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Trustees approve zoning change

HEBRON – Union Township Trustees unanimously approved resident Martin Demczyk’s request to rezone four acres from agriculture to R1 (low density residential). Demczyk plans to purchase land adjoining his property and convert a barn located on his property into a house. His land adjoins his father’s land on Blacks Road and Demczyk said he and his family intend to live in the remodeled barn near his father.

The Licking County Planning Commission and Union Township Zoning Commission had both recommended approving the request. Demczyk said the look and feel of the property would be maintained. The only major change will be to the barn.

Tuesday, Trustee President John Slater explained Demczyk needed to purchase additional property from his neighbors, the Hodgens, in order to meet the minimum acreage requirements to accommodate the zoning change and lot splits.

In other township news:

• Hebron Village Council member Scott Walters attended Monday night’s trustees meeting to ask Slater when council members can meet with the trustees to discuss the 2010 fire contract with the Hebron Fire Department. After nearly a year’s worth of negations this year deciding how to split EMS billing revenue between Hebron and Union Township, trustees and Hebron officials haven’t even discussed a service contract for 2010 or how EMS billing revenue will be distributed next year.

“We’re anxious to keep moving forward,” said Slater to Walters. Slater said the trustees would probably meet with the village in some capacity in January to begin discussions.

• Trustee Jack Justice warned residents the township would likely be forced to use grit on snowy roads instead of salt at some point during the winter because salt supplies are low. “It’s either that or nothing,” he said. Justice explained that salt supplies are generally low throughout the state and the problem is not specific to Union Township.

Trustee Jesse Ours said the township received several positive comments about the township’s road clearing ability this season, even though one of the township’s salt trucks was temporarily out of service.

• Slater said he attended the annual meeting of the South Licking Watershed Conservancy District on Dec. 8. The district’s annual report submitted to the three-judge Conservancy Court raises questions about the financial feasibility of the district’s proposed flood control project . The cost of that projec,t which envisioned a 1,000 acre dry dam temporary impoundment for flood water west of Ohio 37 and north of I-70 and a bypass channel, increased from $21 million to $28 million in one year. The conservancy is open to new alternatives. “The flood control project had a major setback,” he said. Floodwaters have repeatedly shut down I-70 near the Ohio 79 interchange, routing interstate traffic through Hebron and the Village of Buckeye Lake.

Slater explained that soil samples along the bypass channel route showed sandy soil seven to 10 feet below the surface. That soil may not be solid enough to support the channel walls. It’s not impossible, said Slater, but conservancy members are wondering if it’s worth the expense. “They’re looking for ideas,” he said. Slater said conservancy members might consider implementing a series of smaller and less expensive steps to help alleviate as much of the flooding as possible.

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