long Lake’s firefighters. The city is also asked to not interfere with Long Lake’s contract with the Village of Minnetonka Beach and urged to not use or hinder Long Lake’s Fire Stations 1 and 2.

The two cities will work with a mediator, retired Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz, to agree on a transition plan, according to court documents. The plan will honor the contract while also preparing for providing fire protection services after the contract expires.