By Deb Patterson
NORTH WEBSTER — During a short 20-minute meeting Wednesday night, April 14, the Tippecanoe Township Advisory Board agreed to have a resolution drafted offering free burial sites for first responders and honorably discharged veterans. A resolution to that effect will be presented at the May meeting.
Chris Francis, the township trustee, noted the North Webster American Legion owns 12 plots at Mock Cemetery, with 10 left and after talking to several individuals, he presented the idea to the board. He noted there would be some parameters, such as serving for 20 years or more. “There’s plenty of lots available at Mock Cemetery,” Francis stated, with it being noted there is also room to expand the cemetery when necessary.
It was also brought to the board’s attention there have been several headstones that are broken at Oak Grove and Mock cemeteries. He’s working to get them repaired.
Francis stated these are older stones and there has been an offer of excavating equipment. Clean-up of the cemeteries will be taking place during the next several weeks, with Richard Owen and his staff already working on clean-up.
Francis also gave a report on receipt of ambulance billings, after noting a bank issue that is being resolved. He stated more than $202,000 has been billed for ambulance services since October with only $44,000 received, $62,000 made in adjustments and $154 in write-offs. Additionally, he provided a breakdown of how the $44,000 was paid with only $2,678 being paid by the actual patient. The remainder was paid through various insurance sources.
This report prompted a question from Ed Clayton, board member, regarding how the ambulance fees are established. Alyssa Schmucker noted different things come into play with different level of services, but the fees are based on what is being charged by services around North Webster. North Webster Fire Chief Jeremy Likens noted their fees are in line with the charges of Turkey Creek Fire Territory.
Likens presented the monthly fire report stating there were 210 runs so far this year for both the fire and EMS. During March there were 42 EMS calls and 17 fire calls for the department. The monthly figures did not include any Noble County calls, which he indicated were more fire than EMS.
Additionally, he noted the siren test and ladder testing were successful with hydrant testing to occur during the remainder of April and into May. He also reported no word has been received on the FEMA grant for new radios and an application has been sent in for a $150,000 grant through Indiana Homeland Security. Awarding of that grant will be known between August and October. The grants are for the purchase of new radio equipment in association with the new communication towers being built by the county.
The next meeting of the township board will be Wednesday, May 12.