Delay expected for Cloverdale fire study

Monday, July 10, 2006

Since February, the Cloverdale Community Fire Study Committee has conducted meetings regarding fire protection for the town.

At the February Cloverdale Town Council meeting, Cloverdale Township Trustee Daryl Branneman proposed a committee be formed to look at fire protection for the town, a touchy subject for Cloverdale in recent years.

The board voted in favor of the committee at the meeting by a 3-2 vote, with council members Judy Whitaker and John Davis voting against the measure.

The committee is composed of Branneman, Cloverdale Community School Corp. Howard Bowen, Cloverdale Community Housing representative Marie Leach, Clay County Rural Telephone Company representative Dick Rice, Cloverdale Agri-Center representative Norv Gottula, Cloverdale Town Council member Glen Vickroy, and Fred Mann of White Oaks Farms.

At the February meeting, Branneman told the town council the committee hoped to provide findings from the fire study by July 15.

The committee has conducted several meetings since February, but on Monday, Leach told the BannerGraphic the committee may have to wait a little longer to present its findings from the study.

"I think we're pretty well all in agreement," Leach said. "We've gotten some valuable information."

Leach said the committee has been on several fact-finding missions since February and visited a fire department in Farmersburg last month. In addition, she said the committee visited both the Cloverdale Township Volunteer Fire Dept. and the Cloverdale Fire Dept.

Leach said the committee could present its findings to the council before the end of the month.

Attempts to contact Branneman were unsuccessful.

At the meeting in February, Branneman told the council he thought the study should look at both fire departments in the town in regard to equipment needs, man power, building requirements, methods of financial support and obligations now and in the future.

In 2005, CTVFD filed a lawsuit against the town in regard to breach of contract. According to the lawsuit, the two entities entered into a written contract on Dec. 16, 2003, in which the town agreed to pay the fire department $71,400 in two semi-annual installments of $35,700.

In September 2004, the town council elected not to renew its contract with CTVFD, and formed its own fire department.

On Monday, Cloverdale town attorney Scott Hoff said a motion he filed for the suit to go to mediation was granted. He said the case is scheduled to be mediated by Putnam County Deputy Prosecutor Jim Hanner, but no date for mediation has been set.

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