Loan Rejected, Indiana FFs Laid Off

MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. -- A dozen firefighters will be laid off after the state denied a request for another emergency loan by a Morgan County township under fire for excessive spending. The Department of Local Government...


MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. --

A dozen firefighters will be laid off after the state denied a request for another emergency loan by a Morgan County township under fire for excessive spending.

The Department of Local Government Finance issued a final determination this week, denying Madison Township's request for a $500,000 emergency loan for its fire department.

The agency cited spending at almost double that of a comparable township with a career fire department and the granting of several emergency loans in the past.

6News' Kara Kenney questioned expenditures within the township, including, donations to organizations outside the township and the hiring of a private accounting firm.

Sen. Mike Young, R-Indianapolis, wrote a letter to DLGF questioning the emergency loan, and 370 taxpayers signed a petition against the additional funding.

"I think it should give confidence to people that when they have concerns about their government, that their government can actually work for them," Young said.

"Well, I'm really happy with it," said Gregg Terhune, who signed the petition. "I hope we can get our spending in order."

6News sent DLGF's decision to Trustee Jim Bolin and Fire Chief Kenny VanSlyke.

VanSlyke said he has no other options than lay offs with in the 59-member department.

Bolin told 6News Friday afternoon that he had not yet read the DLGF determination.

"Are we spending too much? We haven't spent any more than we always have," he said. "We're laying off 12 people, closing a station and cutting off their insurance -- that's doing something."

Some firefighters told Kenney they're upset the township is cutting jobs hours after the DLGF decision and without exploring all possible options.

"I think it's poor management," said former board member Virginia Perry. "They got themselves into this situation, and I think in order to get themselves out, they have to make cuts."

This is the first time in more than seven years that Madison Township has asked for and not received an emergency loan.

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