Your view: Plymouth Township supervisors made difficult decision

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The Plymouth Township Board of Supervisors would like to thank all the residents for their calls and support on the very difficult decision that had to be made about our volunteer fire company.

Unfortunately, sometimes circumstances change situations and adjustments must be made. In the case of Plymouth Township, that’s what happened.

In 2008, Tilbury Fire Company borrowed $600,000 on a 40-year loan to upgrade their building. The Board of Supervisors was approached by fire company officials in 2014 and made aware of the loan and that they also had a $50,000 line of credit that was maxed out. Since then, $113,000 in addition to the regular amount of taxpayer dollars usually allotted to the fire company have been helping to pay their bills.

Each consecutive year, the has company needed the financial assistance sooner and sooner. For those who may not be aware, the volunteer fire company is a private organization and the township government has limited access to its business and finances.

A year ago, the board met with the department and was told that they wished they did not have the burden of the loan. Supervisors asked if the building was the only thing on the lien and the department responded that it was.

The supervisors started working in another direction to help, and within six months purchased two acres of land directly behind the municipal building. In May of 2019, the board met again with fire company members and was excited to share the good news about the land, grant application and potential relocation. It was then the department told us that they didn’t know all fire equipment and apparatus was on the lien.

The board had to regroup, knowing it was our responsibility to provide fire protection. After research, the board learned that the fire company did not apply for automatic grants that all fire companies supposedly get. That further reinforced in our minds that a change was needed.

We, the three supervisors, have the legal responsibility to provide fire protection; however, we also have the personal commitment to make it affordable for our taxpayers. We don’t want to see anyone, especially our senior citizens and those on fixed incomes, lose their homes due to an increase in property tax.

We are extremely confident — after a lot of research with other agencies — that the surrounding fire companies will do an excellent job.

Keep in mind, all safety and financial decisions made for Plymouth Township affects all you folks, plus the supervisors.

We live here too and so do our families.

The Plymouth Township Board of Supervisors

Gale Conrad, Chairwoman

Joe Yudichak, Vice-Chairman

Jim Murphy, Supervisor

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