Updated Friday evening The Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District voted 7-2 on Thursday to accept the contract with the city of Hillsboro for fire coverage and emergency medical services beginning in January.
The district board vote was the final step in the process that began last month when Hillsboro City Council voted 4-3 to contract with Paint Creek.
District board president Dan Mathews said that all legal questions were answered and the contract was worked out to the satisfaction of the majority of board members.
“It’s been a headache and I’m glad to see it finally come to an end,” Mathews said Friday. “I think it’s going to be the best thing Hillsboro has did for a long time with their finances. I’m just going to be glad to have it all said and done.”
Mathews said Paint Creek is now waiting for the city to sign the contract, which Mathews said will officially go into effect at midnight on Dec. 31 of this year.
Mathews said Paint Creek’s station in Hillsboro will be staffed with five people.
“Technically, Hillsboro could end up with seven or eight people on duty at any one time because when a call goes out, it goes out to our other stations and if it’s something major we’ll have extra guys there in just a few minutes,” Mathews said.
Paint Creek’s station No. 1 is in Greenfield and it has another station (No. 2) on Karnes Road in Paint Township. Paint Creek Chief Bradley George said the EMS/fire district has already purchased land on U.S. Route 50, near the former Rocky Fork Truck Stop, where it plans to start building in the near future with plans to move station No. 2 there.
George said Paint Creek plans to keep Hillsboro station No. 3 housed where it’s currently located in the 100 block of North Hight Street.
A petition is reportedly being circulated in Hillsboro to gain signatures in order to seek a ballot referendum that would stop the city council resolution from taking effect. Council acted on the resolution on Nov. 12, and a petition would need to be filed within a 30-day window of that action.