Jackson Twp. dedicates day to fireman

 Messenger photo by Linda Dillman
 Gary Rugh (right) accepts his proclamation from Jackson Township Fire Chief Lloyd Sheets (left) and Trustee Dave Burris at the July 8 township trustees’ meeting. July 8 was declared "Gary D. Rugh Day" for his service with the fire department.

For 34 years, Gary Rugh was a Jackson Township firefighter, but he celebrated the end of his triple-decade long career with a personal day when the trustees declared July 8 as "Gary D. Rugh Day."

Rugh started as a part-time volunteer on Nov. 1, 1974, became a full-time employee on Jan. 1, 1977, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1981. On May 1, 1985, he was promoted to Emergency Medical Service captain, but after 18 years as EMS captain, and at his own request, Rugh returned to a unit lieutenant position in August 2003.

According to a proclamation read by Chairman David Burris during the regular trustee meeting, Rugh served on Lifeflight prior to serving on Medflight since 1995 and earned a bachelor degree in fire safety engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1999.

"Lieutenant Rugh’s experience, integrity, professionalism, and commitment to duty cast great credit upon himself, and the Jackson Township Fire Department and in keeping with the highest standards of the fire service, it is the sincere desire of the Jackson Township Board of Trustees to honor Lt. Rugh for his many years of faithful and dedicated service to the citizens of our community and professional service to the Jackson Township Fire Department," said Burris.

He added, "In order to honor Lt. Gary Rugh upon his retirement, (the board) does hereby proclaim July 8, 2008 as ‘Gary R. Rugh Day’ in Jackson Township noting to his fellow employees and all citizens his exemplary and professional service."

Hometown Heroes

The Hoover Road Fire Station 202 is serving as a host site for a B107.9 Hometown Heroes broadcast on July 17 from 6 to 10 a.m. Breakfast for the first 80 to 100 individuals will be provided by the radio station and presentation of the Hometown Hero award(s) will be made at approximately 8:30 a.m.

The live broadcast will take place in the station’s equipment bays and an Elvis impersonator is providing entertainment. At the same time, according to Township Administrator Mike Lilly, B107.9 is providing free coffee for participants in a county-wide promotion calling attention to carpooling to work.

Mosquito control

Township workers are waging a war against mosquitoes this summer by spraying neighborhoods twice a week, weather permitting. Calls to the township office regarding the pesky insects are up and Lilly said the increase in the mosquito population is likely due to the wet weather.

"We spray the subdivisions and country roads where houses are close together," reported Lilly. "We’ve sprayed three times in the past two weeks. The cost for the spray is $200-$250 per session and does not include three hours of overtime, so it costs the township between $400 and $500 each time we spray."

Updating the comprehensive plan

The Franklin County Development Department placed the township’s 1991 comprehensive plan on their work list for a 2008-2009 update, which is a county-funded initiative. A preliminary meeting to discuss the process is scheduled for July 15 and the time frame for the update is approximately nine months.

"They want to turn their attention to us this year," commented Lilly. "We’ve been asking for years. They do the legwork of putting it all together. It’s our plan, but they’re like free consultants."

Tax budget

During regular action, the trustees adopted the yearly tax budget. Lilly said a report by the county auditor shows a general downturn in real estate collections for 2008 in comparison with last year with distributions off by approximately 7 percent. There was also a 4.5 percent increase in delinquent tax filings in the area.

Year-to-Date expenditures for June 2008 rose 4 percent to nearly $7.3 million over $7 million for the same period last year, but interest earned for the same time period dropped 32 percent, with an overall total of tax revenue down by 27 percent for earned interest, real estate, and personal property.

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