JT adds firefighters to staff

A pair of Grove City native sons strengthened their ties with the community when they were sworn in as full-time Jackson Township firefighters during a June 24 ceremony.

Trustee Chairman David Burris administered an oath to Nicholas Amicucci and Jonathan Anderson as family friends, co-workers, and fellow firefighters watched. Amicucci graduated from Grove City High School in 1998 and was preceded by Anderson in 1996.

Both are local residents. Amicucci was a high school wrestler who also served as a coach.

The ceremony was especially poignant for Anderson, who works in a pediatrician’s office and now wears badge number 171. The same number was previously worn by his brother, Brian Anderson, who was a Jackson Township firefighter before passing away in 2004.

Hiring of the pair of firefighters was approved by the trustees prior to the ceremony and was a result of personnel resignation.

In other action, Burris and fellow trustee William Lotz passed a resolution approving $3,500 in matching funds for the Safety Town 2008 program, which is financially supported by the township and Grove City and held in collaboration by the local professional firefighter’s union, the Grove City Police Department, and the South-Western City School District.

According to Administrator Mike Lilly, 250 kindergarten-age children were enrolled this year.

"Fantastic job by all involved," said Lilly in a report presented during a caucus session.

"The safety fair, with parents scheduled between the 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. graduation ceremonies, was very nice, including a hot dog lunch for parents and kids, and equipment demonstration including the MedFlight helicopter landing at Grove City High School."

The trustees also approved adopting a health reimbursement account plan for group medical insurance. While the account does not offer a cost savings, it will hold down increases in insurance premiums.

The 2009 revenue and expenditure estimates will be available for public review at the July 8 board meeting. While year-to-date expenditures for June 2008 rose 4 percent to nearly $7.3 million over $7 million for the same period last year, 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 taxes.

"A report today by the county auditor shows a general downturn in real estate collections for 2008 compared to 2007, with distributions off by approximately 6.8 percent as compared to the same time last year," reported Lilly. "There is also a 4.5 percent increase in delinquent tax fillings in our area."

Lilly also said a controversial house bill proposed by Representatives Larry Wolpert and Larry Flowers, which was not expected to be included in the state’s capital bill, made it at the last moment. As a result, a commission will be formed in July and start a two-year study reviewing local Ohio governments for possible changes, consolidation of services, etc. The commission must present their findings to the legislature in 2010.

"Minor changes included in House Bill 521 added membership on the committee representing local government, as well as wording to illustrate collaboration and economic development opportunities occurring between governments," Lilly added.

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