Peabody gives away its fire department
Peabody no longer will own its fire station after the city council voted Monday to repeal its ownership of Peabody Fire Department.
The town will remain covered under Marion County Fire District 4, which its department previously serviced under contract. The district covers the townships of Catlin, East Branch, Peabody, and Summit.
The change will save tax money, according to councilman Rick Reynolds, but it was unclear how this could happen without increasing taxes elsewhere in the district.
Property documents will be reviewed to find or transfer ownership of the fire station and its equipment.
The council also acknowledged the rate the city pays for water is city’s water rate increasing by $2.68 per 1,000 gallons.
Hillsboro raised its rates for the first time in years because of the cost of treating water after a blue-green algae bloom.
“We were warned, but without any official numbers, three weeks ago,” mayor Tom Spencer said.
Spencer also said he was in contact with a housing agent to see whether Peabody was eligible for an evaluation that could result in grants or loans for moderate income housing.
“I’m going to learn and see if it’s feasible,” Spencer said. “Worst case scenario, I lose an hour of my time.”
Most available housing in Peabody is restricted by age, income, or both, discouraging new and old residents.
“Fifty-five-plus housing is fine, it still brings people to the community, but their kids won’t be enrolled in the school,” councilman Jay Gfeller said.
In other business, police chief Bruce Burke recommended installing a light on the south side of a new playground. A motion to pay for flyers for Peabody Main Street Association was rescinded until the flyers included all interested businesses. A water tower pipe that leaks during winter will be replaced at a later date.
Last modified Dec. 29, 2021