Hiram Township – At the last meeting, Assistant Fire Chief Brandon Baynes reported that the department’s average response time in Hiram Village and Township was roughly 6 minutes, and that they completed 31 runs during the month. Afterwards, Baynes responded to questions from a citizen about repairs to an emergency siren. It was shared that although the fire department owns the tower, a vendor who is licensed to make the necessary repairs must repair the siren. The signal in Hiram Township is “on the list” to be repaired; Trustees will press the vendor for an estimated completion date on repairs to the siren.
Proceeding, Baynes shared that the department had purchased the demo model of an EMS squad and had traded in the older unit. He noted that a BWC grant would be used toward the purchase of an auto-load system, which would make it safer and easier for first responders to transport patients. Since the Hiram fire department is funded by both Hiram Village and Township, the Trustees requested an explanation of the disbursements from the village’s Capital Fund, from which the Village pays their portion, which amounts to 40% of the department’s budget.
Moving forward, Trustee Steve Pancost expressed concerns over his experience with a 911 call where the call did not connect to emergency assistance. After several calls didn’t connect, he dialed the direct line to dispatchers, who handled his emergency. Because of the dropped calls to 911, the County Sheriff’s office was also dispatched to the scene. Pancost sought the attention of county officials, who are investigating the problem. As a precaution, he advised residents to keep the direct line to emergency dispatch, (330) 569-7505, available, should they experience similar issues.
Lastly, Trustee Jack Groselle provided an update on the Local Government Fund distribution discussions. According to Ohio Revised Code, the 28 cities villages, and townships in Portage County need to agree on the most equitable formula to disperse money from this fund, which is comprised of residents’ tax dollars. The formula would be in effect for 10 years, beginning in 2019. The existing formula, which was devised 20 – 30 years ago, provides the four cities with nearly 40% of the fund, while the seven villages share less than 9% and the 18 townships share less than 15% of the fund. “We need to be fair to the whole county,” explained Trustee Groselle, who has been one of five township trustees participating in these discussions. Representatives for the cities, villages, and townships are meeting with the county budget commission, which includes the Auditor, Treasurer, and Prosecutor, to come to a resultion.
The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 10th at 7 pm in the Township Hall.