HUNTERTOWN, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – On Monday night in Huntertown, more than 100 people gathered at the Huntertown Fire Department for a town hall meeting.
The meeting, led primarily by Deputy Chief Robert Boren, covered the station’s proposal for a new fire district in the area, as well as other parts of Allen County.
“Tonight we held a public information meeting about the potential formation of a fire district here for the City of Huntertown, Perry Township, Eel River and Washington Township,” Boren said.
Boren says the proposal, if approved, will contribute to public safety in the community.
Under current cantonal laws, taxes can only be increased up to a certain limit, which is why some departments have volunteer firefighters. Boren says if taxes go up, it would allow them to hire full-time staff.
“We’re talking pennies on a hundred dollars,” Boren said. “We’re not talking about several hundred dollars where things will change, we’re talking, on a daily rate, you can see things change up to 50 cents a day than you would have to spend to get the right protection against fires.
Boren says he understands why taxpayers don’t want to pay.
“As a taxpayer, you see your tax bill but don’t always understand what it’s for,” Boren said. “For that, you can just go to your local fire station just down the street from your house and see what has been done and how it improves safety for you.”
A primary goal is to create faster response times. Boren says the station has 15 volunteers, but right now that’s not enough. He says if approved, the proposal will allow their department to hire more firefighters and paramedics and respond to 911 calls more quickly.
“Overall, we’re talking about a change in public safety that we desperately need,” Boren said.
Boren says it may take a while for the changes to take effect, but when they do, he hopes it will have a real impact.
“It was important for us to try to do that by the end of this year,” Boren said. “We felt that if we waited another year we would be putting things at risk and we want to make sure we don’t.”
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