Madison Township recognizes student artists

A pair of Madison Township elementary-age students will be riding to school in style as the top two artists in a local fire prevention poster contest.

Will White, a second grader from Groveport Community School, and Daniel Morgan, a fourth grader from Sedalia Elementary, were recognized for their efforts by Fire Inspector John Jones during a Nov. 28 meeting of the Madison Township trustees.

"We are actively involved in a statewide fire prevention poster contest and two students from this area were chosen for consideration for a calendar," remarked Jones. "We thought his (White) was an excellent depiction of what should be done."

Jones said the state fire marshal will announce which posters will appear in the calendar in spring. In addition to the public recognition, both students will be transported to their respective schools in a fire truck and invited to serve as Honorary Fire Chief for the day.

Budget, IAF, & Bixby Road

The trustees scheduled a budget hearing on Dec. 4, 1:30 p.m., approved a new contract with IAFF Local 2507 through April 30, 2010 and entered into an agreement, not to exceed $8,500, with M. Arcari Associates to explore opportunities related to the planning project for the U.S. 33/Bixby Road interchange project.

"Basically, it’s a study we can take a look at as the Bixby Road interchange becomes a reality," said Trustee Jim Hummel, "and what opportunities and risks are for the township. We think it’s worth spending some initial funding."

Madison Township Administrator Wayne Warner reported Columbus, Canal Winchester, and Groveport already have plans for developing the area similar to what happened with the Diley Road interchange. He said Arcari and Associates would look out for the interests of the township when developing the study.

Crime woes

The manager of a Hamilton Road gas station and convenience store said her business is experiencing increased drive-off thefts of gasoline. One driver was bold enough to return to the station a second time in four days and speed away before paying for a cumulative total of $70 in fuel.

She asked why the Madison Township police department could not provide a better response when alerted of the situation.

"Last month we were robbed at knife point, there’s been drug deals in the parking lot, and I had someone pass out on the sidewalk in front," continued the manager, a 14-year employee, who said the station experienced $1,000 in theft shortages in November. "I have people in bushes jumping out at people in their cars. I don’t know what the answers are to insure safety…We have a really big problem growing here. What can we do to deter this? In the last four to six months nothing’s been done and it’s gone out of control."

Police Chief Greg Ryan said the department has responded to calls, but said problems occur when the owner of the car is not the driver who stole the gasoline or employees do not use the safety glass as a deterrent.

"We’re doing what we need to do," said Ryan in response to calls for service.

Hummel suggested the station employ a pre-pay only policy at the pump, which could help thwart theft, and conduct additional safety training with employees.

"I don’t feel good about the fact that somewhere in my township people have to use bulletproof glass," said Hummel. "Maybe there’s something we can look at from a neighborhood perspective. The greater issue we have is a pocket in our township that is not as safe as we want it to be."

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