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Contractors lining up to build new fire station

THORNVILLE – It’s getting down to brass tacks for a new Thornville/Thorn Township fire station.

April 8, Thorn Township Trustee Dick Boring said the township received 14 applications from contractors wanting to build a new township fire station. He said four of the contractors were particularly qualified and Boring planned to invite them to the township office Monday night to present their proposals. “One of them is doing the New Lexington fire station now,” he said.

The invited contractors are- WDC Group of Springfield, Shremshock Architects of Sunbury, JBA Architects of Newark, Architectural Resources Group, Inc. of Chillicothe. Boring said the contractors would each have 15 to 20 minutes to show the trustees their plans and convince them why they are best suited for the job.

Tuesday, Trustee Chair Tim Phipps said the trustees would name a contractor during their April 22 meeting. He said all four contractors’ presentations “were pretty close” to each other and a building committee will recommend a contractor to the trustees.

In other township news:

• Toy Store owner Frank Correll wanted to stop any rumors that he plans to build something on the former Thornport grain elevator lot. “I’m making a flat spot,” he said, adding that he’s only clearing rubble and has no intention of building anything new.

Correll told the trustees he’d begin collecting signatures to close part of Township Road 1061, which cuts through his property. He said Perry County Engineer Kent Cannon approved, as do property owners near the road. There is an old dilapidated bridge on the road that would need replacing if the road were to remain in service.

Correll asked the trustees if they could do anything about people depositing junk on the property across the road from his. He said he’s doing everything he can to clean up the area while someone else is obviously trying to do the opposite. “I don’t like it,” said Correll.

Phipps said that while the old grain elevator may have had some historic value, it was a serious health and safety hazard. “We’re all happy to get rid of it,” he said.

• Phipps said Tuesday that controversy surrounding the appointment of Duane Moore as fire chief is “dying down at this point. I’m not hearing too many complaints,” he said.

Someone who preferred to remain anonymous told The Beacon that there was some friction within the department regarding the choice for fire chief and his qualifications, but Phipps said committees were formed to address several issues within the department and he believes that so far the committees are making progress.

Phipps said previously some of the issues include having respect for other members, leadership and communication issues, and reviewing equipment.

Phipps said he believes tensions within the fire department go back to disagreements over former police chief Sean Corsi’s resignation, Oct. 2006.

• Trustee Rick Wilson said Perry County Prosecutor Joe Flautt is ready to foreclose on property owned by resident James LaPage. Wilson asked if foreclosure is worth the money the township has spent to address the property, which the trustees say is cluttered with old vehicles and violates zoning. He doubted the township would ever recoup the money it’s spent on the issue.

Boring said the township might lose money if the property is foreclosed upon, but zoning laws would become meaningless if the township doesn’t complete the process.

Township Zoning Inspector Dale Factor said the goal is to clean up the property and sell it, not necessarily to make money. He hopes new legislation may make it easier for townships to clear abandoned vehicles from properties.

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