The Springville Township Board Supervisor, Jessica Boonstra, and another trustee, Kenneth Scott Neufer, announced plans to step down at the township board meeting Tuesday night.
The two board members say they feel the board is dragging their feet when it comes to making critical upgrades to public safety. They say proposals to repair or replace fire equipment for the volunteer fire department have been shot down. The department currently is without a fire engine.
Boonstra has been the Springville Township Supervisor since 2020. “The town needs to know that we don’t have a fire engine right now. We don’t have safe equipment to use to come to their rescue. But we’re still trying, and we’re still trying to do the right thing and help the people,” said Boonstra.
She’s been part of the board since 2018 but said she has no choice but to step down.
“Just the nonsense that we’ve dealt with for the last two years, not knowing what is going on. Why we’re being voted down for our safety equipment, for the fire department, for new vehicles,” said Boonstra.
The Springville Township Fire Chief, Charlie Strang said there’s so many things in need of being replaced or fixed, but the department’s biggest challenge is not having a working fire engine.
“Our engine has had issues for several years. We knew that there were issues because of its age. And as soon as they inspected it, they felt they shouldn’t have even driven it there because it was so bad. The body is rotting,” said Strang.
The truck was red tagged, no longer able to be driven. But even before it was out of commission, Boonstra said the township and the fire department had been looking for a solution.
“We had an opportunity to get a fire engine a couple of years ago and we had half of the money and had to get through three months of meetings to try to get the other half approved to get a loan. And we lost that truck by one day,” said Boonstra.
Situations like that over the past two years have gotten old, for board trustee, Kenneth Scott Neufer.
“They think they need to control everything. But there’s a fire department budget fire. The fire chiefs should be able to go get whatever he needs,” said Neufer.
The resignations are set to go into effect April 10 but no word on whether the board has accepted the two board members resignation.
We reached out to the remaining board members. Two did not want to comment and a third said he was frustrated. He had hoped to help mediate between the board members but it’s too late. That should be a topic of discussion at their next township board meeting set for April 4.