Trustees subpoenaed to annexation hearing
HEBRON - All three Union Township trustees and Union Township Police Chief Paula Green were subpoenaed to be available for questions during a Jan. 18 annexation meeting 5:30 p.m. at Granville High School called by the Licking County Commissioners.
The proposed annexation calls for more than 514 acres of land - 135 acres of which is in Union Township - to be annexed into the Village of Granville. Trustee Jack Justice said Monday night that all of the residents who live within the Union Township area of the proposed annexation are in favor of it.
"I think that carves the picture for us," he said. Justice said the annexation, although removing property from the township, would "seal off" Union Township from Newark, preventing "intrusion" from the city. "It could be a good thing," he said.
Newark Mayor Bruce Bain said part of the motivation behind the annexation is residents' desire to stop Newark from creating a water tower at an approximately 1.5 acre plot on the "McMillen land" in Union Township. The water tower would serve Newark's west side including the Park Trails and Park Ridge subdivisions on River Road, south of Granville. Currently, the subdivisions have inadequate water pressure. Another part of the motivation is Granville's desire for the annexation, which would block Newark from developing areas of Granville and Union townships.
Creating the tower at the McMillen site would require Newark to place eight feet of water line through the annexed property. The Granville Village Council said it would grant Newark the eight foot easement if the city agreed not to oppose the 514 acre annexation. The Newark City Council initially agreed, but then withdrew its support, its members saying they would not be silenced by the annexation agreement.
If Newark is blocked from constructing the water tower at the McMillen site, the backup site is near the Park Ridge subdivision. Bain said a water tower at Park Ridge would require more maintenance than a tower at the McMillen site and would be less efficient. "The tower will go one of those places," he said. Bain doesn't believe that a tower at the McMillen site would be intrusive to Union Township. Bain added that the water tower is for the welfare of Newark citizens and if the situation were reversed he would not hesitate to offer an eight foot easement to whomever needed it for similar purposes.
Justice said during Monday night's meeting that Newark worked very hard 10 years ago to acquire the property that became home to the Park Trails and later the Park Ridge subdivisions. Now the city's discovered it has inadequate water pressure to serve them properly.
"It's not okay (for Newark) to point out that the reason they don't have water pressure is because Granville isn't a good neighbor," he said. "That's (nonsense)!"
In other Union Township news:
+ The trustees voted to appoint Trustee John Slater as trustee president for 2007; Justice is vice president.
+ Justice said Hebron annexed two acres of former Union Township property near Ohio 79, which contains an existing mobile home park.
+ Justice said that the township has about a "30 percent chance" of receiving Issue 1 grant funding to raise an 1,870 feet section of Swamp Road by 2.5 feet from the road's lowest point. Raising the section of road would bring it out of the 25 year flood stage.
+ Lakewood student Michael Albanese thanked the trustees for helping him explore his ambitions to enter law enforcement. The
trustees helped him set up appointments to speak with representatives from various law enforcement agencies as part of a school project called "Community Connections."
+ Gr e en s a id tha t the township's $250 allotment for police uniforms is inadequate. She'll bring updated cost estimates to the next meeting.
+ Hebron Fire Chief Randy Weekly said the department is considering replacing its 1992 medic and is putting cost figures together for a newer vehicle. Replacing the medic will be a priority for 2007.