Trustees discuss pay rates, crime, and utilities in Prairie Township


By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

After an executive session, township trustees approved several new positions, as well as provided pay raises to township employees.

At a recent Prairie Township meeting, the board approved advertising for a full-time position at the community center, as well as renamed the service director position to the assistant township administrator/road superintendent and agreed to pay Dave McAninch $110,000 a year.

The board also approved renaming the HR/operations coordinator to HR director/fiscal coordinator and increasing its salary to $70,000 per year.

At the meeting, residents also expressed concern about an increase in crime in the region, despite increasing their yearly pay for police protection for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

“There is an increased number of calls regarding damaging of mailboxes and shots fired in the southwest area,” said Deputy Burton Haren. “Deputies on all three shifts have been made aware.”

However, residents said there are a variety of other issues they feel the sheriff’s office isn’t addressing.

“There is ongoing issues with prostitution,” said Cheryl Cornelius, township resident. “What is being done to address this?”

Haren explained there has not been a lot of arrests or activity lately and to report illegal activity if it is witnessed.

Haren added that due to a call from a concerned citizen regarding suspicious activity, deputies were able to make an arrest, recover a stolen vehicle, stolen property and drug paraphernalia as well.

“Detectives executed a large drug seizure including arrests this week,” Haren said.

In other news, Scott Belcastro of Trebel discussed the bankruptcy of his business and the impact that will have on the township residents’ utility bills.

“We recently filed for Chapter 11 and Volunteer Energy was chosen to service the township from December 2021 to December 2023 with a fixed rate of 4.59 cents per kw/hr,” he said. “June 1 rates will be upward of 6.5 to 7 cents per kw/hr.”

Belcastro said residents should be receiving letters in the mail stating they will be put back in this utility and that these new rates are AEP’s default rate.

Residents are encouraged to contact Trebel with any questions at 877-861-2772.


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