Goshen News, Goshen, IN

February 25, 2014

Nappanee fire, EMS to try new system

By DENISE FEDOROW
Correspondent

---- — NAPPANEE — Nappanee Fire and Emergency Medical Services members will soon be receiving instant messages via their cell phones when a call goes out after action taken at Monday’s Board of Works meeting.

The request for the new system of alerting members came jointly from the chiefs of both departments. EMS Chief Jim Sumpter Jr. said all members with cell phones will receive all the calls as an instant text message and will also have an application that will bring up a map and directions to the site of the emergency call.

He said the information comes directly the Elkhart County computer-aided dispatch system but other than that, Elkhart County has nothing to do with it.

Sumpter said this system would not replace the pagers and beepers currently in use, but instead would be an additional tool.

“This would alert everyone, even if they’re out of the area,” Sumpter said, enabling them to know if the call is a major event whether they should return to respond.

Sumpter said they can have a two-week trial so the city wouldn’t be locked into a contract.

Fire Chief Don Lehman said the service is provided on a month-to-month basis and there is no contract so they can drop the service at any time. There is a $100 set-up fee and a charge of $50 a month. The cost would be split evenly between both departments.

The board approved getting the service from Code Messaging Inc.

Modular home purchase

Scott Hughes of Hughes and Associates, administrator of the city’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP-3), received approval to switch from a stick-built to a modular home for the rehabilitation of the property at 407 S. Main St.

Hughes said the project’s developer initiated the request and he said the possibility of making this change had been discussed with city officials in the past.

According to Hughes, the low bidder for the project was Silver Creek Homes in Elkhart with a bid of $142,491 for the home installed. After the meeting Hughes said that amount didn’t include some “soft costs,” including demolition of the current home, but he said the cost of the stick-built home was around $200,000. He told the board that a 25 percent deposit to start construction is requested with an additional 15 percent once the foundation is set.

In other business, board members:

• Accepted the offer of Mike Schmucker for the purchase of fire truck 4 for $2,500. Schmucker’s was the only offer received.

• Approved an exemption to the noise ordinance for the Park Department to enable them to start mowing and other work prior to 7 a.m. at the golf course.

• Approved a mutual aid agreement with Elkhart County Emergency Management.

• Approved requests for street lights at the entrance of Blackstone Subdivision and one for the area of 953-956 E. John St. More research will be done to see if other neighbors on East John Street are in favor of the streetlight. Street Superintendent Brent Warren reported that he is ¾ of the way through a city-wide survey of streetlights to see if there is need to add or remove lights in certain areas.

• Approved suspending water shut-off notices and water shutoffs while the freeze advisory is in place.

• Approved Ptl. Steve Rulli’s attendance at an active shooter threat training in Atlanta.

• Accepted the resignation of EMS member Larry Yoder effective Feb. 28. Yoder cited family obligations.

Freeze advisory Keep faucets running -- that's the message from Water Superintendent Gale Gerber. Gerber said the freeze advisory is still in effect, until further notice. Gerber said his office has received inquiries about the freeze advisory since last week's warm-up, but he cautioned that a warm-up often drives the frost line deeper. So to avoid broken water lines, Gerber said residents and businesses should keep water running in a small stream until the water department gives the OK to stop. He also reminded customers to get their names on the adjustment list if they are running their water if they want a bill adjustment -- that is the only way their bills will be adjusted.