Indianapolis - In a 17-10 bipartisan vote, the Council approved the merger of the Washington Township Fire Department (WTFD) into the Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD). The merger will become effective January 1, 2007.
Council President Monroe Gray said, "Merging the fire departments will benefit the taxpayers in Washington Township and IFD’s district." "I hope other townships follow the lead set by Washington Township," he said.
Some key provisions of the consolidation are:
-A property tax freeze for Washington Township until December 2008,
-Washington Township will retain 34% of its COIT allocations,
-Fire stations in Washington Township will remain open,
-All current Washington Township’s fire equipment and apparatus will remain in Washington Township; and,
-IFD will continue WTFD’s community outreach activities.
Over 90% of Washington Township firefighters supported the merger and requested that Washington Township approve of the measure. On June 15 the fire merger was approved by the Washington Township Advisory Board and Trustee.
"Consolidating these two departments will enhance public safety without adding additional costs," said President Gray. "It seems natural for this merger to occur since both departments already conduct joint hiring and trainings," added President Gray.
After the merger, the Township will be staffed at national staffing level recommendations. Senate Enrolled Act 307 from the 2005 session of the Indiana General Assembly gave the Council and Townships the authority to merge fire departments.
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