Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

January 24, 2014

Council terminates two township fire contracts

SHIPSHEWANA — “We need to move ahead and take charge of this situation,” an obviously irritated Mike Sutter said Thursday immediately following the Town Council’s drastic action to terminate Shipshewana’s fire protection agreement with two of the three townships that its fire department serves.

Council members voted unanimously to accept the town manager’s recommendation to terminate the contracts with Newbury and Clay townships, effective Feb. 28, and institute a yet-to-be-determined user fee system for calls made in the two townships by the Shipshewana Volunteer Fire Department. That would mean that any homeowner or business in those areas calling the department to request fire or emergency medical service runs would be assessed a fee per incident. The fee would even be applied to false alarms.

Greg Guerrettaz of Financial Solutions Inc. of Indianapolis, the town’s financial adviser, said that a typical user fee could be about $2,000. Sutter said it could possibly be higher, adding that the town has until Feb. 28 to come up with a fee schedule.

Sutter told the council that it needs to take strong action because the two townships have refused to renew their contracts with the town after protracted negotiations.

In a statement given to The Goshen News, he said that the proposed 2014 Shipshewana Area Fire Service Agreement was mailed out to all parties two months ago, with a signing deadline of last Friday. Failure to sign could result in fire protection being withdrawn by the end of this month. The pact even included a provision to forgive all previous fire charges levied on property owners in the townships.

Following Thursday’s council meeting, Sutter said that the dispute centers around the townships’ unwillingness to accept increased fees for 2014 that the town is proposing. Newbury was asked to pay $51,188 and Clay $3,083.

He complained that Newbury Township’s assessed valuation of property is particularly able to support its proposed fee.

Text Only
Local News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
     View Results
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel