JT firefighters get fit thanks to Delphi

The demise of the Delphi plant on Georgesville Road was another crippling blow to Columbus’ Westside, but out of even the worst of situations, there are moments of goodness.

For the Jackson Township Fire Department, that moment came when it was notified Delphi was donating thousands of dollars of workout equipment to the Southwest department. Fire Chief Lloyd Sheets said the treadmills and elliptical machines Jackson Township received look brand new.

"We had put in the budget for replacement of three treadmills that were 12 years old, but now we’ll only have to replace one," commented Sheets, who said the department budgeted $10,000 for the treadmills. "They saved us about $16,000."

In addition to the treadmills, the donation also included a trio of elliptical machines and weight equipment. The chief said Delphi was making similar donations to other area fire departments.

Swearing in and stepping down

Prior to the start of the March 4 trustees’ meeting, William Forrester was sworn in as fiscal officer by Alma Bennett, who is stepping down from the same position that she has held since April 1992. Forrester will replace Bennett at the end of her term on March 31.

According to the township, Bennett received a bachelor of science degree in business education from Eastern Kentucky University and taught in London (KY) City Schools, Bardstown (KY) City Schools, Albuquerque (NM) City Schools, Union County (OH) City Schools, and South-Western City Schools.  She retired in 1991 after 29 years of teaching.  

Bennett is a member of the Ohio Township Association, Franklin County Township Association, Grove City Area Republican Club, Buckeye Christian Church, Grove City Rotary Club and the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce where she serves as the liaison for Jackson Township.  She is also a charter member of the Grove City YMCA.  

She has been a resident of Jackson Township since 1967, has three children, and four grandchildren.

A farewell open house for Bennett will be held on March 25, 4-6 p.m., at the township office.

In other news

•A real estate planning manager for Insurance Auto Auctions presented information regarding a request to approve plan modifications for the company’s 1601 Thrailkill site involving expansion of the parking lot and access.

"We acquired the property last year," said Mike Wachowski. "We have another site in Columbus near I-71 and are looking to expand. We would probably close the Columbus site and consolidate operations in Grove City, which means we’re also bringing our insurance clients along with us from Columbus."

Insurance Auto Auctions liquidates vehicles totaled by insurance companies. Cars are towed to the auction sites, stored, and then sold as salvage.

Trustee David Burris cited the appearance of the IAA’s 420 Stimmel Road location near the I-71 freeway as "not a model we would like to see in our community" and an "eyesore."

However, when trustees asked Administrator Mike Lilly about the auto auction’s Thrailkill Road operation, the administrator said he has never had any complaints about the property and felt the existing site looked nice. With landscaping and location, Lilly added that the only way a person could see the cars housed at the auction would be by an aerial view.

"We are not a junkyard," emphasized Wachowski. "We’re concerned about our community as well and feel we fit in very well in Grove City. We’re operating there now and we’re pretty contained.

"There’s very little you would see from the roadway. Cars are not stored inside and generally not close to the building."

Following a short discussion regarding emergency access, landscaping, and fencing, Burris and fellow trustee Steven Bowshier approved the request. Plans must still be

reviewed and approved by Franklin County.

•The March 18 board meeting was cancelled. The next regular meeting of the Jackson Township Trustees will be held on April 1 at 1:30 p.m.

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