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Residents of Bargersville are wondering how the town will keep up with the population growth

Posted at 2:13 PM, Nov 13, 2017

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. -- Many people in Bargersville are wondering how the current utilities and town departments can serve the growing community with the addition of new homes, an elementary school and new businesses.

Right now, the population sits at roughly 6,000 residents but that's about to change as the town has approved more than 1,000 new lots for homes. Many of the neighborhoods are already under construction.

"Ya know unfortunately everyone of those residences and communities come with a call volume - they're gonna have needs they're gonna have even your basic EMA calls to fires," said 
Bargersville Fire Chief Jason Ramey. 

Chief Ramey says his department is good at being creative when it comes to paying for things they need. For instance, the fire department's training facility was paid for through grants.

They used a state levy to add six people to run the ambulance service without increasing taxes.

But now, in terms of manpower, the fire department is running at capacity.

"What we know is we don't have enough people to provide the services to keep up with the growth - we are trying to find the most financially responsible ways to remedy that," said Chief Ramey.

The Bargersville Community Fire Department covers 62 square miles. One of the largest spans in the state.

It includes all of the Town of Bargersville and parts of White River, Union and Franklin townships.

They also assist areas like Trafalgar and New Whiteland, and event sometimes in Morgan County.

Chief Ramey says right now the area they cover is well-served.

"We adequately cover it - we have a lot of help from neighboring agencies when its necessary and so forth but at the end of the day -- we are under staffed. we need to have an additional, right now I need 12. Four people per shift to put a second truck in service here," said Ramey.

He hopes to space out those 12 people over time, maybe three to four people a year to keep up with the town's growth.

Right now, Bargersville is looking at a 3-year growth appeal to find out what is actually available to collect through property taxes.

The problem is the community is growing nearly twice as fast as the state's standard growth rate in terms of collecting property taxes.