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Bainbridge fire department short on staff, supplies

Saturday, June 16, 2012

BAINBRIDGE -- As part of their many roles, the Bainbridge town council heard public comments during its meeting on Wednesday. On this night, the comment was to raise awareness for the fire department.

Dustin Osborn, vice president for the Bainbridge Fire Department, asked the council for help with staffing new members and coming up with fundraising ideas or support.

The fire department, which ideally would run with a staff of 18-22 members, is down to only 13.

It also still operates with a Class A pumper truck from 1989.

"We are currently looking for options on replacing the old truck," Osborn said. "We haven't done any fundraising yet, but we are trying to reach out to the community."

In addition to the truck, the department is hoping to upgrade a variety of other supplies.

A new truck would cost between $150,000 and $200,000, Osborn said. The department has a long way to go.

The Bainbridge fire department is part of a larger district fire department that covers Clinton and Monroe townships.

The district recently applied for a grant to help them purchase a new truck, but that would likely be stored at the Clinton Township station.

Having a working Class A pumper in Bainbridge is vital to the community.

Bainbridge has had a Class A for more than 30 years, Clerk-Treasurer Jason Hartman said. This has helped lower the town's insurance rating, which keeps homeowners insurance down.

The current truck is still in working order, but the department is trying to be proactive in the manner.

Osborn said he believes the fire department will begin hosting fundraisers this fall.

Although they are independent entities, the town of Bainbridge and the fire department work together closely.

With the storm sewage project nearing completion, the area will soon be seeded for grass.

When Council President Chuck McElwee suggested that now, during a dry period, may be an inopportune time to plant new seeds, he wondered aloud if there would be a way to bring water to the area.

Osborn offered the fire department's help.

"When you do have the area seeded," Osborn said, "the fire department will do whatever it takes to help the town out."

In other business:

- New utility employee Ronnie Black said he heard an update on the salt building construction, which is set to begin in July.

- The council discussed modifying the town building security system when its current contract runs up.

- Council members Chuck McElwee and Joel Thompson passed the first three ordinances of their Bainbridge career, a flood-plain allowance suggested by the county and two nepotism hindrances required by the state.

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Dear Bainbridge residents, have you every stopped and wondered why the current Clerk/Tresurer has not been on a public ballot for re-election. I have that question in my mind as well. I was told the reason was because no one else ran and the Clerk of the county did not know for sure if it was required by law, so the elected position was left off the public ballot during the last election for that position. Please some one tell me if this is actually true. I was always under the impression there were such a thing as write in votes. Thank you in advance.

-- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Sun, Jun 17, 2012, at 11:34 AM

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