I am 100% in full support of the New Carlisle volunteer fire department. These men and women answer the call every single day to provide this community with an amazing service of fire protection. I completely understand the difficulties that they are enduring with staffing and equipment issues.
With this said, I am not in support of this proposed plan due to the inflated budget, increased taxes on our small businesses, reducing the New Prairie United School Corporation and New Carlisle Public Library’s budget, and excluding Hudson Township. All of these issues will have great ripple effects that will negatively impact our community.
Increasing taxes on our small business will be detrimental to our small business community. These small businesses are staple of our community, and what justifies New Carlisle as “A Nice Place to Visit. A Great Place to Live.” I am not in favor of creating obstacles or hardships for any of these businesses to operate and create a profit. I am afraid that many of these businesses will not be able to produce the profits necessary to keep their doors open long term. Vacant buildings in downtown New Carlisle helps nobody and becomes a detractor to our community.
NPUSC is a great school system with amazing staff, faculty and programs for our children. At some point, roughly $500,000 will be cut from the NPUSC’s annual budget and devoted to this fire territory. The school has stated that they are not prepared for this large of a budget cut. I am a firm believer that a community is a direct reflection of their school systems and their incredible programs.
Along with the NPUSC, the New Carlisle Public Library will see a reduction in their budget at some point of over $200,000. They too are not prepared to handle this budget cut, and it may cause them to hire less staff, provide fewer programs and adjust their hours of operation. Many of us, to include our children rely on the resources our library offers, and it would be a shame if we could not utilize this amazing resource to our community to its fullest potential.
Hudson Township has been excluded from this proposed fire territory. I understand that they did not want to increase their taxes, but now they will be left to find new fire services starting January 1, 2020. There should have been better discussions to incorporate everyone in this plan, to ensure that each side creates a win-win. In my eyes, everyone loses if Hudson Township is not involved in this fire territory. They did account for roughly 24% of all calls in 2017. Including Hudson Township would also have decreased Olive Township and New Carlisle’s need to fully fund this fire territory alone.
I will not be voting in favor of the proposed fire territory on March 19th, 2019. I believe that we can work to create a better fire territory with a friendlier budget that allows the fire department’s needs to be addressed. I would like to include a representative from our businesses, school district, library, Olive Township and Hudson Township be involved in the fire territory committee. This would allow everyone to understand how each of their organizations would be impacted.
New Carlisle Town Councilman