Benton Township now in Monroe Fire Protection District, Washington Township in queue

At its weekly Wednesday morning meeting, Monroe County’s board of commissioners approved the inclusion of Benton Township in the Monroe Fire Protection District (MFPD). Benton Township will become a member on Jan. 1, 2022.

Sooner than that, Benton Township will start getting backup fire protection from the district for its volunteer fire department. A $450,000 contract between the MFPD and Benton Township will bridge the year between the end of Benton’s contract with Northern Monroe Fire Territory—because the two-township NMFT is dissolving—and the start of its membership in the MFPD.

The NMFT is dissolving because one of the two NMFT members, Bloomington Township, is joining the MFPD starting Jan. 1, 2021. The other NMFT member, Washington Township, is in the queue to join MPFD starting in 2022, on the same timeline as Benton Township. Public meetings on the topic for Washington Township start Sept. 30.

Last year, Van Buren Township, like Bloomington Township, was approved for inclusion in the MFPD. Continue reading “Benton Township now in Monroe Fire Protection District, Washington Township in queue”

Fire protection in Monroe County to be a fully involved topic in coming weeks

The Monroe Fire Protection District (MFPD) will be in the spotlight in the next few weeks and months.

Two townships in Monroe County, Benton and Washington, are looking to join the district starting in 2022, in a process that’s now underway and could be in front of county commissioners before the end of the year.

The nearly $12-million 2021 budget that MFPD chief Dustin Dillard is proposing  will get a close look from county councilors at a Tuesday, Aug. 25 work session.

Also related to MFPD and other rural departments that are looking to join the district, is a scheduled vote by the county council on allocations of public safety local income tax (PS-LIT) money.

In an early August vote by the PS-LIT committee of the tax council, Bloomington and Ellettsville members outnumbered county councilors 5 to 2, and voted to deny about $330,000 in requests from MFPD and other rural departments.

A scheduled Aug. 31 vote of the county council as a tax council member, which likely will support the rural fire department requests, is probably futile. That’s because the county council lacks sufficient votes on the full tax council to determine the outcome. But it could be the county council’s way of going on record in support of the proposed funding of rural department requests. Continue reading “Fire protection in Monroe County to be a fully involved topic in coming weeks”

County commissioners agree to put Benton Township on path to join Monroe County Fire Protection District

Benton Township residents can mark their calendars for a meeting on March 23 or 24 or 26 at 6:30 p.m. to be held at the Unionville Senior Center next to the township fire station out on SR45.

The topic and agenda of each meeting will be the same—a proposal for the township to join the Monroe County Fire Protection District (MCFPD).

Benton Township will follow a process similar to the one that saw Van Buren and Bloomington Townships join the fire district last year. Based on decisions made last year, by January 2021, the geographic area of the MCFPD will include Van Buren, Indian Creek, Clear Creek, Perry and Bloomington townships.

Benton Township would be added to the fire district starting in 2022. Continue reading “County commissioners agree to put Benton Township on path to join Monroe County Fire Protection District”