The Turkey Creek Township Advisory Board Monday evening, June 13, passed two resolutions forming and filling a state mandated oversight committee.
“State statute requires townships to nominate an oversight committee to provide checks and balances,” township attorney Andrew Grossnickle explained to the board.
Grossnickle provided the board with a flow chart of responsibilities and presented Township Trustee Barb Griffith with the directive she signed at the meeting.
The first resolution created the committee; the second ratified the directive and appointed board members Kimberly Cates, Dennis Darr and John Heckaman to the committee.
The newly adopted policy requires Griffith to report any loss of money or items to the committee and the state auditor.
Grossnickle viewed the exercise as largely academic. “You’re already doing most of the flow chart,” he said. “It’s just that now the state is requiring” the formalized procedure.
Cates nominated Cindy Taylor to fill the at-large vacancy on the Turkey Creek Territory Executive Board. Her nomination was unanimously approved by the board and will be sent to the Syracuse Town Council for consideration.
In other business:
• Griffith announced remediation work on Union Cemetery will begin “later in July or maybe in August.”
• Griffith explained a significant uptick in utilities assistance in the township’s poor relief budget. The township disbursed $2,283.25 in May, compared to $958.47 in April. “About 70 percent of the people seeking assistance are on a budget plan with NIPSCO,” she said. “NIPSCO updates the plan in May and most of the people have underpaid.” Township disbursements help make up the shortfall.
• The town council failed at its May meeting to address approval of the board’s $27,000 allocation for new overhead doors and openers for Fire Station 1. Fire Chief Mickey Scott said, “We are working on getting a vote on this.” He said the current bid was given May 10 and such bids “are usually good for 30 to 60 days.”
• The board unanimously approved a change in the deputy fire chief’s job description to allow paid time off after working extra shifts. The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits overtime pay until an employee works 216 hours in a month, creating a situation where an employee may work overtime without receiving overtime pay.
• Scott reported the department went on 138 emergency runs in May. “There was a total property loss of an estimated $80,000 due to a barn fire,” he said.
Scott also invited the public to two upcoming events:
• A CPR hands-on class at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23, at Fire Station 1, 402 N. Huntington St., Syracuse. Members of the public may sign up by calling (574) 457-4100 or (574) 457-5507.
• The department’s annual pork chop and chicken barbecue fundraiser, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, July 2, at Station 1. Pork chops and chicken halves are $6 each; corn on the cob costs $1 each. The fundraiser will continue until sold out.
The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Monday, July 11, at Syracuse Town Hall.