Hiram Twp. – The Hiram Township Trustees met last week for their second gathering of the new year. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mr. Brewer opened the meeting at 7pm with the reading of the minutes from the January 4th meeting.

In the evening’s business, Mr. Brewer presented a request for an appropriation of $33,000 to a new fire truck the local department is acquiring. Mr. Bosma made the motion to accept a resolution on the appropriation, which was seconded by Ms. Schulda. The motion passed.

Public concerns involved the township website which has not been kept updated. (The last meeting listed is from October.) This will be remedied soon. In addition to keeping information current, further updates may include a rotating photo gallery of picturesque buildings in the area. Also from the website is a link to a February 3rd meeting about security around the home. This will be a neighborhood watch presentation at the Nelson Township Service Building at 7pm. The trustees cautioned residents that break-ins are happening again: “Lock your buildings and put your cars in garages, if possible.” The security presentation is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

Other highlights include the mentioning of the recent hydraulic fracturing seminars held in Newton Falls and other communities. Ms. Schulda commented that the meetings are informative but generally one-sided, and she hopes there will be an opportunity at the future meetings for the “other side” (those in the pro-drilling camp) to present the benefits of this new trend as there are “two sides to every story.” If you were unable to attend the Newton Falls presentation, there will be one in Deerfield on January 31st at the Town Hall as well as one in Paris Township on February 1st at the community center. Both events are at 7pm. More information and the schedule is available at http://portagecitizens.org.

The Fire Chief reported that the department ended 2010 with 401 runs, about 70% of which are EMS calls. The average call response time was five minutes, five seconds. On a broader scope, he also gave the ten-year breakdown of calls, stating that in 2001 the department had about 400 calls, then in 2004-2005 the call volume was nearly double that with numbers in the 700s. This was primarily due to helping out Windham and surrounding communities with their calls. As noted, the number of calls is balancing out at about the same now as it was ten years ago since the district is back to just handling local emergencies. Also, thanks to the tree trimming program instituted by the road crew, there has been a significant drop in calls pertaining to fallen trees or affected power lines. He relayed that 98% of the time on EMS calls, ALS service (paramedic) has been provided, which is an impressive response for any department. He also announced that the Hiram Fire Department is actively recruiting members to fill  positions that have come open, reported an extensive roster of success in advanced training for current team members as well as upgrades to department technology and equipment, and mentioned grants that have been received to furnish such upgrades and advanced training.

In new business, Sandy Wagner was nominated as the alternate for the BZA and approved.

A motion passed to pay the bills before adjourning for the evening. The next Trustees meeting will be February 1st at 7pm, Township Hall.