2010-12-11 / News

Trustees sign Granville Township fire contract

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON – Union Township Trustees approved a contract with the Granville Township Fire Department contingent upon a Licking County Prosecutor’s office review. Granville Township covers the portion of Union Township north of the CSX railway.

“The emphasis is there’s no increase in cost,” Granville Township Fire Chief Jeff Hussey told trustees Monday night. The contract will remain at $80,000 per year for the next two years – the same cost as this year.

Hussey said the Granville Township department still has no intention of charging for EMS transports – a major sticking point in fire contract negotiations between Union Township and the Hebron Fire Department. “We haven’t even explored it,” said Hussey. Regardless, the Granville Township contract has provisions for EMS billing in case the Granville Township department decides to begin EMS billing some time in the future.

Trustee Rick Black told Hussey that whatever Granville Township decides to do with EMS billing, he wants to be sure the trustees are involved. “We don’t want to be left out on a limb as we have in the past,” he said.

Hussey said if EMS billing were to occur, the Granville Township department would use the revenue to support EMS operations, including purchasing EMS supplies (i.e. medications, EKG supplies, airway adjuncts), EMS equipment (heart monitors, backboards, pulse oximeters, etc.) and potentially EMS vehicles. “In short, EMS revenues would be directed to all aspects of our delivery of emergency medical care,” he said.

Hussey said Granville T would collect less than $1,000 per month from its runs into Union Township if it were to start billing for EMS transports. He estimated the total to be roughly $10,000 per year.

Hussey said Union Township runs accounts for 4.2 to 5.5 percent of the department’s total runs. This equates to 50 to 60 calls for service annually. “I don’t want to get hung up on this,” he said. The language was merely to bring the matter into the open immediately. Hussey said he didn’t want to work without a contract starting Jan. 1, 2011 and asked the trustees to sign the contract before the end of the year.

Trustee President John Slater said trustees would sign the contract contingent upon the county prosecutor’s review. He said trustees have two more meetings this month – a regular session Dec. 20 and a year-end meeting date to be decided – and he anticipated the contract would be formally approved by the end of the year.

In other township news:

• The steeple was removed from the former Licking Baptist Church, which the township purchased in September. Black said he knew of two churches interested in purchasing the steeple. Trustee Jesse Ours said he knew of an interested party as well.

Slater said they are trying to find out how much the steeple initially cost. Taking depreciation into account, trustees will base the steeple’s value on that amount.

In a related issue, trustees decided the building’s exterior sign would read “Union Township Complex,” and be translucent so it could be mounted into the same frame as the Licking Baptist Church’s sign, which is back lit and includes a programmable LED display.

There is no cost estimate yet for the new sign.

• Trustees agreed to hire Down to Earth Excavating at $800 per day to finish a Swamp Road culvert. The township was forced to reinstall the culvert, which Slater said the county installed incorrectly. “The county said if the township wants it installed correctly, the township has to do it,” he said previously. Slater said the township must install it eight inches deeper and lay new pipe to ensure proper drainage. He said a “bad sequence of events” led to the county’s improper installation. “There was a golden opportunity to get it right, and it didn’t happen,” said Slater.

Slater predicted the job would only require one day’s work, but may require two if concrete from an old bridge must be broken up and removed to complete the installation. If so, Slater said a neighboring landowner who would benefit from the culvert’s correct installation volunteered to break up the concrete. “It may not be there,” he said Monday.

• Slater said Wednesday that he hopes the new building will house township zoning by the end of the year. He said the Union Township Police Department may also be in the building by the end of the year, but some security measures must be addressed before the department can relocate.

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