Hiram Twp. – In his Fire Report, Chief Bill Byers shared that the department’s average run was slightly over six minutes for the month’s 38 runs. He mentioned the department’s future need to replace the 2002 Rescue Squad, and suggested looking for a demo squad with a loading system. He noted that there could possibly be grant money available through the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation for the cost of the loading system. The approximate cost of the replacement squad is estimated at $130,000.00 to $150,000.00. The Fire Department has allocated roughly $98,000.00 in the Capital Fund. Chief Byers noted that with the village/township agreement of a 60/40 split; the township’s portion would be roughly $30,000.00. There will be more discussion on this matter to come.

In similar news, Trustee Kathy Schulda shared that she met with Hiram’s Acting Police Chief Brian Gregory to discuss the possibility of adding a levy to help fund the township patrol. Chief Gregory will work on the language for a levy, and provide this information to Trustees for discussion. He also urged residents to be aware of a new phone scam. He explained that they might receive a call from an unknown number who will ask if they can hear them. “It seems harmless — in fact, it happens all the time, so why would you think anything of it?” Gregory noted. He continued, “That’s exactly how criminals are using it as a ploy to trick unsuspecting consumers.”

The idea behind this phone scam is aimed at getting people who answer the call to say the word “yes.” It may not seem like a big deal at the time, but later, a criminal can use that recording to authorize unwanted charges on bills, credit cards and more. “When you say ‘yes,’ it gets recorded and they say that you have agreed to something,” he remarked. “The caller may also ask you to press a button to be placed on the ‘Do Not Call Registry,’ which is just a way for the crooks to find out if the number they called is active,” he added. Gregory urged residents to be aware. He noted that ff you receive a call from a number you don’t recognize, be skeptical of any yes or no question that has no context provided by the caller. The safest thing to do is to just hang up.

You may wonder how someone can cause any damage if you didn’t provide your credit card number or other info over the phone. Criminals may have some of your personal information through some type of data breach. For example, if they have acquired your cable bill or credit card number, together with your recorded ‘yes’ and phone number, they can make purchases or on your accounts. Be mindful — If you see any charges you don’t recognize on your bills, call the company immediately to dispute the transactions, and contact your bank to make sure they are informed, as well. To register your phone number on the government’s legitimate Do Not Call Registry, you can do so at DoNotCall.gov. While that may stop legitimate businesses from soliciting you, it won’t stop scammers. But if you’re already on the list and a caller gives you the option to register for it, you’ll know that caller is most likely a scammer.

In other news, Trustee Jack Groselle asked Fiscal Officer Diane Rodhe to publish a notice for a Zoning and BZA Secretary as well as the opportunity for residents to participate as an alternate on the Zoning and BZA Boards. The secretary position is a paid job, while the alternate position is a volunteer position with a one-year term.

Later, building quotes were discussed for the township’s property on State Route 82. The Trustees have solicited several bids. There was further discussion on the location of the building or buildings and the cost of excavation. Discussions on the topic will continue at subsequent meetings.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees will take place on Tuesday, April 4th at 7 pm in the Township Hall; residents are encouraged to attend.