HEBRON – It took more than a year, but Hebron finally has a signed agreement with Union Township to provide fire/EMS services in the unincorporated potions of the township south of the CSX rail line.
Council members unanimously approved it as an emergency and without discussion. “Finally,” commented council member Bob Gilbert.
“You can take a break for a year or so,” Mayor Clifford L. Mason told council members. The agreement covers calendar years 2010, 2011 and 2012.
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 improvment 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.
Two police personnel changes were approved at the Dec. 8 council meeting. Part-time officer James Farmer was moved to full-time status to replace Officer Chris Redmond who left the department after eight years for the Gahanna Police Department. Auxiliary Officer Anthony Oliver, who recently completed his departmental field training, moved to part-time status.
Police Chief D. James Dean told council members that Officer Travis Shanaberg had completely revamped the Community Response Team. It now includes about 150 people from Thornville, Heath, Buckeye Lake, Hebron and points in between. The team is activated for missing children or a similar emergency that requires more manpower. “The phone trees are there,” Dean said.
Dean also requested approval to buy a new cruiser. The department tries to replace one of its four cruisers every year, but skipped last year for financial reasons. The 2011 Ford Crown Victoria will be purchased off the state bid list for $21,537 and replace a 2006 model with about 70,000 miles. Dean said the 2011 model is the last one for Crown Victorias.
He warned council members that future replacements will be more expensive since they will have to purchase new interior and exterior equipment to fit another police model, likely to be a Dodge. Since standardizing on Crown Vics, the extra equipment is simply moved from the retired cruiser to the new one. Dean asked to keep the old cruiser as a plain car to use to go to training sessions and make court runs. Its usage will reduce mileage on cruisers. His requests were unanimously approved.
Fire Chief Randy Weekly reported that the department made 78 EMS and 24 fire runs in November. Year-to-date totals are 762 EMS and 249 fire runs. He said that is about on par with last year.
Council’s regular meeting set for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 22, has been cancelled. The 2011 organizational meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, to be followed by the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.