2010-12-25 / News

Fire contracts settled

By Scott Rawdon

HEBRON – All the drama surrounding Union Township’s fire and EMS contracts this year has flamed out, at least for the next couple years.

Monday night, trustees signed a resolution to approve the township’s contract with the Granville Township Fire Department to cover the portion of the township north of the CSX railway. The approval came after trustees asked the the Licking County Prosecutor’s office to review the contract. That review didn’t raise any issues.

Coupled with Hebron Village Council’s approval on Dec. 8 of their contract to cover the area south of the railroad, the township finally has agreements in place for the next two years. It took over a year to work out the three-year agreement with Hebron that is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010.

The Granville Township fire contract will remain at $80,000 per year for the next two years – the same cost as this year. According to the Hebron contract, Union Township will continue to pay 60 percent of the department’s expenses, while the township will receive 100 percent of the net revenue from EMS billing from patient transports in the unincorporated areas of the township. The township can use that revenue to offset its payments to Hebron.

Hebron wanted to reserve EMS billing revenue for capital improvement projects including constructing a satellite fire station in the township to improve response times. That was unacceptable to trustees who wanted to use the revenue to offset their share of operating expenses so they wouldn’t have to tap the township’s general fund to meet their obligations to Hebron.

Hebron Fire Chief Randy Weekly, present at Monday night’s meeting, said the township paid Hebron $607,829 for services in 2010, and he anticipates the township’s share will be $616,347 for 2011. Weekly said the Hebron Fire Department made 762 EMS runs this year and 249 fire runs for a total of 1011 runs. “We’ll probably be about where we were last year,” he said.

Weekly said Dec. 1 fire at 1755 National Road (the corner of US 40 and Ohio 37) was a “substantial loss,” which included the destruction of the Nail Place, an in-home business. He said the source of the fire was in the ceiling. There were no injuries and Weekly complimented the responders to the incident – the Granville and Licking township fire departments, and the Millersport, West Licking, and Thurston-Walnut Township departments provided mutual aid to the Hebron Fire Department – saying it was a “smooth running incident.”

The Union Township Trustees will meet Dec. 30, 9 a.m. for a year-end review, and the trustees canceled their Jan. 3 meeting.

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