Crime concerns discussed in township

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By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

A representative from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office attended a recent Prairie Township board meeting to address a spike in drug use.

“Overdoses have been a big problem lately,” said Franklin County Sheriff Deputy Cindy Forsythe. “Last week, we had 12 overdoses in 24 hours. We had a few we brought back with Narcan and one person actually died. If you see someone laid out in a car or on the sidewalk, call us so we can see if we can save them.”

Forsythe reminded residents that they are the greatest resource in helping to address community issues.

“People who live in the township are the best source for information,” Forsythe said. “We can’t help with something if we don’t know about it.”

There also has been people reportedly entering the property around the future Galloway Sport Complex. The deputy suggested the township invest in signage that states off road vehicles are not allowed on the property, as well as additional lighting and gates.

In other news, the board approved rules for the new sports complex.

“The rules for the Galloway Sport Complex were collected from other facilities,” said Tracy Hatmaker, Prairie Township administrator. “One of the rules is no smoking and vaping.”

The board gave an update on high grass abatement and the continuing issue with residents not keeping up with their properties, especially in the summer.

In July and August, the township abated 24 properties totaling more than $11,316 in charges, as well as spent more than $7,760 in trash and debris pickup for eight properties.

The board also held a second reading and approved a resolution that puts a one-year moratorium on open loop geothermal heat systems in the township.

“These systems pump water out of wells and release the water to the surface once it is used,” Hatmaker said. “The system is operating 24 hours a day and is releasing more water than is allowed. The state is not ready to regulate this yet, so we want to wait a year and see what develops.”

An open loop geothermal system is connected directly to a ground water source, such as a well or pond, and directly pumps the water into a building to the heat pump unit where it is used for heating and cooling. Used water from the system is disposed through surface drainage, meaning the water is deposited to a low area, such as a river or pond. No pollution is generated when the water is returned, the only different in the water is that there is a slight change in the temperature.

Right now, open loop systems are only supposed to release 5,000 gallons per day. The Ohio EPA has expressed concerns about the systems because officials believe these systems are releasing more water and are not being regulated, according to Hatmaker.

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