NORTH WEBSTER — Tippecanoe Township has operated the past year under the leadership of a new township trustee, Christopher Francis. His first year has seen a lot of activities that will carry over into 2020.
Francis feels fortunate to have Jen Ducey as the township clerk; her vast amount of knowledge is a valuable asset to Francis and the advisory board. Francis noted the township advisory board members James Rhodes, Ed Clayton and James Smith “have done a phenomenal job and they have been very progressive; while keeping our citizens and taxpayers in mind.” While all township employees will see a financial raise for 2020, Francis did not seek one for his position.
Francis noted the township is currently working on transferring the ownership of the ballpark to the Wawasee Community Summer League. “We met with the youth league board in January and we have built a fantastic relationship. The youth league members have put forth a tremendous amount of work at the ballpark and our community is blessed to have such an amazing group of individuals,” said Francis.
Upgrade Of Township Building
Recently the township has started a remodel and upgrade of the township building. That facility provides office space to the food pantry, North Webster Lions Club and Boy Scouts and the North Webster/Tippecanoe Township Chamber of Commerce. Once completed, look for the improvements to be showcased to the public. Francis noted the large meeting room and kitchen are available for parties and events.
North Webster/Tippecanoe Township Fire Department has continued to grow under the leadership of Fire Chief Jeremy Likens. “The men and women of our emergency services are dedicated, educated and willing to serve. I am proud of each and every one of our firefighters and emergency medical technicians. In January, we completed the purchase of our first four-wheel drive ambulance. It is essential that our crews have the tools to operate in the variety of weather conditions we experience,” said Francis. The advisory board approved the purchase of a new command vehicle and a grant from K21 covered the cost of two new cardiac monitors on the ambulances.
Francis said “The K21 Foundation has treated our community amazingly throughout the years and I am extremely thankful for their support.”
Currently the advisory board is involved in a study to determine the financial future of emergency services. It has vowed to keep the ambulance service local. “Our nation has a shortage of volunteer firefighters; which is extremely alarming. Our state government is aware of the issue, yet little has been done to provide a remedy. We must ensure that our residents and guests receive the absolute best emergency services we can provide in their time of need. The last several township trustees and boards were involved in the modernization of our fire department fleet; which is one of the best in the county. Our current focus has been on staffing and pay.”
There have been a few changes. Such a change is with the cemetery bid process. Francis stated in 2020 the board will concentrate on infrastructure upgrades within the cemeteries; which include landscaping, new stonework and repairs.
“Our jobs are only possible with the support of our community. I appreciate each and every one of the taxpayers and I look forward to serving in 2020.”