Turkey Creek Fire Territory Board met for the first time in 2013 Thursday with new members and new projects to tackle.
Turkey Creek Township Advisor Kim Cates will serve as board chair for the fire territory. Bill Dixon, township advisor, is replacing township advisor Dennis Darr on the fire territory board and Syracuse Town Councilman Brian Woody replaces Councilman Bill Musser on the board.
During the chief’s report, board member Brad Jackson asked how the renovation of station one will be attacked. Cates asked if there are any designs or plans of the project for board members to review. Turkey Creek Fire Chief Mickey Scott explained there are no set plans for the renovation. The second story idea is based on drawings DJ Construction of Goshen provided.
Dixon explained, as the provider unit, the township is responsible for getting bids and overseeing construction of the renovation. As the project moves forward presentations will be made to the fire territory board as to the progress of the renovation.
There was a question of a timeline for the renovation. Dixon explained the project may be broken down and staged as several smaller projects.
Conversation turned to the purchase of a new truck. Dixon asked Scott if specifications for truck No. 1 have been drawn up yet. Scott said a committee is working on that.
It was noted this will be the last big capital expense before the fire territory goes into a decade of budgeting $170,000 for the equipment replacement fund, which will average out the taxes property owners pay. Up to this point, the amounts budgeted for the equipment replacement fund have been different causing taxes to go up and down.
The approximate purchase price for truck No. 1 is $250,000. Scott said this depends on specifications as well as new regulations and requirements that come out every year. Woody asked for the currently equipment replacement fund balance, noting it was not in the financial report. Scott said he didn’t have the number off hand, but said it’s around $1 million.
The department is also rotating medic No. 7, the oldest of the ambulances, with medic No. 8 to keep them from wearing out faster than necessary.
Dixon asked for an update on the public employee retirement fund. Scott said recommendations should be coming soon. If the department decides to go with civilian PERF, it has to be enrolled by July. If the department decides to go with 77 PERF, for police and firefighters, enrollment will be at a different time. Scott said he’s trying to give the board the maximum flexibility possible when it comes time to vote on the issue.
With civilian PERF, employees pay in 3 percent while employers pay in 6.75 percent. With 77 PERF, the employees pays in 6 percent while employers pay in 13.5 percent. Currently members of the department are doing a 401K style play with a maximum pay-in of 4 percent.
Scott noted in his report to the board for the fire department there was a balance of $128,498.41 from the 2012 budget. Approximately $70,002 has been moved to the equipment replacement fund with $58,496.41 remaining. Scott reported the remaining balance is usually taken into consideration by the Department of Local Government Finance in the future and taxes paid by the taxpayers of the fire territory are adjusted.