JT turns down trash rate hike

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The first meeting of a new year found Jackson Township Trustees taking steps to help residents keep trash costs from rising and ensure the township continues to receive revenue from cable companies who bundle services.

A representative from Local Waste Services previously asked trustees to consider approving a change in the Jackson Township trash district to allow for an increase due to escalating fuel costs, like many neighboring municipalities. The trustees initially tabled a discussion on the request pending further information. However, the resolution was brought out of old business on Jan. 8 and voted down by Trustees David Burris and Stephen Bowshier with little comment. Trustee William Lotz was absent.

"The contract does not give us the authority to adjust rates and we do not want to pass along costs to our residents if we don’t have to," said Township Administrator Michael Lilly. "Rates are fixed through 2008 and we will not be raising Local Waste Services rate for fuel costs. This is not a comment on Local Waste and we’re happy with their services, but we don’t want to raise the rate for residents."

Following action taken by the Ohio General Assembly last fall, when the Ohio Revised Code was amended to establish a state-wide regulatory framework for video service providers such as Time Warner, WOW, and AT&T, trustees established a video service provider fee.

Prior to the ORC change, local municipalities were responsible for regulating local cable/VSP franchise agreements, such as the 15-year accords the township has with the trio of providers. With changes in technology and the growth of service bundling, Jackson Township trustees wanted to make sure the township continues to collect revenue generated by the companies.

Lilly said Time Warner made an application to the state to become a VSP and AT&T is investigating its options, but WOW has not made any application as of this time. On average, Lilly said the township collects $28,000 a year in franchise fees.

In other news

•Fire Chief Lloyd Sheets reported Jackson Township averaged $101,650 a month in emergency transport collections for a year-ending total of approximately $1.2 million.

•High winds damaged the wooden doors on the township’s salt barn and a road department crew manufactured a replacement door using leftover chain link fencing.

The new doors are intended to prevent unauthorized access into the salt barn and 200 tons of salt was ordered to re-stock the barn for the remainder of the season.

•Grove City is donating poles, lights, and a signal to Jackson Township for the reconstruction of the intersection at White and McDowell Roads.

•Keep Grove City Beautiful is conducting their first in a series of informational retreats on Jan. 15,  from 9 to 11 a.m., at the township hall. Speakers from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will discuss illegal dumping in the community.

•Due to scheduling conflicts, Jackson Township trustees will meet at 12 p.m. in caucus on Jan. 22 to discuss annual budget appropriations. A regular meeting follows at 1:30 p.m. However, the Feb. 19 board meeting is cancelled.

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