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Shipshewana approves revised fire contract

The Town of Shipshewana and the three townships served by the Shipshewana Fire Department reached a compromise following their February 22 meeting that was approved by the Shipshewana Town Council Thursday evening.

Under the approved fire agreement, the budget for 2014 was set at $124,500. Of the overall budget, $114,500 would be split up four ways. Shipshewana and Newbury Township would each cover 40 percent, at $45,800 apiece. Van Buren Township would cover 17.5 percent with $20,037.50. Clay Township would take the remaining 2.5 percent at $2,862.50.

The balance of the $10,000 in revenue is expected to be made up by “Fire Service Calls.” The agreement calls for any shortages to the revenue below that $10,000 figure would be billed by the town to the townships at the same percentages that they were contributing to the overall budget. The agreement also states that the money will be remitted to the town within 15 days of the invoice.

If the fire department collects more than the $10,000 in fire calls, the additional amount will be credited to the township’s budget contribution for the 2016 budget based on the same percentages.

According to Shipshewana Town Manager Mike Sutter, the budget numbers were ones that the townships indicated would be satisfactory to the trustees and their board members. The fire agreement must be ratified and returned to the town by 4 p.m. on March 12.

In other business:

The Shipshewana Town Council approved the low quote from Collins and Company of Elkhart to replace the carpeting in the Shipshewana Event Center at $36,179. The estimated cost had been $50,000. The project will be completed during March and April when there are no events booked in the event center.

The council approved a recommendation to extend the food and beverage agreement with Riegsecker Marketplace through May 1 as they work on the final approval of the renewed agreement. Under the new agreement, some foods prepared off-site will be allowed for certain events, such as a family gathering. In the cases where off-site food is used, there would be no use of the kitchen equipment at the event center for those events.