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Bloomington Township taxpayers subsidizing
fire protection for other townships

Printed in the Herald-Times, September 13, 2010

To the Editor:

In 2008, 24 percent of fire runs by the Bloomington Township Fire Department were to Benton Township and 19 percent of fire runs were to Washington Township, according to the annual report posted on the fire department's Web site.

Benton Township gave $46,400 to Bloomington Township for fire protection in 2008. Washington Township gave $53,300 to Bloomington Township for fire protection in 2008. The budget for the fire department's fire fund for 2008 was $1.276 million, according to township trustee Linda Sievers. Clearly, the payments by Washington and Benton townships are not covering the costs to Bloomington Township.

Recognizing that smaller townships need fire protection, it is nonetheless a problem that taxpayers in Bloomington Township are heavily subsidizing fire protection for neighboring townships.

This raises some questions. Could Washington and Benton townships afford to pay more for fire protection? How much is reasonable? Would it be advisable to consider a county-wide fire fund so that some townships are not subsidizing others?

The township trustee and the township board are up for election in 2010. The board and the trustee candidates should consider this issue and make a public statement to the voters.

Scott Tibbs.