DYER | Town Council members have decided they are not interested in forming a fire territory with neighboring towns.
*“It’s in the best interest of Dyer that we do not pursue this,” Councilwoman Debbie Astor said.
Dyer had hosted an initial discussion with St. John, Schererville, Highland and Munster late last year. St. John and Munster quickly dropped out of the process and the most recent meeting was held between Dyer, Schererville and Highland.
Although Schererville indicated some interest in forming a territory, Dyer officials have since decided there would not be enough of a benefit to Dyer to warrant going ahead.
Councilwoman Connee Trepton was the sole member to disagree, saying that a territory might be a way for Dyer to better handle financial challenges, such as buying new equipment.
“I think there are (ways to handle financial issues) on our own,” council President Joe Cinko said. “I’d like us to explore other ways.”
“We can’t afford a fire territory,” Astor said. “If we can’t afford (hiring) part-time (fire) employees, how can we afford a fire territory?”
Indiana fire territories are formed through a long process featuring public input and hearings.
If Dyer and its neighboring communities had gone ahead with a territory, the earliest it would have been in place is 2015. Fire territories have their own tax levies, and thereby produce their own income.
* Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version. A story in some Monday editions misidentified Dyer Councilwoman Debbie Astor.