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Monday, May 2, 2016

City council losing patience with trustee

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mayor Nancy Michael
City council losing patience with trustee

By ADAM COATES, Assistant Editor

Tough words were heard from members of the Greencastle City Council during their meeting Tuesday night as they expressed their growing frustration with the Greencastle Township Trustee's office and the lack of progress on an agreement to purchase a new fire truck for the Greencastle Fire Department.

Greencastle Township Trustee Thelma Bumgardner
In May, Fire Chief Bill Newgent said he needs to replace a 1971 Mack engine at an estimated cost of $450,000. The city asked the township to share in the cost of the new truck, but no agreement has been made. Newgent said he is trying to plan expenses for the next two years and can't move forward unless the fire truck issue is settled.

On Tuesday night, Councilman Mark Hammer criticized trustee Thelma Bumgardner and members of her advisory board for not agreeing to help the city pay for the truck. Now, he said, it's time to "force the issue."

On Monday, he and fellow councilmen Bob Sedlack and Russ Evans attended the third meeting in three months, with the township, to discuss fire department issues but did not get the answers they were seeking.

"I found it discouraging because I didn't see the township officials coming forward to help us with the issue," Sedlack said of Monday's meeting.

Mayor Nancy Michael agreed that the time to negotiate buying a new truck is running out.

The city is standing strong on its position that the township pay $275,000, over a period of three years, with the city paying the remaining $175,000 toward the new truck.

"Bottom line is we need to move forward with the truck," Michael said.

She went on to suggest that when the time comes for the township to renew its contract for fire protection with the city, payment for a new fire truck be specifically spelled out in the document.

"It's going to be a contract that is going to look for a certain amount of money specified for that truck," she said. "We're going to put it on the table and allow them to decide how best to fund it."

If the township still won't agree, Michael said in referring to what she said at Monday's meeting, the city is not required to provide fire protection to the township at all.

Bumgardner is holding her ground as well, questioning the township's share for the truck. She told the BannerGraphic Tuesday that she does not have $275,000 in her budget to give for the fire truck and does not want to borrow the money.

As of Tuesday, she and her advisory board had not made a decision regarding the funding.

The city is arguing that it is also paying $155,000 toward the restoration of the fire department's aerial ladder truck, which is scheduled to begin this month and will cost $250,000. DePauw Univer-sity is chipping in $100,000 with the city for the aerial truck.

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