If the town wants $500,000 in state funding to renovate Fire Station 1, more Centerville residents need to share how a fire station benefits them.

Centerville’s council conducted the first of two public hearings regarding its upcoming application.

Clerk-Treasurer Richard Tincher spoke with an Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs representative after the town’s first application was not funded. He learned more comments from citizens via letters and at public hearings are needed for a better score.

Council President Dan Wandersee said Centerville missed qualifying by two points.

The town would contribute $225,000 toward adding exhaust and fire alarm systems, replacing nonworking heaters, providing accessible men and women’s showers and a larger training room, adding a bay for two fire engines, and increasing accessibility through two accessible parking spaces and new sidewalk.

Letters are due to town hall, 204 E. Main St., Centerville, IN 47330, or rtincher@town.centerville.in.us before the initial proposal’s April 28 deadline. A second public hearing will be conducted before the June 30 deadline.

Council members Josh Tudor advocated leveraging existing town funds with the grant application. Bodiker said no extra taxes are needed.

Centerville firefighters were absent, assisting Richmond with its industrial fire. That event prompted support for a larger fire station to serve residents during a similar crisis.

A few residents spoke, including attorney Ed Martin, who appreciates the town’s proactive firefighters who saw black smoke from his chimney and prevented an unknown furnace issue from getting worse. Archway Days volunteer Cindy Rhoades said she’s seen the station’s heaters turn bright red.

In other business

  • Town Manager Kevin Slick presented the Tanner family’s proposal to donate property containing an unsafe building in the 300 block of North Fourth that needs to come down in 60 days. The town will handle demolition. Council voted to accept the donation if the town only pays recording and transfer costs. Bodiker called it a win-win for both parties.
  • Council approved $54,272 for new lights for a Centerville Youth League diamond from the town’s capital plan and American Rescue Plan funds. Wandersee said they can’t get parts and bulbs any longer for lights at two diamonds, and losing lights could disrupt games for CYL’s 550 kids.
  • Council approved a five-year plan for Archway Days, now celebrating its 35th anniversary. This year’s theme is “Big Hearts in a Small Town,” honoring first responders. Many new vendors will join regulars. Volunteers also plan outdoor movies before the festival.
  • Council approved creation of unrestricted and restricted funds for opioid settlement income.
  • Chief Ed Buchholz has purchased a couple new radios to be more compatible with those being implemented by Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and Richmond police. 
  • Officer Devon Robbins is graduating from Indiana Law Enforcement Academy.
  • Slick received council permission to fill a new full-time utilities position to address vacancies and upcoming vacations. He also seeks a full-time worker for the recently vacated building commissioner position.
  • A tax abatement for Warm Glow Candles’ real estate was renewed for year seven of 10. Jackie and Alan Carberry were thanked for community support.
  • Upcoming meetings: Council work session, 7 p.m. April 25 in town hall. The public may attend. After this story was first published, Centerville Clerk-Treasurer Richard Tincher announced the April 27 plan commission meeting was canceled because of a lack of agenda items.
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A version of this article appeared in the April 19 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.