Community voices concerns to Floyd fire board trustees

Friday, March 1, 2013

HERITAGE LAKE --The board of trustees for Floyd Township Fire Department held a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Several audience members voiced their opinion on matters concerning the department and the board made several decisions to try and improve the department.

During the public comments section of the board meeting several members of the community stood up to speak about the fire department and about the board. Many praised what the department has been doing.

Resident Harold Paetow questioned the appointments of some of the fire protection board members. He raised the point that Indiana Code says appointees must have experience in a fire department or with EMTs.

Paetow stated he is looking to have at least one board trustee removed from their position due to the trustee's inadequate background.

Gene Hostetter attorney for the department stated that the Putnam County Attorney Jim Ensley was aware of the appointed trustees background and that Paetow was welcome to discuss the situation with him at any time.

With the discussion of trustee members and their backgrounds, a new board member was introduced at the meeting. Former firefighter Josh Atkin was appointed by the Putnam County Commissioners earlier in February.

After opening remarks from the audience the board moved on to another issue of insurance and the issue of lightning strikes on the building.

The board heard from two different insurance companies and decided to stay with the current policy as of now due to the situation with the lightning strikes that has caused the department to have to file several claims. These claims have put the department in a situation that might make them un-insurable if it continues.

Board president Jon Pearson has been in contact with the energy company that directed him to an engineer that will come out to assess the situation and what might need to be done to fix it.

The board also looked at the acquisition of a new rescue truck for the department. This was put on hold until insurance matter is fixed.

Another issue brought up was crewmembers living at the firehouse as a primary residence. Atkin made a motion stating that no active or inactive member in the community can maintain the station as their primary residence. This still allows for crew to stay at the station when on call.

In other business:

* Hostetter was asked to look at the insurance liability for having children at the department.

* Treasurer Ted Selzman told the board that Tri-County Bank would give a loan of $200,000 with a 2.49 percent interest rate to the department. Also, that $72,000 was left in the budget.

* The pump and ladder test for the engines will be performed in the next month.

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