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Equipment breakdowns plague snow plowing

JACKSONTOWN – It appears Charles Krumm Jr. has one less hurdle to clear in his efforts to redevelop Avondale Marina.

Last month, Licking Township Trustee President Joe Hart told Krumm that the township’s current zoning map shows that his property and most of the adjacent Papa Boo’s is zoned residential. At Monday night’s trustee meeting, Hart said he recently went to the Licking County Planning Commission seeking a copy of the township’s zoning map. Planning Manager Brad Mercer showed him a map created for the township’s zoniing rewrite that showed Papa Boo’s and part of Avondale Marina as commercial.

When he questioned Mercer, Hart said Mercer showed him a 1994 mylar that also showed these areas as commercial. Hart later learned that a similar version of that map was filed in the recorder’s office in 2000.

“That’s contradictory to the knowledge we had,” Hart explained. He emphasized that trustees don’t tell Zoning Inspector Joe Walker how to make his decisions, but he did suggest that Walker talk about the discrepancy with the township’s legal counsel, assistant county prosecutor Jim Miller.

Walker reported Monday night that Miller told him that he should issue a permit to Krumm to modify the existing building if he requests one, provided his plans meet the specific requirements for a modification on a commercial property. Walker passed that information on to Crumb, who to date, hasn’t requested a zoning permit.

Hart added that the older maps only designate part of Krumm’s property as commercial – the portion extending from Lake Drive that runs across his property to the lake. Krumm still has the issue of that townshipmaintained road. Krumm’s discussion with neighbor Mark Ricketts about Ricketts’ possible purchase of a 60 foot strip doesn’t affect the township’s intent to keep Lake Drive open. That possible purchase is for personal use, not for public use, Hart said. “We do not intend to close the road,” he said.

In other business Monday night, Trustee Dave Miller reviewed the township‘s snow removal efforts. He noted that it snowed 18 days in February and the township plowed roads 23 days. The township’s three trucks failed to stand up to the nearly around the clock operation, experiencing electrical, brake, hydraulic, mechanical and overheating problems. At one point, all three trucks were out of service. Consequently, some neighborhoods weren’t plowed as frequently as planned. Drifting snow forced trustees and township workers to plow the same roads over and over. Drifts caused the 18-hour closure of a portion of Roley Hills Road over the weekend. “We plowed the best we could and as often as we could,” Miller added. “I would give us a C+.”

Trustees also discussed salt purchases for next winter. Salt is purchased via a state-wide ODOT contract with commitments due later this month. Licking Township has 175 tons left on its current contract and intends to purchase it all. The current prices is $49/ton plus $10/ton for delivery.

The minimum and maximum purchase range is tighter for next winter’s contract. The township must purchase at least 80 percent of their commitment and no more than 120 percent. Miller suggested purchasing 200 tons for next year which set a range of 160 to 240 tons. Trustees unanimously agreed.

Trustee Ron Acord said he had spoken with one private contractor about possibly supple- menting township plowing. The cost would $75 per hour which includes the operator and a truck with a plow and spreader. “I think it would be nice to have a contingency plan for new year,” Hart added. Such a plan could include private contractors as well as residents with equipment that could help out in certain areas.

Fire Chief Mike Wilson said the fire company made 87 runs in February – 75 EMS runs and 12 fire. Their snow stretcher, which can be pulled on top of the snow like a sled, was used twice during the month. Trustees thanked Wilson and asked him to thank company members for their long hours in February. Volunteers were at the station around the clock for the Feb. 5- 7 snow.

During public comments, Somerset Road resident Robert Snedden Sr. complained about township snow plows pushing snow onto his property. He submitted a written request for $1,000 to cover damage to his property from snow plows flinging snow on his property. “We’ll submit this to the prosecutor’s office for review,” Hart said. Trustees recently decided to seek a judicial determination on the location of Somerset Road, hoping to resolve a long-term dispute with Snedden about encroachment on his property.

Trustees’ next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, March 15 at the Licking Township Fire Company Station #3 on Jacksontown Road (Ohio 13).

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