2018-03-10 / Front Page

Walnut Township Trustees to spend $150,000 to upgrade roads

By Charles Prince

MILLERSPORT - Walnut Township Trustees unanimously awarded a $469,981.25 contract to The Shelly Company of Thornville to complete the third and final phase to widen Cherry Lane. The project runs south from Phase 2 to Ohio 204.

Five contractors submitted bids on Feb. 16: Axis Civil Construction - $6,779.82; Darby Creek Excavating - $534,899.23; Shelly and Sands - $592,301.21; and Strawser Paving - $494,449.59. The engineer’s estimate was $519,464.

The project is primarily funded by an Ohio Public Works Commission grant. Walnut Township’s share is 26 percent which will be paid via a 10-year, no interest loan.

“It is a no brainer for us,” road supervisor Tim Morris said. “We like their (Shelly’s) work and they were the low bidder.

Trustees also unanimously decided to seek bids on two summer repaving projects. Cherry Lane, from Ohio 204 to the Liberty Township limit, and Park Avenue off South Bank Road, are paired as one project. “Park Avenue is back to gravel,” Morris explained. “We have several roads going that way quickly.” The other repaving project is Leitnaker Road from Ohio 37 to Old Millersport Road. The township has budgeted $150,000 for road projects this construction season. Rough estimates for this work total around $150,000.

Trustees also agreed to increase their estimate to replace the roof over the shop from $27,000 to $32,000 and to send out a Request for Qualifications for a structural engineer to design the new roof. The 3,000 square foot, flat, single-ply rubber roof is failing. It will be replaced with a pitched metal gable roof supported by wood trusses. Additional inspections have found some masonry wall cracks that need repaired and the lintels over the overhead garage doors need replacing.

Trustees also took the first step toward replacing the township’s oldest truck. The dump truck is 15 years old and probably cost the township $5-6,000 in repairs in the last year. Morris said the spring is the best time to sell a used truck. It will be sold by sealed bid. Trustees have set a minimum bid of $19,500 and are preparing a detailed narrative of its current condition. Sealed bids will be due at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1.

Morris said the age of the township’s equipment is becoming a major concern. The newest dump truck is a 2011 model. He’s concerned about the cost to get a 2001 skid loader back in operation. Morris said a new dump truck on a Ford 550 chassis with a stainless steel bed and complete snowplow package will cost about $80,000 at the State Bid price. Trustee Bill Yates wants to make sure that the bed and snowplow package meets the State Bid price and won’t have to be bid separately.

Fiscal Officer Lynn Kraner reported that the prosecutor’s office has reviewed the township’s indigent burial policy. It still sets cremation as the primary option but now allows private burial if held beliefs don’t accept cremation. A grave marker is also required.

In his report, Thurston-Walnut Township Fire Chief Jim Hite reported that “run cards are horrible with county.” The problems arose when the 9-1-1 center installed new equipment as the dispatchers moved into the new county jail. Hite said the ability to call a “second alarm” when additional manpower or resources are needed isn’t available anymore. Right now, the incident commander has to request specific units if they need assistance. Hite said criticism of the sheriff’s office-run system has been mild because it is a free service. Fire chiefs no longer have remote access to enter their own run card data; the voluminous run cards are being put into the system by dispatchers during slow times.

Hite announced that EMT Mike Rogers has passed his paramedic test, moving him from $9/ hour to $11/hour. The chief also presented draft proposals for a junior firefighter program and a training reimbursement policy. Keeping hours below 1,500 per employee per year for paid staff is still critical. Yates wants to make sure Hite’s proposal to do away with year-end stipends by increasing hourly wage rates for lieutenants and captains won’t aggravate the 1,500 hour problem. Trustees will take up his proposals next month.

Zoning Inspector Mike Berry said four permits were issued in February - two for new homes, one for an addition and one for a fence. “It is starting to pick back up.” A couple of new home permits are pending.

Trustee Terry Horn announced that he and Berry will be starting to work on updating the township’s zoning resolution. Anyone with suggestions about possible changes should contact him or Berry.

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