At the end of Thursday's third and final public hearing regarding the proposed Argos Fire Territory, hopes to establish the territory were extinguished.
According to Indiana Law, all participating units for the fire territory have to vote in favor of establishment.
The participating units for the proposed fire territory include the Town of Argos, Green Township, and Walnut Township. If passed, the Town of Argos would be the provider unit and would be responsible for preparing the annual budget. The town would also perform all necessary accounting and financial functions related to fire services.
When the voting commenced, Argos Town Council voted 3-0-1 (Council President George Null abstained due to being a firefighter).
Walnut Township Board voted 2-0-1 with Joe Stone abstaining due to being part of Argos EMS.
The deciding vote came down to the Green Township Board. Jim Fishburn voted for the territory while Dean Zechiel voted against it. Because it was not a majority vote, the proposed territory failed.
If it had been enacted, the territory would have combined the EMS and Fire Department into one department with a Fire Chief overseeing the two departments. The Fire Chief would have reported to the Fire Territory board which would have consisted of an appointee from the three participating units.
The Argos Fire Territory could reignite, but it'll have to wait another year. During that time, additional funding for the EMS Department will have to be found.
Look for an in-depth article about this meeting in a future edition of The Pilot News!