Turkey Creek Township Trustee Barb Griffith released her department’s 2017 annual report at the township advisory board meeting Monday, March 12.
The cash fund statement indicates a year-end balance of $5.34 million. “That is the largest amount we have ever had,” said Griffith.
The township took in $2.46 million in revenue and disbursed $1.68 million during the year. The fire territory equipment and general funds accounted for 97 percent of the township’s revenue.
The township disbursed $38,394 in poor relief:
• $8,244 for housing
• $27,101 for utilities
• $1,786 for food
• $2,263 for funerals, burials, cremations and medications
In her monthly report, Griffith noted a spike in utility payments in February, nearly twice as much as was disbursed in January. The township paid out $3,130 in February, up from $1,607 the previous month.
Griffith attributed the uptick to several factors.
“NIPSCO is catching up with our clients,” she said. “People on the budget plan are having to pay any excess coming due this time of year. It is an expense people don’t necessarily expect.
“People haven’t gotten their tax refunds yet to pay for the increased bills. Plus we had that cold spell in February.”
Griffith also requested the board to increase the maximum poor relief benefit amount.
Currently patrons of the trustee’s office can receive up to $75 in assistance each month; once a year the client can receive up to $100.
Griffith asked those amounts to be increased to $125 and $150 respectively. “We have been at the $75 level for more than five years,” she said.
“That is really very little for those who need help. We have plenty of funds. I am really impressed with how people are using the poor relief. Very few are abusing the system.”
The board unanimously approved the increase.
In his report, Turkey Creek Fire Chief Mickey Scott said his department provided public CPR, AED and first aid classes in February.
“We encourage everyone to know when and how to provide CPR and use an AED,” he said.
“We need our citizens to be involved to provide the best possible care during a cardiac arrest situation. We cannot overemphasize the importance of bystander CPR prior to our arrival.”
He said anyone interested in taking the class should call (574) 457-4100 or (574) 457-5507 to register. Classes are provided free.
Scott also advised, with the recent time change, homeowners should change the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. “Also, if your alarm is more than 10 year old, it is time to replace it,” he said.
The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Monday, April 9, at Syracuse Town Hall.