Letters: Support the Van Buren fire department

To the editor:

I am elated that this lawsuit with the trustee/advisory board and the fire department is over and didn’t end up going to a very expensive jury trial.

I live in Van Buren Township and cannot believe that an elected trustee cannot seem to fulfill her job requirements; makes decisions for the township on personalities, rather than principles; and believes she needs to be in control of everything and everyone.

What has the Van Buren Volunteer Fire Department done for her to go to the extent she has? It certainly isn’t about “full financial” information, because I was told she had everything up to date through April 2017, and even had their books and made copies — so I have to ask, what was this really about?

The biggest job of a trustee is to contract with a volunteer fire department, and we have one right here, in a new building and are active. After this July 3 meeting, she is now not contracting with any fire department at all which puts our township in danger of medical and fire services. Our homeowners’ insurance could be tripled or even cancelled because of this.

I had a conversation with Chief Ward at the fire department and thank goodness for our residents, they are going to continue to run and take care of all runs for as long as they can. Now without a contract, they will be looking into all sorts of things to raise money to stay open. Ward said, we haven’t given up on our township and will do everything in our power to stay open. We haven’t given up on our township!

Being a taxpayer, it makes me sick that my tax money isn’t going to the department that supports us.

The other area of concern is the grant for their new building. The current fire department has to remain an active department until 2020, or the whole county is on the hook to pay back the federal OCRA grant in the amount of $400,000 with the commissioners being the recipients of this grant. If this would happen and the grant would have to be paid back, Brown County as a whole would lose ALL grants for this county — and that, my friends, would be devastating!

I just know that when I dial 911, I want my fire department here as soon as possible, wouldn’t you? Don’t we as a township deserve that? We sure are paying for it! It seems obvious to me and hopefully to you to, that our current trustee/advisory board doesn’t care at all about our township residents.

Why is the trustee/advisory board starting a NEW fire department? I think this township government needs to get their priorities straight, stop their childish ways, and help build the fire department we already have. I urge you to stop by the fire department and talk to the fire personnel and to the board members.

H. Michael Breedlove, Van Buren Township

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