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June 24, 2014

Cass Co. fire board responds to offer

Current fire district contracts renewed

Cass County Fire District 1 will not accept an agreement with Logansport for fire protection, the district board’s chairman says, explaining that former agreements for fire protection with local township fire departments have already been renewed.

Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin recently proposed to the district board that the Logansport Fire Department provide fire, extrication and emergency services to residents of the unincorporated portions of Clay, Eel and Noble townships. He made offers of $350,000 and $400,000, the latter of which calls for the hiring on of the district’s nine firefighters.

According to the minutes of the fire district board’s April meeting, board members moved to accept agreements with several local township fire departments in the county with the same contractual service fees as 2014. Cover letters to all contractual service units were signed and it was requested all agreements be completed and returned by June 1, as the board was not scheduled to meet in May.

The board’s June meeting was originally scheduled for June 26. According to the board’s secretary’s report read at a June 19 meeting, Dave Patty, secretary of the board, contacted Karl Myer, chairman of the board, June 3 to inform him he would not be able to attend the June 26 meeting. The meeting was bumped up to June 12 and copies of the agenda were posted at the meeting location — the Cass County Fire District on Holland Street in Logansport, as well as the lobby bulletin board of the Eel Township Trustee’s Office on High Street in Logansport.

Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin took issue with the rescheduling, calling it “a hastily called surprise meeting.”

The secretary’s report goes on to cite Indiana Code confirming the board adhered to the notification requirements of the rescheduled meeting. However, the board agreed it would be in the best interest of taxpayers to hold another meeting June 19, notify media outlets and vote again on everything at the June 12 meeting to avoid the potential costs of litigation that may arise from Franklin’s response.

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