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Which fire truck to purchase and how to pay?

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
FPS Reporter

Due to lack of a second, a motion to obtain a loan for the purchase of a fire truck for Carrollton Village Fire Department died during the Monday meeting of Carrollton Council.

During the question and answer session near the end of the meeting, Councilman Tom Parker made a motion for the village to secure a loan to purchase a pumper fire truck for the village department with any future oil and gas royalties from any well or wells put into a fire truck account until said pumper and loan expenses are paid.  Parker said acquiring a pumper is a safety issue for the village.  “Council has drug its feet for one year knowing the truck was going out of date,” he said. The department’s Engine 8 pumper truck has an open air cab which could become illegal at the end of the year needing to be replaced. 

His reasoning, Parker explained, is because the Rex Well on the Grunder property is being drilled at the present time.  Two of its horizontal legs will encompass approximately 18 acres of village owned property.  He realizes it could be two years or more before the village would receive royalties but feels strongly about acquiring a needed fire truck.

When questioned about selling a portion of future village royalties, Parker felt (the sale) was a moot point since a well is in process of being drilled.  He said he made the motion because it will take 2-3 months to get a loan approved.  If royalties would begin to accumulate before the loan was paid off, if they were put into the account they could be applied to the loan.  Sandy Patterson, a village employee filling in for Clerk/Treasurer Judi Noble, said the process involves securing a loan from the bank and then selling bonds for the cost of the truck.  Costs would include the purchase price, interest and charge for selling bonds.  However, she thought if you secured a loan using bonds it could not be paid off early.

Councilwoman Wilma Lambert felt the issue should be checked into, noting when council originally began considering selling a percentage of future royalties to purchase a pumper truck, she suggested a loan and Noble didn’t think that was a good idea.

Mayor Frank Leghart asked Parker what he was going to do about securing funds for a ladder truck if they got a loan for a pumper truck. Leghart suggested the finance committee meet and discuss options. 

Councilman Dan Locke said he wasn’t sure if the finance committee knew what their options were.  Leghart told him, “One is to proceed with the sale of royalties and the other is find out the specifics entailed in getting a loan.”  He reiterated the finance committee should meet and discuss their options, noting bids for the sale of a portion of future village royalties are due Nov. 8.  For the time being, the issue will go to the Public Works Committee.

Fire Chief Tom Mesler told council he is done writing the specs for the new pumper and is waiting on quotes. He is still pursuing other grant options, also.

Leghart addressed council about an issue within the village after he received a letter and met with the people. He feels they have a valid complaint.  It’s an ongoing problem of large trucks, semi tankers, etc. proceeding up 5th St. through the residential district to Canton Rd. resulting in mud on the streets, trucks making wrong turns and having to back out onto 5th St., and noise.

Leghart wants to come up with a solution to keep truck traffic from driving through the heart of the residential area.  He said a way to prevent this would be to have them travel south on Canton Rd. to Main St. Trucks would turn east on Main St., and north on High St. to 5th St.  The Public Works Committee will meet Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. to discuss the issue.

Village resident Pat Calvert addressed council, thanking them for listening to the concerns of truck traffic on 5th St. She said they have had to close the windows in their home because of the dust and noise and said when they sit outside around a fire, it isn’t dark because of lights.

Cliff Calvert said, “I am concerned because a truck was halfway down a one-way street and when he attempted to back up, the truck and trailer became jack knifed and remained so for an extended period of time.  If a car would’ve come over the hill, it could have been a bad situation.”  The couple, who reside at the corner of McKinley Ave. and 5th St., will attend the Public Safety Committee.

Regarding employee insurance, Patterson told council if they approve the employee health insurance renewal before Dec. 31, the increase will only be 21.71 percent instead of the 27 percent originally mentioned. Councilman Chris Barto told council after research he recommends they renew for this year and look into possibly joining a consortium next year.  He noted council may want to put an insurance committee together and request bids next year.  Council approved Barto’s motion to continue with the current health plan for at least one year.

Barto also made a motion, which carried, to hire Eric Williams of Pelini, Campbell & Williams as outside council for the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) consideration with Washington Township.  Williams has worked with the village on land acquisitions and is under contract with the village. Washington Twp. Trustee Darrell Shafer visited the Aug. 26 council meeting and explained that with possible economic development and establishment of a power plant in Washington Twp., the trustees are discussing ways of providing services required by law.  They are working with representatives from Albers & Albers law firm to create the JEDD. 

Establishment of a JEDD would create an entity where each has something to offer, the township has services and the village has the tax codes.  Revenue would be gained from new commercial businesses only within the JEDD area.  Businesses already in place would be totally excluded unless they would choose to volunteer to join.  Shafer present council with an example of a possible contract between the entities.
Williams charges around $150 an hour and members questioned the expense. Barto said he made the motion because he feels, “It’s a good idea to get our I’s dotted and T’s crossed before we enter into a contract.”  Leghart feels Williams will make sure a JEDD agreement is what the village wants.

During his monthly report, Police Chief Ron Yeager told council various officers have attended swat trainings, one which was held Oct. 18 in Carrollton High School (CHS). Barto said he also attended the training session at CHS.  “It was three-hours of the best training,” he said. “We portrayed students and went through the scenario.”  Barto said swat members reviewed the school safety plan and made recommendations.

In other business, council:
-HEARD the monthly report from Fire Chief Mesler. He gave a breakdown of fire calls, department assists, etc. and noted the department had one oil well fire.  Parker asked if the department will be reimbursed for the foam used on the oil well fire.  Mesler said Rex will reimburse them. 

-APPROVED a two-month leave of absence request from Patrolman Jacob Glasure, who has accepted a full time position out of state.  Glasure will decide his future employment at the end of the year.

-ACCEPTED the resignation of Patrolman Mark Meftah effective Nov. 1. Meftah noted in his letter his full time position has been having a lot of mandatory overtime and he does not want to hold a position he cannot fill. 

-APPOINTED Auxiliary Policeman Christopher Edwards to fill the vacant part-time position of Meftah with the recommendation of Police Chief Yeager. Edwards has served as an auxiliary officer with the village for close to one year.

-SCHEDULED  a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting for Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m. The owner of a 574 2nd St. NW, Carrollton, would like to build a detached garage which exceeds the 1,000 square foot size allowable by ordinance for a garage.

-HEARD Councilwoman Mary Ann Miller question centerline markings can be applied to Trump Rd. saying people turning in front of Aultman going north often go left of center.  Chief Yeager said the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has to approve before center lines can be painted on the roadway.

-PAID bills totaling $40,281.04 for vendors and $33,973.56 for payroll.

-SET the next council meeting for Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.

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