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Three seek township zoning inspector’s job

JACKSONTOWN – Licking Township Trustees will interview three of the five candidates seeking the replace Joe Walker as township zoning inspector.

Walker is stepping down after being slowed by cardiac surgery late last year. The interviews will be done in an executive or closed session during trustees’ July 2 meeting.

A total of five candidates applied for the post. Five candidates also applied for the zoning clerk’s position. Trustee President Joe Hart suggested interviewing the township resident candidates first. – three of the five candidates each for the openings.

Though the township residency requirement can and has been waived in the past, trustees prefer that residents fill the two posts. The three resident candidates for zoning clerk will be interviewed at the July 16 trustees meeting. Hart suggested including the Zoning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals chairs in the interviews. Trustees Ron Acord and Dave Miller concurred.

In other business Monday night, trustees unanimously took the first step to place a one mill replacement fire levy on the November 6 ballot. A replacement levy will return the tax rate to the original one mill.

Fire Chief Mike Wilson said Deputy County Auditor Cindy Haas said a renewal levy would bring in $125,700 per year at the current effective rate. A replacement levy would raise $131,300 a year.

Trustees must approve two additional resolutions to meet the August 8 filing deadline for the November election.

Wilson told trustees that he is scheduling 24/7 on station coverage during the inaugural All Good Music Festival July 19-22 at Legend Valley. Festival promoters are providing extensive EMS services, including transportation, on-site for the expected 30,000 to 40,000 visitors. Though Wilson expects the fire company will care for some visitors in off-site accidents or other incidents, the 24/7 staffing is intended to offset any delays in response due to festival traffic.

“I want the community to know we are preparing for them,” Wilson added. He said funds for the extra staffing are in the budget. Hart asked him to track the additional expenditures.

Hart planned to attend a June 19 festival update meeting at ODOT’s District 5 headquarters. Plans are for the westbound I-70 traffic – expected to be heavier than eastbound traffic – to exit onto Ohio 79 at the Buckeye Lake/Hebron exit. Ohio 79’s right hand lane between the I-70 exit ramp and ramp to U.S. 40 would be reserved for festival traffic, allowing a continuing flow from I-70 to U.S. 40. Traffic would then proceed east on U.S. 40 to a right on Licking Trails and ultimately to a left hand turn into the expanded Legend Valley camping area that will extend east from Licking Trails to Ohio 13. Festival stages and additional camping are on the east side of Ohio 13. Eastbound I-70 festival traffic will exit at Ohio 13.

Wilson reported that the fire company made 87 runs in May – 71 EMS, 14 fire and two dive team. Year-to-date runs now total 369.

Wilson also reported that nearly two dozen fire service markers were placed on the graves of firefighters that had served the township. He thanked retired firefighter John Freas for all his legwork in finding the graves and getting them in place by Memorial Day. Wilson also thanked C-Tec students and their instructors for designing the markers and raising the money to construct them. He asked family members to call him at the fire station – 740-323-0211 – if anyone that has served Licking Township residents as a fire- fighter has been missed.

Miller reported that he met last week with the township’s legal counsel about the plans for Hecker’s Farm on Licking Trails Drive near the intersection with Irving Wick Drive. Miller said he was promised a written opinion and hadn’t received anything.

Discussion on Michael Heckmann’s plans for a “Freaky Forest,” “Pumpkin Inferno,” and other “Fun onf the Farm” activities was tabled until trustees receive the legal opinion.

Acord said some repairs are going to be needed at the old township building on U.S. 40. He noted problems with the chimney and bulging plaster on the first floor. Hart asked if the plaster problems extended to the balcony area, prompting Acord to propose tabling the issue until that area can be checked out.

“I’m not sure where you can stop,” Hart commented about starting to repair the now lightly used building. Trustee meetings moved to the fire company’s Station Three on Jacksontown Road about four years ago after residents complained about oppressive heat during the summer and cold drafts during the winter. The building is still used to store township records.

Hart told The Beacon after the meeting that trustees haven’t heard from county commissioners nor Water and Wastewaste Director Kevin Eby after trustees expressed reluctance at their May 21 meeting to contribute toward the cost of installing the Ohio EPA-required Jacksontown sewage collection system. Trustees invited commissioners and Eby to discuss their thoughts at a future meeting. “We MAY be willing to participate in a low interest loan,” Hart said May 21.

Trustees earlier had decided to delay their annual spring road cleanup weekend to after the All Good Music Festival. They agreed Monday night to do it Saturday, Sept. 8, in conjunction with the Licking County River Roundup.

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