Businesses are popping up all over Pleasant Township, but township officials are unaware of their existence until after they are up and running.
"I was driving by Interstate 71 and State Route 62 the other day and saw a building that has been empty forever it seems, and is now open for business," said Pleasant Township Fire Chief Jay Noojin at the previous Board of Trustees meeting.
Chairman Keith Goldhardt said each building has the proper building permits from the Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Department or the Ohio Department of Commerce, but the township has not been notified by either government entity of these permits.
"We used to get notified by the county when there were requests for building permits in our area, but they stopped doing that for some reason," he said.
The Franklin County Planning Department has a code enforcement program where they provide building inspections to developers and landowners so they can develop their property in compliance with building codes, but the township has their own code enforcement laws to follow.
"Any business must be inspected annually by the Pleasant Township Fire Department," said Noojin. "It’s for the owner’s safety as much as the residents and our safety as well."
Noojin added these inspections cannot be done without proper notification of a businesses existence. This situation prompted the trustees to make a notion seeking commercial business notification from the planning department and the department of commerce at the township’s Nov. 25 meeting.
"We have to make sure everything is done right when improvements are done to either a business or a home," said Noojin regarding the fire department’s inspections.
Even though the fire department does not make annual inspections to every house in the township, they do have to inspect new siding for potential dangers from electrical wires.
The board passed a resolution to transfer $10,000 from the township’s general fund to the cemetery fund to cover payroll, worker’s compensation, insurance and the general maintenance of each public and private cemetery within Pleasant Township.
At the Nov. 11 board of trustees meeting, Noojin announced the fire department needs a new fire tanker after the 30-year old vehicle died after making an emergency field fire run. It was reported that fire tankers can hold up to 200,000 gallons of water, but that was incorrect. They can normally hold 2,000 gallons of water, which is what the township is looking for when shopping for their new tanker.