$3.3M in bonds for Merrillville-area fire protection approved
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent May 14, 2013 9:40PM
Updated: June 16, 2013 6:25AM
MERRILLVILLE — The Town Council, Merrillville Fire Protection Territory Board and the Ross Township Board met in separate meetings Tuesday night to approve the issuance of $3.3 million in fire protection territory bonds for the purchase of new fire trucks, equipment and gear.
Fire Chief Ed Yerga said the money will be used to purchase three fire engines for the in-town fire stations and one large-capacity pumper for the Ainesworth area, as well as self-contained breathing apparatus and protective gear for all firefighters, including both volunteers and the full-time paid staff.
The new pumper will replace a 1973 pumper that has been leaking.
“The panhandle area of town has been in desperate need of a new pumper. It will provide more safety and improve the insurance rating for people living there,” Councilman Shawn Pettit, D-6th, said.
The three boards retained the Indianapolis firm of Ice Miller for issuance of the bond.
The Town Council also approved the first reading of an ordinance appropriating the proceeds of the bond.
A public hearing will be held on the issue at the council’s May 28 meeting.
Yerga said once the orders are placed, it should take 60 to 90 days to receive the breathing apparatus and gear. The fire trucks won’t be ready for nine months to a year after the order, he said.