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Bainbridge Fire Department discontinues hazmat responses

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- At its last departmental meeting, members of the Bainbridge Fire Department decided the department no longer had the personnel to first respond to hazardous materials calls.

"Some of the items in our (hazmat) trailer that were dedicated for use with hazmat responses we would like to retain for departmental use," Bainbridge Fire Department member Mike Smith wrote in an e-mail to Putnam County Planner Kim Hyten. "Other items like the suits, testing equipment, etcetera, we would return for Greencastle and Cloverdale to divide."

On Monday, Hyten told Putnam County Commissioners that he had requested a list of equipment in the Bainbridge department's trailer.

"We would like to take these things if they haven't expired," he said. "These things do have a shelf life."

Hyten said he understood the BFD's decision to stop doing hazmat responses.

"There's a lot of training required," he said. "It's a tough situation, and it's going to get tougher for all these volunteer fire departments."

In other business, Treasurer Sharon Owens told the commissioners she was considering outsourcing county tax bills to professional graphic communications company Proforma.

"It cost us $13,200 to send out tax bills last year, and it would cost $9,600 to use this company," Owens said. "(Using Proforma) would be a great savings to the county."

Using Proforma would also save time, Owens said. It generally takes county employees two to two-and-a-half weeks to print, sort, prepare and mail bills. The turnaround time for Proforma would be 24 to 48 hours.

"The would need all the information by April 1," Owens said. "I think the sooner we could get it to them and the sooner we can get bills to the taxpayers, the better."

Owens said the significant savings to result from using Proforma would come from not having to pay county employees overtime and not having to replace ink cartridges in printers. Additionally, she said, Proforma receives bulk rates for postage, and the savings would be passed on to the county.

"I'm looking at any ways I can to save the county money," Owens said.

The commissioners took Owens' request under advisement, and will likely vote on it at their next meeting, which is set for March 15.

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"It cost us $13,200 to send out tax bills last year, and it would cost $9,600 to use this company," Owens said. "(Using Proforma) would be a great savings to the county."

$13,200 - $9600 = $3600

Save the county another $20,000 or so & we might break even on a recent bond payment.

-- Posted by ProblemTransmission on Wed, Mar 3, 2010, at 3:59 AM

How many printer/ink cartridges does it take to print the tax notices? One would think that the county/city governments would qualify for bulk mail rates. What do you say Mr. Postmaster? Why does getting out the tax statements necessitate overtime?

You get out as many as you can as quick as you can working straight time hours. Where is it mandated that every tax bill has to be sent out the same day?Recent history would indicate a thousand or more tax bills weren't sent out at all for several years.

-- Posted by exhoosier2 on Wed, Mar 3, 2010, at 7:51 AM

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