CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Town Council and Cloverdale Township Volunteer Fire Department -- joined by a contract to ensure fire protection for the town -- are once again drawing criticism as two former members of the town council have filed suit.
John Davis and Judy Whitaker filed papers in Putnam Superior Court on Sept. 2, alleging among other things, a violation of state law regarding the lease of the town's fire station to the township fire department.
A bit of history: On April 9, 2007, the town and the township fire department were reunited in a contract for fire protection after attempts to launch a town fire department that was independent of the township fire department failed.
Davis and Whitaker, both former members of the council, pushed to have a town fire department created and the contract with the township fire department terminated. But after operating for a brief time, the town fire department was disbanded and fire protection duties handed back over to the township.
As part of the contract approved on April 9, 2007, the township fire department was allowed to once again lease the fire station which the town owns, at a cost of one dollar per year.
But this week, Davis and Whitaker filed a lawsuit against the town, saying it violated Indiana law when it leased the fire station to the township fire department last year.
According to court documents, "Cloverdale did not follow either of the statutory procedures for leasing the fire station to the Volunteer Fire Department and Cloverdale Township in the contract."
They are asking the court to declare the contract null and void and prohibit the town from leasing the fire station to the township for the time being.
Also, Davis and Whitaker are alleging that the town gave (at no cost) fire equipment owned by the now defunct town fire department to the township fire department for its use. According to court documents, the equipment included "fire trucks, fire hoses, thermo-imaging equipment, turn-out gear and electronic equipment, which had been used up to the date of the contract by the town fire department."
The pair are asking the court "to find that the town violated Indiana statute by giving away the town fire equipment."