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Union Township, Hebron to work to form fire district

HEBRON – After months of discussion, Union Township Trustees unanimously approved a six-month contract – January 1 through June 30, 2019 – Monday night for fire/EMS services with the Village of Hebron.

The township’s five-year contracts with Granville Township and the Village of Hebron expire at the end of the year. Granville Township Fire Department serves the area of the township north of the Columbus & Ohio River Railroad tracks, while the Hebron Fire Department is responsible for the area south of the tracks.

Last month, trustees unanimously approved a joint resolution of intent to form a fire district or fire and ambulance district with the Village of Hebron. The resolution included five points of agreement:

1. Endeavor to form a joint fire district or a fire and ambulance district within 60 days after the receipt of the later of Union Township’s receipt of Dr. Kramer’s updated study or the Licking County Prosecutor’s Office receipt of the Ohio Attorney General’s Opinion on funding a newly created fire district.

2. Endeavor to have either the joint fire district or fire and ambulance district operational by January 1, 2020.

3. Create a joint ad hoc committee by January 1, 2019, that will meet at least monthly beginning in January 2019, to discuss organizational issues such as district name; district territory; organization of district board; district bylaws; district funding; district staffing; and district equipment and facilities. The ad hoc committee shall be composed as follows (the President of the Board of Trustees or designee, the Mayor of Hebron or designee and the Hebron Fire Chief or designee), and shall report its findings, conclusions and recommendations to Hebron and Union Township by or before July 1, 2019.

4. Hebron and Union Township expressly agree that this joint resolution shall not create or impose any contractual obligations that are enforceable against either Party. Hebron and Union Township further agree that this joint resolution shall not obligate either Party to agree to or join in the creation and formation of either a joint fire district and/or a fire and ambulance district.

5. This joint resolution shall in no way be applied or interpreted as the resolution, required under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 505, to create either a joint fire district and/or a fire and ambulance district.

The contract approved Monday night incorporates the points of agreement in the joint resolution. It states: “This agreement shall be effective as of the 1st day of January 2019, and continue in effect for six (6) months, ending on June 30, 2019, or before, based on information received from the Ohio Attorney General’s opinion and information received from the study by Dr. William Kramer, Ph.D., with respect to forming and funding a joint fire or joint fire and ambulance district. Between the 1st day of January 2019 and the 30th day of June 2019, Union Township and the Village of Hebron agree to meet at least bi-weekly to address the formation of a joint fire or joint fire and ambulance district and to establish organizational issues such as the district name; district territory; organization of district board; district bylaws; district funding; district staffing; district equipment and facilities; and any and all other necessary elements to present to the voters of Union Township for their consideration during the November 2019 elections. The ad hoc committee shall be composed as follows (the President of the Board of Trustees or designee(s), the Mayor of Hebron or designee(s), and the Hebron Fire Chief or designee(s). This committee shall report its findings, conclusions and recommendations to Hebron Village Council and Union Township Trustees on or before July 1st, 2019.

This agreement may be extended until December 31, 2019, by mutual agreement of both Union Township and Hebron.”

In November, trustees unanimously agreed to offer Granville Township a one-year contract under the current terms. At a November 28, Granville Township Trustees meeting, Trustee President Kevin Bennett and Trustee Bryn Bird said they wanted a two-year agreement and agreed to a 60-90 day cancellation option. Trustee Dan Van Ness, who had represented trustees in the extensive discussions with Union Township, said he was satisfied with a one-year agreement. Union Township Trustees received a specific proposal from Granville Township Wednesday.

Union Township Trustees have scheduled a special meeting for 6 p.m. on Monday, December 10, at the township complex to address the Granville Township proposal.

Union Township Trustees’ next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, December 17, at the township complex.

 

 

 

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