2009-05-23 / News

No deal yet on fire contract

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON - Is Union Township Hebron's partner or contractor?

Talks between Union Township Trustee President John Slater and Hebron Mayor Clifford Mason failed to resolve a months long dispute over a fire and emergency medical services contract between the township and the Hebron Fire Department.

"We had a lengthy discussion," said Slater Monday night, but reached no conclusion.

Trustees were uncomfortable with Hebron's proposed 10 percent administrative fee to process special reports and monthly payments for EMS fees generated in the township. Trustee Jack Justice said previously that a 10 percent fee for writing a check each month "is a damn good stiff." However, Slater said the trustees would be willing to accept the 10 percent fee if other issues are addressed.

Slater said the trustees want to be partners with the village-operated department since the township is paying $584,000 per year, or 60 percent of the Hebron Fire Department's expenses. Slater believes the existing contract implies a contract/vendor type of relationship. "We're viewing it as a partnership," he said.

Also, Slater said the township should share in 60 percent of all EMS billing income generated in the township, again because the township pays 60 percent of the department's expenses. He doesn't want to accept only the EMS billing income generated in the township's unincorporated areas. That total should include mutual aid. "That's where we're apart," said Slater.

Mason, present for Monday night's trustee meeting, said any contract/vendor implications in the contract is "old language," and can be updated.

Justice asked Mason to explain the 10 percent administration fee.

"This is a lot more complex than the average person realizes," said Mason. He said the village cannot deposit the township's EMS billing revenue in the village's general fund. The village must establish and maintain a special account for that revenue. The fee would be applied toward the costs of the checks, the lockbox for the special account, and the personnel costs to administrate the process.

Slater said the trustees would add their suggestions to the latest draft of a contract and present those changes to Hebron Village Solicitor Wes Untied.

Buckeye Lake Mayor Frank Foster said Tuesday that he spoke with Justice recently about the possibility of Buckeye Lake providing emergency services for Union Township. Foster said Buckeye Lake has not formally decided upon a price it would charge, but Buckeye Lake Village continues to discuss what additional costs are involved should Buckeye Lake provide emergency services to Union Township.

In other township news:

• Justice said asphalt prices are lower than they were a year ago and now is a good time to do some paving, specifically within the Old Farm and Grande Pointe subdivisions among other individual roads. Justice estimated the paving projects would cost $138,000 in total before crack sealing, although that total may change as the projects are sent to bid.

"Both those developments need help," said Justice. "I hate like the Dickens to spend that much money," but the township probably should, he said.

Justice said the trustees will open bids for the projects during the June 6 trustees meeting, 7:30 p.m. (the meeting begins 7 p.m.).

• Slater told residents to rest assured that Stantec trucks with high-tech video and measuring equipment are roaming the township and the county legitimately. The trucks are part of an Ohio Location Based Response System (LBRS) project organized in Licking County by the Licking County Area Transportation Study. Stantec Consulting Ltd. is the contractor.

According to LCATS information, the agency received funding by the Licking County 911/EMA, the County Commissioners, the County Auditor, the County Engineers Association of Ohio, and the Ohio Department of Transportation/Ohio Geography Referenced Information Program for the development of an LBRS. The contract was awarded in April and must be completed by August 31.

The LBRS is an initiative of the Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program (OGRIP). The LBRS establishes partnerships between state and county government for the creation of spatially accurate street centerlines with address ranges and field verified site-specific address locations.

Through the collaborative efforts of state and local government the LBRS program is producing highly accurate field verified data that is current, complete, consistent, and accessible. Local resources maintain LBRS data as an Ohio asset that is provided to the state as part of a coordinated long-term effort by OGRIP to reduce redundant data collection by developing data that meets the needs of several levels of government.

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