Council to use Cascadden Fund to help fire department

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LAPEL — To help Lapel Stony Creek Township Fire Territory get much-needed life-saving equipment, Lapel Town Council approved using money from the Olevia Cascadden Fund to purchase an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the fire department.

An amount of $33,759 from the fund will be used to purchase an AED unit and related equipment.

Council President Chad Blake said the fire department was promised reimbursement money from Madison County through the CARES Act, but was later told it would not receive the funding.

“Because of COVID (the fire territory) added advanced life-saving services to the department,” Blake said during the Thursday, Feb. 18, council meeting. “There was quite a bit of expenses, through training, and one of the things they needed was new AED units and the equipment that goes with them.”

Blake said the department needs two AEDs to be compliant, and not receiving the COVID money that was supposed to pay for the units has left it in a difficult situation to maintain certification.

The Cascadden Fund money will purchase one AED. Blake said the fire department is fundraising to pay for the second AED.

“This will be a huge step in taking care of the citizens of the town, and I think that is something Olevia Cascadden would support,” Blake added.

The Cascadden Fund is a multi-million dollar trust left by the former resident, who passed away in 2015, that gives funding in alternating years to the town and the school system.

Not receiving the promised CARES Act funding “was a really bad deal,” Blake said. “Many townships in the county did things that they desperately needed and those funds did not get reimbursed.”

Blake said the county commissioners, toward the end of 2020, had not signed the request from the fire department, then the state changed how the CARES Act funding could be distributed. Money went to cover payroll costs for the sheriff’s department, health department and other first responders.

Road regulations

The council approved the first reading of an ordinance to prohibit certain traffic in the area of County Road 875 West and County Road 650 South.

Blake said, since the recent closing of the Pilot Flying J Truck Stop, semis have been re-routed to those roads.

“It is impossible to make a 90-degree turn (on those roads). We’ve had multiple trucks get stuck down there,” Blake said, also noting other issues have occurred with trucks trying to use the small county roads.

The ordinance limits weight for vehicular traffic on those roads to 16,000 pounds.

Additional appropriation

Following a public hearing, the council approved an additional appropriation for 2021 that will go to the park department.

Requested out of the major budget classification of other services and charges, $6,000 was approved as an additional appropriation to the park fund for 2021.