By Martha Stoelting
NORTH WEBSTER — Tippecanoe Township Board held its final meeting of 2020 Wednesday, Dec. 30, at the township building, North Webster. Much was accomplished in a short amount of time.
Reports from Fire Chief Jeremy Likens and Trustee Chris Francis summed up the year and outlining what is ahead so far in 2021. Jim Rhodes presided.
Schedules for the public input hearings on the possible formation of a fire territory between the township and the town of North Webster were passed out by Township Clerk Jen Cripe. The first hearing will be held 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10. The second will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, and the third 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 17. All will be at the Tippecanoe Township Building, 102 S. Morton St., North Webster. The public is encouraged to attend to learn about the proposed fire territory, and to have questions answered.
Likens stated November saw 78 EMS runs, 22 fire runs, with seven of the total being in Noble County. As of Dec. 29, there had been a total of 726 EMS runs, 247 fire runs with 41 of the total for 2020 being in Noble County.
Washington Township in Noble County has a contract with the township to supply coverage for fire and EMS services. That contract was approved by the board for 2021. Washington Township includes Wilmot and the Knapp Lakes chain.
Likens reported he had met with the Noble County director recently. He noted, “Staffing was an issue in Cromwell, which resulted in more calls for us than usual. New hires have been made so this should improve. The majority of runs into Noble County were in the contract area.”
All equipment is ready to go for the new year with trucks being serviced. Board member Jim Smith asked about radios as Kosciusko County is adding sites and coverage. Likens replied, “Options are still being looked at.” Medicaid funds for services rendered are still being held but should be released to the fire department in the new year.
“We have saved between 25 and 30 grand by switching our health insurance program and it is as good or better than what went before it. It starts Jan. 1,” commented Trustee Chris Francis. Board members were given Form 17 to sign for the state of Indiana that had been approved earlier. Annual wages for the township trustee are $19,000 and $24,000 for the township clerk. Members of the board will earn $2,000 a year. $51,000 is the fire chief’s salary for 2021.
Hourly wages are as follows: full time paramedic is $15-$18.36; full time paramedic-firefighter, $15.30-$18.36; full time EMT-A-firefighter, $10.25-$14.38; and full time EMT-B-firefighter, $10.20-$14.28.
Hourly wages for part time are custodian $12; paramedics $14-$18.36; EMT-A, $9.-$13.26; EMT-A-firefighter $9-$14.28; EMT-B-firefighter and EMT-B $11-$14.28; firefighter-first responder, $10-$11.22; and firefighter $9-$10.20.
Employees of the township breakdown is one trustee, clerk, part time custodian, fire chief and part time EMT-B. There are three township board members, five full time paramedics-firefighters, one full time EMT-B firefighter; nine part time paramedics; one part time EMT-A; two part time EMT-A-firefighters: seven part time TMT-B-firefighters; and one part time EMT-B. Currently there are zero full time paramedics, part time firefighter-first responders or part time firefighters.
The board also signed a required nepotism disclosure agreement.