FT fire station gets improvements

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A Franklin Township fire station is getting new flooring after trustees awarded a contract for the work at their July 26 meeting.

After much discussion, trustees voted to give the contract to Watkinson Contractors for work at the station at 2193 Frank Road.

Trustees had four bids to study. Two came in higher than what they had listed and were thrown out. Of the other two, trustees chairman Tim Guyton said he knew the work of Watkinson, since the company is owned by his brother-in-law. He said he was not familiar with the work of the other bidder. Colleague Don Cook said he was not familiar with either one, and trustee Cheryl Schrack was not present.

Fire Chief Rick Howard said he was not familiar with either contractor, but wanted the work done soon “because the floor is sinking fast.”

In the end, trustees went with Watkinson because “it was the lowest and best bid,” Guyton said. Work is not to exceed $2,260.

Workers will cut away the old concrete and pour new, a job that will take about a couple of days. However, the fire vehicles would be prevented from driving over the new concrete for about four weeks until the concrete is firmly set.

“I’ll see if we can borrow some steel plates from the County Engineers Office to spread the weight so the vehicles can drive over it,” Guyton said.

Trustees also reviewed and accepted two reports from accident investigation teams involving township officials. In one, the report, Police Chief Mike Castle was found to be not at fault when he was involved in a minor traffic crash while making a U-turn when he was responding to help firefighters. Although there were conflicting reports on this review, a majority of the reports favored the police chief and the trustees accepted that stand.

In the other review, a firefighter was found to be at fault when he backed a vehicle and collided with another vehicle. Chief Howard said “driver error” was the apparent cause of the accident and that the firefighter would receive a verbal reprimand.

In both instances, only minor damage was done to the township vehicles and no injuries were reported.

Both the fire department and the police department have accepted invitations to participate in the National Night Out activities that will be held Aug. 7 at the Finland Elementary School. Activities organized by the Westbrook-Eastbrook Neighborhood Association include a bicycle parade, a fire safety lesson with the Jackson Township fire trailer, a variety of safety displays, dancing and games.

The township is also preparing for an auction of surplus and unneeded items. This auction will be held Oct. 13 at the road garage and pole barn at the township administration building at 2193 Frank Road. Police Chief Castle said he could not remember the last time an auction had been held.

Trustees also set Sept. 1 as the deadline for items to be submitted for the township’s fall edition of the newsletter. One item that will be included in that newsletter is a schedule of leaf pickups.

The trustees next meeting will be held Thursday, Aug. 9, at the township administration building at 5:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

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