Prairie Township projects go green

On Aug. 1 at Prairie Township’s Board of Trustees meeting, two Franklin County sheriffs began by reporting that the number of arrests has been declining as of late, while juvenile vandalism still remains a problem.

“We’re being proactive,” one deputy offered, “but we do need residents to help report habitual criminals in the area.”

Also discussed was an unusual rise in motorcycle accidents occurring along West Broad Street.

Representatives from the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Franklin County Board of Health offered presentations to the board concerning the Ohio EPA’s new stream quality requirements.

As a township, Prairie is responsible for three of the six Franklin county requirements – public education/outreach, participation and involvement, and good housekeeping and pollution control.

Prairie was regarded for doing “a very nice job on all three of those phases,” by on representative.

As a result, the Ohio EPA has pledged to fund additional work on Prairie’s streams.

The Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District advised Prairie residents to sow more grass, bushes, trees, and other plant life in order to counteract erosion, the number one pollutant in Prairie’s streams.

“In the early 90s, the EPA determined that runoff was a more harmful pollutant to streams than factory pollutants.” representatives stated.

In other township news, New Rome has been officially dissolved by an Ohio judge. Papers declaring the ill-fated jurisdiction were signed on July 15 and also stated that New Rome’s assets would indeed be transferred to Prairie, pending an ongoing appeal.

“We’re even closer than we were before,” Fiscal Officer Lori Montag concluded.

The Zoning Department next addressed Prairie’s growing rat problem. Zoning Inspector Connie Swisher recommended that residents who find rats around or in their homes should contact the Franklin County Board of Health immediately.

“An inspector will come by and check the property for conditions that have attracted the rats,” she related.

After getting approval from the property owner, the board can then bait the resident’s yard with poison to remove the nuisance. The board also offered some tips for locals.

Residents were advised that no food should be stored outside, overgrown plants should be taken care of, and homes for rats like woodpiles and sandboxes should be protected accordingly.

An information sheet with additional information is available at Township Hall.

Two unkempt properties were referred to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office for allegation to be levied in Environmental Court.

Residents and trustees alike are hoping to clean up the Westside by enforcing existing Ohio laws that address when and how a resident can use a commercial vehicle in his/her private property.

Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker spoke out about some of the Big Darby Accord Panel’s recent work.

The seven-jurisdiction body is currently working on a critical part of its development plan, which calls for a consultant to help find grants and other sources of revenue to go toward the purchase of available property for use as green space.

On August 8 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., an “Open House” focus group will be held at Town Hall for the purpose of discussing the Towne Center Plan – a central part of the Big Darby Accord.

Both economic and environmental concerns are of value to the project. Residents are asked to attend in order to offer input about what they want to seen happen with the plan and to also explore other options pertinent to the Accord.

Prairie’s next township meeting is scheduled for August 15 at 7 p.m.  

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