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Granger trustees discuss emergency services

1/17/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Audrey French

At the Jan. 14 meeting, the Granger Township Board of Trustees reviewed and discussed many different issues related to the township’s emergency services.

First, trustees responded to an inquiry from Granger resident Ron Dorris regarding resignations and retirements of members of the Granger Fire Department over the past year.

Trustee Teri Berry indicated she thinks Fire Chief Jim Paulett has done a good job ensuring the township has no gaps in coverage. Berry also said they are currently analyzing response times to make sure they have not slouched in any way from year to year. Finally, Berry reiterated she was sorry to see the personnel go, but change is inevitable in all organizations.

Trustee Richard Pace agreed with Berry.

Also during the meeting, Fire Lt. Kevin Hylbert thanked the trustees and fiscal officer on behalf of the Granger Firefighters Association for their continued support and generosity toward the Granger Fire Department during the past year.

Hylbert explained how the trustees’ safety initiatives have played a significant role in improving the safety of the firefighters, specifically the upgraded training facility, improved safety flooring and new state-of-the-art equipment, including replacement self-containing breathing apparatuses.

Pace thanked the Firefighters Association for attending all the trustees’ meetings recently and for continuing to work with the board on safety initiatives put in place during the past few years in an effort to cut down on Workers’ Compensation claims.

Trustees also heard from Medina County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Schismenos, who reminded trustees there has been an increase in burglaries and thefts throughout Medina County, including Granger. Schismenos explained this increase is related to drug use, particularly heroin. He asked Granger residents to call and notify the Sheriff’s Office when they find drug paraphernalia or notice things missing from their property, even if they don’t want to file a report. This will help the Sheriff’s Office maximize their target enforcement and patrolling.

In more Granger Fire Department news, Paulett announced there were 11 fire and 27 EMS calls in December. He also said the department now has five fire inspectors coordinated by Fire Lt. Ted Fulling, and they are beginning to put all the inspection information into the FireHouse Software.

The fire hydrant agreement is now complete with the Medina County Sanitary Engineering Department, said Paulett, who is meeting with the department this week for additional training on procedures and to obtain updated maps.

Paulett also announced the Granger Fire Department is part of a community committee working on mapping long driveways in excess of 900 feet in the township, which need to be marked for more effective firefighting procedures by June.

Trustee John Ginley and Fiscal Officer Barbara Beach reminded Paulett that in the past they have paid the Medina County Emergency Management Agency for Pictometry and indicated this might be available and more helpful than Google Earth.

After attending the Ohio State Firefighters Association meeting in Columbus this past weekend, Paulett said the possible merger of the Ohio Board of Emergency Medical Services and the Ohio Medical Transportation Board would affect licensing and inspection of Granger EMS units.

Finally, Paulett mentioned he is working on completing applications for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Fire Prevention Safety Grant for smoke and carbon dioxide detectors for senior citizens due today, Jan. 17, as well as another grant due Jan. 30 with which he would like to purchase a replacement thermal imager.

In other business:

• Ginley was chosen as chairman and Berry as vice chair for 2013.

• According to the Medina County Auditor’s Office, the tentative due date for tax bills, which will be sent out this week, is Feb. 15. The office also announced Current Agricultural Use Value renewals and new applications are due March 1; dog tags will be $12 until Jan. 31, when the price will jump to $24; and border revision filings are being accepted until April 1.

• Zoning Inspector Annie George announced the number of permits issued in 2012 was the same or more than past years, a good indicator business was on the rise this past year.

• Sexton Rita Feess announced there were 15 full burials and four cremations during 2012.

• Trustees appointed Nancy Bloom as a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals through December 2017 and John Kastelein as an alternate for a one-year term in 2013.

• Trustees also passed a series of routine resolutions to set a regular blanket certificate policy, to authorize purchases, to request an advance of taxes, to dispose of equipment by Internet auction on www.gov deals.com and to agree to provide beverages in the Administration Building under certain circumstances.

• Trustees approved a new policing contract with the Medina County Sheriff’s Office for 2013, including a 2.5 percent rise in the hourly rate to $23 for up to 75 hours per month and not to exceed 900 hours per year.

• Trustees agreed to set temporary appropriations for 2013 up to $1 million as needed, to approve supplemental appropriations and to pay bills as presented.

• Trustees agreed to move $5,000 to an insurance account, approved a Medicare revalidation through Life Force for a fee of $532 and to give the Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals $300 for its services in 2013.

The next regular Granger Board of Trustees meeting will take place Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. at the Administration Building, 3717 Ridge Road.

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