2010-11-06 / News

Mayor believes agreement close on fire contract

HEBRON - The Village of Hebron will paying 9.23 percent more for employee health insurance from Medical Mutual on a new one-year contract beginning Nov. 1. The increase will raise annual costs by $35,660. Village employees will continue to pay 6.5 percent of the cost.

Village council members briefly discussed the employee share during their Oct. 27 council meeting. “We’ll revisit this next year,” Mayor Clifford L. Mason said. “It is a one-year contract.”

With just two months remaining in 2010, Mason told council members he finally believes an agreement with Union Township Trustees on an EMS/fire contract is near. The agreement will cover three years - 2010, 2011 and 2012. Union Township will continue to pay 60 percent of the Hebron Fire Department’s expenses for the entire period. Hebron serves the unincorporated portion of the township south of the CSX rail line. Granville Township Fire Department, under contract with the trustees, serves the much smaller portion of the township north of the rail line.

A major sticking point had been the allocation and use of EMS billing revenue. Hebron officials wanted to put all billing revenue aside for capital improvements for the fire department with mutual consent for any expenditures. One project would be the construction of a much more centrally located satellite fire station to improve response times in the township. Trustees wanted to use their share of the billing revenue to offset their payments for operations.

Trustees will receive 100 percent of EMS billing revenue collected in the township with no restriction on how to spend it. The current 6.5 percent collection fee imposed by the billing contractor will be split equally between the village and the township.

In other business Wednesday night, council members heard the first reading of an ordinance to award another three-year contract to Big O Refuse to pickup residential waste in the village. Administrator Mike McFarland said there was very little difference between the Big O and Waste Management bids. The new contract will start Feb. 1. Big O offers curbside recycling for an additional $4 per month, McFarland added. Big O has agreed to promote recycling more aggressively.

Police Lt. Larry Brooks told council members that Officer Chris Redmond resigned to join the Gahanna Police Department. Redmond left after eight years on the force. “It is certainly a loss,” Brooks said. He added that Redmond, who worked the midnight shift, was consistently one of the department’s biggest producers. He is the first full-time officer to leave in years.

The department currently has one part-time officer and an auxiliary office completing his field training. Brooks said the department receives a lot of applications, but is very selective about bringing an applicant onto the force. “We’ve got to find the right people,” he added.

Council meetings are set for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Nov. 10 and 24, at the municipal complex. Council’s combined committee meetings is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15 in council chambers.

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