Turkey Creek Township Trustee Barb Griffith presented her 2016 financial figures at the Monday, Jan. 9, meeting of the township’s advisory board.
Disbursements for the year totaled $2,264,170.36, with 94 percent constituting transfers to the fire territory.
The remaining $141,262.02 was utilized for general expenses and poor relief.
During the year the trustee’s office paid out the following sums in poor relief:
• $8,073.12 for rent to 16 landlords
• $25,183.08 for utilities, including electricity, gas and sewer
• $216.52 in medical and dental expenses
• $896.85 for food
Utility payments “skyrocketed” in December, capturing 16 percent of the year’s total, according to Griffith. “We had such a mild fall and then the cold weather hit,” she said.
The trustee’s office also disbursed $7,000 to the Syracuse Park Foundation and $6,000 in wages for lifeguards at Syracuse Lake.
General expenses included salaries for the trustee, township clerk and board members; payments to the IRS and Indiana Department of Revenue; office supplies; and other services.
Fire Chief Mickey Scott announced the department is accepting applications through Friday, Jan. 20, for a full-time firefighter/paramedic. Applications are available at both fire stations and at www.syracusefd.com under “Files.”
Scott reported the fire department is due for an Insurance Services Office review this spring.
“These ISO reviews evaluate information from our community on our structure fire suppression capabilities in order to set the public protection classification for our community.
“The lower the ISO number, the better prepared the community is evaluated to be,” he explained.
The ISO rating is based on three areas of evaluation:
• Fire alarm and communications systems, including telephone systems, telephone lines, staffing and dispatching systems (10 percent of the overall rating).
• Fire department, including equipment, staffing, training and geographic distribution of fire companies (50 percent).
• Water supply system, including condition and maintenance of hydrants, alternative water supply operations and the amount of available water compared with the amount needed to suppress fires up to 3,500 gallons per minute (40 percent).
The last ISO review, conducted April 2009, resulted in improved ISO ratings for the town of Syracuse and Turkey Creek Township.
“This was largely due to improved staffing levels as this was the first year of the fire territory,” said Scott.
“These ISO ratings are oftentimes utilized by insurance companies as a portion of the calculation to determine the homeowners’ insurance premiums,” he said.
“So if we can continue to improve our ISO rating as we have been working diligently to accomplish, this could possibly benefit our citizens with their insurance premiums and assure them our department is continuing to improve our ability to respond to a structure fire with improved training, staffing and equipment,” Scott said.
In other business, the members of the advisory board each signed a commitment to follow the township’s nepotism policy and submitted them to Griffith and township attorney Andrew Grossnickle. The commitment is renewed annually.
In other business, the board:
• Appointed Griffith to serve as the board’s secretary in 2017.
• Rehired Grossnickle as township attorney.
• Approved $10,500 for new IV infusion pumps for the fire department’s ambulances.
The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, at Syracuse Town Hall.