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Trustees to review road repair ‘wish list’

UNION TOWNSHIP- Christmas is over for this year, but Union Township Trustees are hopeful they can present township residents with a sleigh full of road repairs. “This is a wish list for 2014,” said Trustee President Rick Black during the township’s year-end meeting Tuesday morning. Black and road supervisor Dave Cable recently surveyed township roads and came up with the following ‘wish list.’ Black wants trustees to discuss the list in more detail at their Jan. 13 meeting.

•Auld Ridge Way- chip seal

•Ballylinn – crack seal

•Beaver Run Road- crack seal east

•Blacks Road- crack seal and Durapatch

•Bolder- crack seal

•Canyon Court- Durapatch

•Canyon Road- crack seal from Seminary north

•Carlingford Drive- crack seal, and then chip seal

•Connemara Drive- crack seal and chip seal north

•Coyote Ridge Way- cul-desac service

•Drogheda Court- Durapatch

•Duck Run Road- chip seal

•Eulah Drive- Durapatch

•Fairfax Court- chip seal

•Fox Den Court- crack seal

•Fox Ridge Way- chip seal

•Gale Road- crack seal and Durapatch

•Granview Crossing- chip seal

•Granview Road- chip seal and stripe

•Hallie Lane- chip seal

•Hawks Cove Court- crack seal and Durapatch

•Jones Drive- chip seal

•Milliken Drive- restripe

•O’Neill Drive- crack seal and stripe

•Owens Drive- chip seal

•Reinhart Drive- chip seal (bad “alligator” cracking)

•Stone Creek Drive- crack seal

•Stone Valley Drive- crack seal

•Whitetail Ridge Way- chip seal

•Williamson- crack seal

In other township news:

• Township Administrator Paula Greene said she believes Hebron has “verbally agreed” to approve a slightly revised fiveyear fire contract with Union Township for the Hebron Fire Department to provide fire protection and EMS to the township region south of the Columbus & Ohio River railroad. She said Hebron Mayor Clifford Mason believes council members are in agreement with the contract trustees approved Dec. 16 and Mason did not believe a special council meeting was necessary to discuss the contract further.

Basically, Hebron will receive all fire levy revenue generated within the portion of the township south of the Columbus & Ohio River railroad tracks, and Hebron keeps all EMS billing revenue from the same area.

Black estimated Hebron, according to the contract, would receive roughly $670,000 per year from fire levy revenue (he said it may add up to more) and roughly $70,000 per year from EMS billing revenue. The Hebron Village Council still has to approve the contract.

Trustees are paying Hebron $420,000 for the current 2013 contract, after paying roughly $625,000 in 2012. The township’s typical 60 percent share of operating expenses was estimated at $645,000 for 2013.

Voters approved an additional 1.5 mill fire levy by a 699-591 vote Nov. 5, according to official election results, and trustees agreed to reopen contract negotiations with Hebron in the wake of the additional revenue. Earlier, trustees had offered Hebron $420,000 for 2014.

Trustees quickly approved a five-year contract with Granville Township on Nov. 18. Granville was under contract for $80,000 in 2014, but will now receive $150,000 to $175,000 a year after trustees agreed to give each department all the fire levy revenue from their respective service areas. Granville covers the portion of the township north of the railroad track.

• Trustees unanimously approved purchase of a new boom-mounted mower for $50,260, to replace the old mower that needs an estimated $30,000 in repairs. The old mower will be traded in to cover the new mower’s installation costs. The mower will be attached to a 12-year old tractor with 8800 hours. Both Black and Trustee John Slater believe the tractor has considerable life left.

• Slater said he wants to continue to discuss the possibility of placing an energy aggregation issue on the May ballot.

Dec. 16, Joe Garrett, aggregation specialist with Trebel LLC, told trustees it’s time for voters to consider an energy aggregation to find the best rate for power. “Townships can ask voters for authority to find better deals on electricity and natural gas,” he said.

Garrett said AEP will no longer be selling power directly in 2015.

Trebel would help the township place the issue on the ballot and actively seek its adoption at no cost to the township. If voters approve aggregation, Trebel would seek bids from electric suppliers. Garrett told trustees that their contracts are designed to protect users, rather than suppliers. Trebel seeks a fixed discount rather than a fixed rate so residents will continue to receive a discount if rates should decline. Their contract also eliminates any fees for an individual customer to “opt-out” of the aggregation contract. Garrett said he supports “freedom of choice” and if some residents don’t want to switch from AEP they could “opt-out” at any time without a penalty.

“We’re going to have to dig into this if we want to pursue it,” said Black. He believes AEP provides power to the majority of the township.

“I’m in favor of it,” said Trustee Charles Prince, whose term began Jan. 1. He said he likes the idea of Trebel pursuing a percentage discount off the going rate. “I don’t see any risk here,” he said. Residents who participate would receive a lower rate than what’s regularly offered, even if that rate declines over time. He reiterated that anyone who wants to keep AEP can opt out of the program at any time. “If we don’t act (to put it on the ballot), we’ve made the decision for them,” said Prince.

Black said he’s seen that aggregation programs save money.

• Trustees’ first 2014 meeting starts at 9 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, with a hearing to rezone 1633 Thornwood Drive from agriculture to General Business. The approximately eight acre tract most recently housed a countertop business owned by Donald Williamson.

Robert Secrest of Reynoldsburg bought the property and building last April for $170,000 at a Sheriff’s sale. Greene said Secrest has a remodeling business and wants to store trucks and equipment there as well as maintain an office and a showroom for customers. The Union Township Zoning Commission recommended approval after a Dec. 18 hearing. Trustees’ reorganization meeting will follow at approximately 9:15 a.m.

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