ST. JOSEPH TOWNSHIP, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - The battle between a township trustee and a volunteer fire chief continues.
The St. Joseph Township fire chief says equipment is being sold without his knowledge. Indiana’s NewsCenter found out the township trustee is staying within his rights.
The trustee sent a list of items for sale to neighboring townships. So far a search and rescue boat has been sold. Also on that list is an engine, rehab bus and older command vehicle.
Along with selling equipment salaried firefighters were let go earlier this year. The St. Joseph Township Trustee, Richard Uhrick is allowed to do this because the firefighters were township employees and the township owns the fire department’s equipment.
"There's no question in my mind that if this is what that power can lead to, the abuse of that power, in my opinion, then it's not right, it shouldn't be allowed to happen. There should be laws designed around it. I fully support, based on what I'm personally experiencing, Mitch Daniels desire to eliminate township government,” said Chief Jerry Lencke, St. Joseph Township Fire Department.
Chief Lencke says he's forced to ask for aid from neighboring communities every time they get dispatched. He says that's because his fire department doesn't have the resources anymore during the daytime hours.
While the township trustee is allowed to sell equipment and let staff go he is also charged with the responsibility to have adequate fire protection. At this point, the fire chief tells me he doesn't think the community has adequate fire protection.
Thursday Uhrick refused an interview with Indiana's NewsCenter.
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