Brown County Commissioners are expected to formally dissolve the Van Buren Township Volunteer Fire Department after a series of disagreements.
According to legal documents, Brown County agreed to pay over $75,000 to compensate the department for equipment and a portion of their legal fees.
The conflict started years ago and came to a boiling point when a Van Buren Township trustee ended a contract with the fire department. But, the department still maintained control of the fire station.
Indiana’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs gave Brown County’s Commissioners until March 5 to come up with a use for the building, which state funding helped build. If they didn’t, the county would no longer be eligible for state grants.
Commissioner Diana Biddle says making the payment was the best business decision for the county.
“Waiting six months, would have been more costly,” Biddle says. “$78,000 it’s my opinion that that is probably the cheapest that we could ever have gotten out of this situation.”
The fire department initially asked for six months to liquidate its assets. A Facebook page in support of the soon-to-be dissolved Van Buren department, says it was started in 1976.