Since mid-July, Madison Township has spent more than $15,000 on repairs and maintenance for township fire and EMS equipment for a department that is no longer run by the township trustees.
“It wasn’t fair to say, ‘Take this stuff, but we don’t know what’s wrong with it,'” said Mark Van Buren, township administrator for Madison Township. “I just wanted to make it safe.”
Fire and EMS services for Madison Township were contracted to Hanover on July 14, with the trustees citing cost and efficiency as the primary reasons for the Madison department’s closure.
“Further cost reductions will be achieved by not having the expense for equipment replacements, repairs and upgrades,” a letter to township residents from the trustees explaining the closure stated. “Several of the Madison Township fire and EMS trucks are in need of repair or possible replacement, a cost that will not be necessary under the contract with Hanover.”
The contracts signed by the trustees noted that Hanover had access to fire and EMS equipment in Madison Township, as well as the fire station, which was reopened two weeks after the Madison department closed.
But, Van Buren said he told the trustees at the July 14 meeting that when the department was closed there would be initial costs for maintenance and repair of the fire and EMS equipment. He said he told the trustees that he estimated those costs to be around $20,000.
The expenses paid on fire and EMS equipment were for truck and medic repairs, equipment maintenance and upgrades, according to the invoices obtained from trustees by The Advocate.
“We’ve done a lot of work on that equipment because no one paid attention to it,” Van Buren said.
Van Buren said that most of the money spent has been upgrading equipment to certification standards. There were air bottles that were at or past their 15-year shelf life, he said. Replacing those cost the township $1,319, according to the invoices.
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