NORTH WEBSTER — Discussion focusing on replacing two truck radios and how the county option income tax is determined highlighted the monthly meeting of the Tippecanoe Township Advisory Board’s meeting Wednesday, Feb. 12.
Heads up on equipment needing replaced by the North Webster Fire Department was given by Deputy Chief Dave Rensberger. Rensberger noted two truck radios are needing replaced, additional extrication tools and 2 1/2-inch fire hose are needed, along with the lighting on the department’s tanker needing upgraded.
Rensberger explained the two radios are not only old but hearing communication on one and programming on the other are the issues. An initial check into the new radios found an approximate cost of $1,300 each with a $2,000 installation fee.
Board Member Jim Smith and Board President Jim Rhodes suggested the department look into dual band radios (digital and VHF) for potential changes in communications county-wide. Firefighters already have the dual band portable radios.
Township Trustee Chris Francis briefly explained the 800 and VHF differences and noted the direction the county may be going is still up in the air. He said funds are available for the radios. New dual band radios were also suggested for the ambulances.
During the discussion about dual band radios, it was stated since North Webster Fire responds to calls in Noble County it would be easier to communicate. Rensberger stated he will get prices for several different types of radios as well as check into any possible trade in value of the radios being replaced.
Board members reviewed the 2019 annual report for the township and approved the report for advertising. Ed Clayton questioned how the COIT funds are distributed and the percentage the township received. Alyssa Schmucker, who works in the auditor’s office, reported the distribution amount is determined by the state that sets the formula and the amount is based on those working at township businesses and paying that tax. “A lot of people are working in the township,” Clayton and Schmucker noted. Francis provided figures on amounts received and distributions of those funds for 2019 ($174,226.70 for fire and $10,000 for township) and 2018 ($18,140 for the township and $222,929 for fire).
Rensberger did report the department made 70 runs in January, 57 were EMS calls and 13 fire calls. That total also includes 10 runs made into Washington Township in Noble County. A brief report was additionally given on the ice training held Feb. 10 with 19 participants.
During other business Francis presented a resolution to encumber $60,000 from the 2018 budget into the rainy day fund and received approval for a $1,000 contract with the North Webster Senior Center.
An update on the remodeling of the township building was provided noting a few things still need to be completed, including the north and south section of the roof, at a $4,000 cost and replacing linoleum in the food pantry area. Quotes obtained by Clayton on new LED lights were presented at $6.50 per bulb. A $5 rebate per bulb from NIPSCO was noted along with a $3 rebate for any bulbs not being replaced. The building has 440 bulbs.
Francis also reported flags have been replaced at Mock and Oak Grove cemeteries and quotes are being sought for benches to be placed in common areas at the cemeteries. He is also obtaining quotes for slag to be put down at the cemeteries. Additionally the board approved continuing with the same two individuals — Zach Ducey and Pierce Mackey — providing mowing at the respective cemeteries. Each person has one large and one smaller cemetery to maintain.