The City of Venice has killed plans to cut costs by consolidating its fire department with Sarasota County’s. City Council’s approved a new 3-year contract with the International Association of Fire Fighters which represents the city’s firemen. The city’s worried about rising pension costs. In the 2015 budget, the Herald Tribune reports firefighter pensions will eat about one third of the departments budget. The fire department’s spending close to $1.9 million on pension costs of its $6.2 million budget. Under the new contract, all new hires have to join the Florida Retirement System, and several of the 45 existing employees have already switched to the state system, helping the city safe money.