Prairie Township trustees approve safety contract with sheriff’s office

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By Christine Bryant
Staff Writer

Prairie Township has approved its annual agreement for police coverage with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

At the Jan. 11 meeting, trustees authorized the 2023 contract with the police agency for $90,655 per month. As part of the contract, costs cannot exceed $1.15 million in total for the year should any unanticipated expenses occur. In 2022, the township paid $86,868 per month. Last year’s contract stated costs could not exceed $1.094 million.

The roughly 4 percent fee increase was expected, township administrator James Jewell told the trustees, as many agencies are experiencing surges in operational costs.

“We did anticipate the rates going up,” he said. “There was a new contract with the sheriff’s department and fuel costs going up, so we did budget enough to cover this increase.”

In other news, the trustees also approved the purchase of four radar feedback signs that the township will use to encourage speed reduction along two township roads.

The township will place two signs along Fernhill Avenue and two signs along South Grener Avenue, Jewell said.

“Speeding has been a recurring issue in these areas and we hope the addition of these signs will reduce drivers’ speeds,” he said.

The solar-power signs will cost $5,750 each, for a total cost of $23,000. The price includes the costs associated with installation, Jewell said.

The meeting also included several annual organizational measures, including trustees’ roles on the board. Doug Stormont will once again serve as the board chair in 2023, with Cathy Schmelzer returning as board vice chair.

The board also approved Matt Powers to serve as fire marshal this year, as well as the continued employment of Floyd Cochran at the Galloway and Alton cemeteries and the Galloway Road Sports Complex. Cochran opens and closes the facilities every day.

The law firm, Brosius, Johnson & Griggs, will continue representing the township for various matter this year.

Trustees approved two annual membership renewals at the board meeting as well – the Coalition of Large Ohio Urban Townships (CLOUT) in the amount of $200 and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) in the amount of just over $10,645.

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