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Lakemore Fire gets staffing grant

1/16/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

LAKEMORE — At the Jan. 13 Lakemore Village Council meeting, Fire Chief Barry Saley announced the village just received notification from state officials that the Fire Department is a recipient of the 2013 Safer Grant.

He explained the grant aids departments in staffing adequate fire and emergency responders. The department soon would obtain $255,400 through the grant, Saley said.

This money will be used to rehire a full-time position lost in 2011 due to budget cuts, he explained.

In addition, the hours of part-time department employees had been cut the past few years, as well, but the grant money will afford additional part-time staffing, Saley said.

He added the department had been hit hard financially in recent years due to decreased revenue, including a loss of income taxes, so this grant will make a significant, positive impact.

“This is a huge victory for the village,” Saley said. “It will alleviate some pressure off of the village’s General Fund.”

Mayor Rick Justice thanked the fire chief for seeking out the grant money. He said Saley has worked on grant applications diligently since 2005 and brought the department more than $1 million in funding since that time.

Additionally, the chief wanted village homeowners to know the department recently lowered its ISO rating to a four, which reflects the efficiency of the department. He explained residents should let their property insurance companies know, as they may see a savings as a result of the lower rate. Saley said some residents could see an approximate $40 a year savings.

Also during the meeting, Justice and Council publicly praised community member Shirley Davis for 21 years of service to the village. Justice said Davis has run the food pantry at the Lakemore United Methodist Church for more than two decades as a way to help her neighbors in need.

The Rev. Jeff Gindlesberger, of Lakemore Methodist, said Davis began serving hot meals from the church in 1992 and continued to do so for 10 years until she realized more people could be helped through the distribution of food items via the pantry.

“She really cares for the people and gets the best items she can with the money we have available,” Gindlesberger said.

At the start of the meeting, Justice and Gindlesberger swore into office newly elected Councilmen Richard Cole and Josh Timko and re-elected Council members Tom Wolfe and Laura Cochran.

Through a paper ballot vote, Cochran was elected Council president for 2014.

Additionally during the meeting, Council approved:

  • a contract with Summit County Public Health for outfall screening and sampling of storm water at cost of about $2,424 for the five-year agreement;
  • an agreement with Brouse McDowell for legal services pertaining to current litigation and zoning violations, with the billing rate at $150 per hour;
  • an increase in the monthly salary of John “Jack” Berringer, zoning inspector for the village, for a compensation of $240 per month; and
  • an $1,861 expenditure adjustment in the Street Maintenance Fund to afford the insurance repair of a guardrail on Lakeside Drive.

Council will not meeting Jan. 20 due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The next Council meeting is set for Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 1400 Main St.

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