FT officials discuss fire levy

 The Franklin Township Fire Department recently took ownership of this new emergency medical truck, meant  to replace a 1997 model that has fallen into disrepair.

Franklin Township trustees authorized Fire Chief Richard Howard to deliver the levy text to the Ohio Board of Elections, which will officially add the levy to the ballot in November, at the Aug. 7 trustee meeting.

"At the last meeting, the board made the decision to adopt the levy info and to have the prosecutor review it for the 3.89-mill levy. They said that there’s no problem and we can proceed to the Board of Elections with that amount," said Howard.

The deadline for the township to apply with the Board of Elections is Aug. 23.

In other fire department news, Franklin Township got a new 2008 emergency medical truck recently to replace a five-year-old truck on July 31.

According to Howard, this truck is not really anything out of the ordinary but the new truck was definitely needed.

"It doesn’t have any new features, it’s just a newer truck. It does have LED lights with higher visibility but bottom line is it’ll save on maintenance expenses because of wear and tear," said Howard.

Howard explained LED lights use a low-power wattage for the emergency lights which will save money on the charging system, but the bulbs give a better illumination to other commuters on the road. In addition, the brakes are designed in such a way to conserve brake deterioration and sway bars that will protect the truck’s tires longer.   

On the agenda

Franklin Township Trustee Tim Guyton suggested the trustees start posting the board meeting agenda on the township’s Web site in an effort to foster community trust.

"I was told a long time ago, and this is back when the board was a different group; the public didn’t trust the board, so the public perceived there wasn’t an agenda published or available because something sneaky was going to happen. So I was thinking would it be possible with us agreeing again to put an agenda on our Web site prior to our meetings?"

Guyton produces the township agenda and said he can have the agenda ready to be posted online by Monday morning so residents can view it 48 hours ahead of the meeting.

Trustees Don Cook and Paul Johnson agreed with Guyton’s idea.

"I think it might improve attendance," said Johnson.

Guyton did say that the only issue is there will be times that the agenda is subject to change if last minute issues pop up.

"There might be something that comes up that we have to add that we didn’t know about at the time. A rarity, but it could happen," said Guyton.

Guyton indicated he will see about getting the agenda posted online for the next township meeting.

Out of touch

Juanita Kaufman, President of the Neighborhood Association for Westbrook and Eastfield said the area’s phone lines were down from Aug. 1 at midnight to the morning of Aug. 3.

Kaufman said a representative from the phone company initially told her that a maintenance crew cut a cable but later that representative called her back with a different reason for the outage.

"When she called me on Sunday, she said that wasn’t true; someone had gone down and cut the cable and was trying to strip copper out of it," said Kaufman.

Chief Howard suggested next time that Kaufman call someone from the township because a line should be set up for temporary phone service in those situations. He also suggested the blockwatch keep a list of people who have cell phones, so they can keep in communication with each other.

"If Chief Castle and I know about it, if we’re on a run, we can kind of do a cruise-by on the way back and make sure everything’s cool with the neighborhood," said Howard.

"Thank you, because I wondered what would happen, because a lot of neighborhood residents are on medical alert in our area," said Kaufman. "This has never happened before in all the years I’ve lived here."

Police Chief Mike Castle was unavailable to comment on whether or not someone had been caught stripping copper.

Free firewood

In other news, the township will have a dead tree on Little Avenue cut and the bigger pieces will be given out as free firewood for Franklin Township residents who are willing to pick it up at the township office on Frank Road.

"A resident was complaining (about the tree), plus it’s dead from what a tree place has told us and it needs to come down or its going to be falling on a house," said Cook.

Cook went on to say once all the bids for the tree and stump removal are in, it should just take a couple days to remove the tree.

Guyton anticipated 30 days altogether. The price tag is estimated between $2,000 and $2,500.

Cook said he is not aware of other tree issues.

"I’m sure there are some, but this is the biggest hazard right now and the others haven’t been brought to our attention," said Cook.

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