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Just one firm responds to township’s RFQ for fire station job

JACKSONTOWN – While not yet official, it appears that Licking Township Trustees will retain JBA Architects for the engineering phase of building a new Licking Township Fire Company station.

“JBA was the only bona fide response,” said Trustee John Holman.

Monday night, trustees received an information packet from JBA, which was one of four architects to respond to an advertisement for a record of qualifications to lead the fire station project from the design phase – which JBA completed – into the construction phase.

None of the other firms making initial inquiries responded by the deadline. They were the Columbus based Mull & Weithman Architects, the San Diego, California based IMS Architects. Holman said there was also some interest from the Bowling Green, Ohio based Poggemeyer Design Group, but JBA was the company to meet all the township’s guidelines for submitting records of qualification. Holman said he spoke to a Poggemeyer representative about the project and its expectations. “It doesn’t sound like they followed up on that,” he said.

Holman said so far trustees have only reviewed JBA’s submittal. “We’ll more than likely take action at our next meeting,” he said.

In other township news:

• Licking Township Fire Company Chief Mike Wilson said he believes it’s time to charge Franklin Township $5,000 more per year in its annual contract for fire and EMS services from Licking Township. Wilson told trustees Licking Township currently charges Franklin Township $23,000 per year. The new contract would be for $28,000. He said Licking Township hasn’t raised its rates in several years and the fire company has been making more runs into Franklin Township in recent years.

Wilson also said costs have have increased for the department, such as insurance. “They’re a good partner out there,” he added.

Wilson said Franklin Township knows an increase is coming but until now was unable to set the exact amount. “Hopefully, they’ll accept this,” Wilson said. “Just with the expenses and everything that we’re doing, we have to be fair to ourselves.”

Trustees agreed the price increase is reasonable. “It looks to me like it’s fair,” Hart said.

Wilson said he would present the new contract to Franklin Township and go from there. “I think it’s fair to us, and we’re going to present it to them,” he said.

• Trustees authorized Wilson to pay up to $5,000 for new clothing for fire company personnel. Wilson said since the department will be manned 24/7 beginning next year, he and his staff would like more formality in on-duty attire. “We’ll probably be going with a buttoned down shirt at the beginning of the year,” Wilson said. He said there are now 30 people on staff including several new volunteers. “It doesn’t take long (to spend money) when you have 30 guys asking for stuff,” Wilson said. The “stuff” includes new pants, duty sweatshirts, buttoned down shirts, pullover shirts with names and logo, and hats, among other items.

“Do you need to extend that to another grand, just to cover the bases?” asked Trustee Dave Miller.

Wilson though $5,000 would cover the expense.

“Like you said, you’ve got 30 people,” Miller said.

Wilson said the estimate for all the clothing came to $4,500 and he wanted to give himself $500 leeway.

Trustees unanimously authorized the expense.

• Holman said it may still be a couple more weeks before the township posts some old equipment on for public sale. He said an account representative who is helping him post the equipment is on vacation and the entire process is very complicated. “There are some legal requirements in order to do this,” Holman said. He said the township may also advertise the equipment locally in newspapers and on the township’s website.

Currently, Holman said he could photograph the equipment and write up descriptions. “There’s a lot of build up in getting ready to roll this out,” he said. “Hopefully within the next couple of weeks we can get the thing up and running.”

Fiscal Officer Andrea Lynch said she spoke to Licking County Deputy Clerk Pam Jones, who said it would be wise for the township to post its equipment for sale on at the same time she posts Licking County equipment, because it would increase exposure to potential buyers. Lynch said Jones said the county has generated roughly $1 million in revenue since it began posting old equipment on in 2005. “She couldn’t speak (highly) enough of it,” Lynch said.

Previously, Holman discussed possibly selling a truck, a brush hog scraper, a front-end loader, and a 10’ snow blade online.

Monday night, Miller said he stands by his opinion that the township should keep the front-end loader. He said it hasn’t been used much and its designed to fit a tractor the township owns. Miller said the township may earn more revenue by selling it with the tractor, whenever the township is ready to retire it. He believes the front-end loader could still be useful to the township.

The process continues.

• Trustees decided to maintain their regular meeting schedule through December, which includes meetings Dec. 5 and 19. Trustees will sign payroll checks for employees at the end of the month.

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