CENTER TOWNSHIP | The Valparaiso Fire Department's west side fire station was named Wednesday in honor of the longtime township trustee who helped make it a reality.
Center Township Trustee Chuck Conover said he was surprised by the honor after board members elected to name the station after him.
When he pulled up to the fire station Wednesday morning, Conover said he was under the impression they'd be honoring the achievements of one of the firefighters who serves unincorporated Center Township and Valparaiso's far west side.
Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas said Conover has served as an example in local government collaboration.
"Good government starts with good people," Costas said.
During the Butterfield administration, Conover formed a partnership with the city that "enhanced the quality of fire protection" for residents, Costas said.
Through Conover's leadership, Costas said the township was able to fund construction of the fire station through savings, not putting any added burden on taxpayers.
Conover said that with population in the west end of the township increasing, the fire station on County Road 250 West, just north of U.S. 30, was necessary to ensure prompt response times in emergencies.
"This facility was needed," Conover said, noting that the township enjoys the same caliber of emergency services as city residents. "The cooperation we've had with the city of Valparaiso — this is how local units of government can work together for the citizens we work for."