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Licking Township Fire Company adds new equipment

JACKSONTOWN – The 20 month wait is over. Licking Township Fire Company took delivery of its new engine/tanker on Monday.

The 3,000 gallon tanker was available for inspection before Monday night’s Licking Township Trustees’ meeting. The firecompany applied for a $300,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant in 2005. The grant required the township to pick up fivepercent of the cost. FEMA offered a $250,000 grant, Fire Chief Mike Wilson recounted Monday night and the township accepted. That meant that FEMA picked up $237,500 of the total $297,000 cost.

Wilson said it’s the largest tanker in Licking County, noting that several departments have already added it to dispatch cards for structure fires. Wilson said that was the plan when seeking the grant. “We told FEMA we would share it with other departments,” Wilson explained.

The firecompany’s new grass unit was also on display Monday night. It’s a new 4×4 pickup with a slide-in skid-mounted water and foam unit. It’s worth about $40,000, Smith told trustees, but just cost the township about $16,000. A $10,000 Round Up grant from the Energy Cooperative cut the cost of the pickup and a Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry grant paid most of the cost for the water and foam unit.

Thanks to Licking Memorial Health Systems, the company now has two new thermal imagers. The firecompany asked the hospital for about $15,000 to purchase its first thermal imager. A two for one promotion meant that an engine at the company’s Franklin Township substation could also have one. Imagers are used to locate people in a smokefilled structure. More often, they are used to check for hot spots before a firebreaks out or after a fireis knocked down. “It has a lot of day to day function,” Wilson said. “We really thank LMH.”

The company made 57 runs in April, down from the approximately 90 it had been averaging for the first three months of 2007. The run breakdown was 48 squad, seven fireand two dive/rescue.

Trustees opened two bids for the annual road resurfacing work. The projects are: Licking Trails from I-70 to Cristland Hill Road, White Chapel Road from house number 5475 to Fairmont Road, Davis Drive from Lake Drive to Licking Trails and the entire length of Chowning Street.

Small’s Asphalt Paving, Inc. of Gambier bid a total of $122,005.48. The Shelly Company of Thornville bid $161,471.70. Price differences for two items – MSW 150 and #8 limestone for cold mix paving – accounted for most of the variance in the


two bids. Small’s bid $1.65 per gallon for MSW 150 and $20.02 per ton for #8 limestone while Shelly bid $1.85 per gallon and $25.50 per ton.

“We should examine these closely,” Trustee Dave Millers said. Trustees will make a decision at their next meeting.

Trustee Joe Cooper presented a revised draft for zoning fee changes. The biggest change is $300 for a zoning change or variance. Cooper said the township is really losing money there due to the cost to publish legal notices and mail notifications to neighbors. He noted that $300 is down from the $400 charge discussed last year. “I would like us to come to a decision next meeting,” Cooper said.

Max Tharp, litter collection manager for Licking County Recycling & Litter Prevention, reported on the recent township roadside cleanup. Community volunteers on April 20-21 collected a total of 100 bags of trash and 14 tires. The most bags, 24, were collected on Avondale and Columbus roads, closely followed by 23 bags on Kindle Road. Volunteers also filled bags on Licking Trails, White Chapel, Ryan, Ridgeley Tract, Davis, Hirst, Fairmount, Logan and West View Place. Tharp’s county litter crew collected a total of 324 bags and 13 tires on four roads. Cristland Hill lead the pack with 155 bags and six tires, followed by Lake Drive with 84 bags and three tires, Ridgeley Tract with 43 and four tires and Dorsey Mill with 42 bags.

The continuing dispute between Sean Guyer and Julie Sheets about the ownership and status of Hebron Avenue flared up again. The unbuilt township street runs between Sheet’s Columbus Avenue home and Guyer’s Performance RV Rental to the east. Guyer claims ownership based on a replat that split the platted township street between Sheets and himself. He then purchased Sheets’ portion and built a new storage building that partially extends on the now contested property. “I own that property and it is not a township road,” Guyer emphasized Monday night.

Guyer asked each trustee if they had consulted with the county prosecutor’s office last week about his replat. President Ron Acord and Miller said they hadn’t. Cooper said he spoke with an assistant prosecutor Monday after receiving complaints last Friday from Sheets’ friend about “No Trespassing” signs Guyer posted on what he considers his western property line. Joe Mickey said the signs are making it difficultfor Sheets to sell her property.

Cooper told Guyer a meeting is being set up with the prosecutor’s office,the recorder and county engineer to try to resolve the dispute. “Somebody made a change Friday (May 4) and somebody is in trouble,” Guyer added. He said a judge will ultimately decide who owns the property.

For her part, Sheets reminded trustees that county commissioners rescinded the replat last May.

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