Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board Monday conducted the first reading of the fire territory’s 2015 budget, totaling $1,565,661 for operations and $210,000 for the equipment replacement fund. The board noted only about half the budget will come from property taxes, 14 percent from properties within Syracuse and 86 percent from township properties.
The remainder will be derived from the county option income tax (about $140,000), approximately $200,000 in ambulance fees and a 20 percent, or $306,732, carryover from his year’s operating funds made possible by Fire Chief Mickey Scott’s “frugality,” according to board members.
Township Trustee Barbara Griffith presented the updated budget expenditures of her office. The only extraordinary expense was $1,420 from the rainy day fund to install magnetic locks on the doors at fire station one.
Griffith requested permission to apply for a new credit card for the township. The current card was deactivated by the bank due to a change in federal law prohibiting political subdivisions from receiving bonuses from credit card accounts. The township had been receiving “reward points” for its use of the card. The board unanimously approved authorization for Griffith to apply for a new card.
The board also unanimously approved additional appropriations $540,600 for station one renovations.
The board gave the go-ahead for Griffith to contract for new fencing for the Bethel, Byers and Waybright cemeteries after damaged and diseased trees are taken down.
Scott announced the department received a $5,039 refund from its worker’s compensation insurance policy. The refund was merited because the employees who recently joined the 77 PERF fund have their disability paid by that program rather than worker’s compensation.
Reported activities of the fire department included providing EMS standby and traffic control assistance for the annual Kiwanis triathlon held Aug. 9; EMS standby at all Wawasee High School home football games; annual testing of fire hoses and pump testing of apparatus; job shadowing through November by a Wawasee High School student.
Scott presented the final timeline he received from the contractor for completion of renovation work on station one. The remaining work, which includes completing walls and ceilings; painting and masonry; and installing lighting, sprinklers, flooring and trim, is slated to be finished by Sept. 26.
The board unanimously approved expenditure of $1,500 to purchase a smoke machine for firefighter training. Scott explained obtaining permission to train with live fires, such as controlled burns of abandoned buildings, is becoming more difficult due to tightened federal and state regulations, and purchase of the smoke machine is essential to replicate real-life conditions to facilitate training. The smoke machine costs $3,000; volunteer fire department members will pay half the cost with proceeds from fundraisers.
Scott notified the board CSX will close several railroad crossings in Syracuse for repaving Monday and Tuesday. Cross streets are Bishop Road, Warner Road, Eastshore Drive, Front Street and Main Street. The East Wawasee Drive and Huntington Street crossings will remain open.
The fire department will participate in a 9/11 ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, at the Veterans Memorial in Crosson Mill Park in Syracuse. The event is being planned by the American Legion and VFW.
The board will next meet at 7:15 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, at Syracuse Town Hall.