2008-02-09 / News

Township may help Eagles with sewer

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON- Union Township Trustees may grant financial assistance to the Buckeye Lake Eagles after all. Buckeye Lake Eagles Trustee Herman Foster told trustees Monday night that the Eagles were $4,000 short on the installation of a sewer line to the Eagles Club.

The club tied onto a Buckeye Lake Sewer District line after being ordered to do so by Ohio EPA. Problems with the club's septic system prompted the order. The connection cost $92,000, including a $62,000 capacity fee. Eagles members were particularly concerned about being asked to pay $11,000 to run a sewer line beneath Ohio 37 to attach to the public line.

Foster said Monday night that the sewer line is installed, but the project area still needs to be graded and other details must be addressed.

Former Licking Township Trustee Ron Acord, an Eagles member, backed Foster, saying that the non-profit club has donated money to community organizations in the past and deserves assistance from the township.

"We just don't have the funds we used to have," said Foster. A smoking ban and new restrictions on gambling policies have severely reduced the club's membership, he said.

Union Township Trustee John Slater said he sympathized with the Eagles' situation, but asked Herman what the rationale would be behind giving money to the club. Previously, the trustees said they couldn't help the Eagles financially because the township just paid the Granville Township Fire Department $50,000 for a 2008 firecontract; the 2007 firecontract was only $18,000.

Foster said now there is access to a sewer line on the Eagles' side of Ohio 37 should there be any future development, or should any of the existing residents or organizations like the Hebron State Fish Hatchery need access to public sewer.

"That would have to be our justification,I think," said Union Township Trustee Jack Justice. But, he wasn't sure of the Licking County prosecutor would allow the township to provide the money.

Union Township Trustee Jessie Ours warned that trustees need to be careful not to set a precedent, whereby anyone installing a sewer line would expect financial assistance from the township. "The next guy's going to want sewer, too," he said.

"We don't want to call it a donation, we want to call it an investment," said Slater.

"We're helping to put a sewer line on our side of the canal," said Justice.

Ours asked Herman if the Eagles considered sponsoring a fundraising event. Herman said it was discussed.

Justice said he'd discuss the situation with the prosecutor's office.If the township can legally give money to the Eagles, he said he would introduce a motion to do so at the next trustees meeting.

Slater said Wednesday that early indications show the township may be legally permitted to provide financial assistance. If a motion is approved, Slater said the trustees would have to consider any other requests for assistance individually.

In other township news:

• Justice was frustrated with a report from Med3000 - a Pittsburgh based company that handles Hebron and Union Township's EMS billing - because it did not separate income generated from the township and Hebron as the trustees requested. He said Med3000 representatives led him to believe that statistically separating the income is not difficult.Justice was clear that he was not upset with Hebron Fire Chief Randy Weekly, who presented the report to the trustees Monday night, only that Med3000 didn't follow through with what it promised.

Weekly said Wednesday that EMS billing began in July and Med3000 has only recently begun sending reports. There still some bugs to work out. He said he's already contacted Med3000 about fulfilling the trustees' request. "We're new at this," said Weekly. "I have some questions, too."

According to Hebron's web site, EMS billing only occurs when EMS personnel transport a person to a hospital. If the person transported is a resident of the Village of Hebron or the Hebron Fire Department's contracted area in Union Township, they should never see a bill. Hebron will accept whatever payment is made by their health insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid. Even if they don't have any insurance, they won't receive a bill. Any resident receiving a bill should call the firedepartment's business line at 928-4721.

Non-residents, which include anyone living in the Village of Buckeye Lake or the area of the township served by Granville Fire Department, may receive a bill. A non-resident's health insurance will be billed first. If the health insurance company does not pay the full bill, the remainder will be billed directly to the non-resident. If the non-resident doesn't have health insurance, the entire bill will be directed to the nonresident. Unpaid bills will NOT be turned over to a collection agency.

Slater said he worries some people are mistaking printed statements describing the expenses for bills, and making payments for the service unnecessarily. He said the township needs to do a better job educating the public about the service.

• Union Township was established in 1808, 200 years ago, and the trustees discussed putting together some sort of bicentennial recognition. No formal plans were made.

• The Granville Township Trustees are considering lowering the speed limit on James Road, between Canyon Road and Ohio 37, to 35 miles per hour. As is borders Union Township, the Granville Township Trustees asked for the Union Township Trustees' opinion. Slater said the Union Township Trustees would informally poll affected residents.

• Granville Township Clerk Norm Kennedy sent a letter to the trustees supporting Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt in his bid for reelection. Oswalt is running against Jody R. Richter. Union Township Trustees said they also supported Oswalt.

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