Vermilion Township explores adding EMS transport services to their department

The Vermilion Township trustees met for a regular meeting on Wednesday, March 7. The following are from the unapproved minutes of that meeting.

Community playground: Mrs. Katie Lalonde, resident, updated the Board on results, from a survey she conducted on Facebook, regarding interest in a community playground area.  Mr. Kurtz stated he had been working with Dana Corogin, Parks Supervisor, City of Vermilion, gathering information from another community that a township and city partnered together with a parks program.  Mr. Kurtz added the Board would then need to determine if it would be financially beneficial for the township to get involved in a project of this nature.  Discussion pertaining to the cost of playground equipment, location, maintenance, and possibilities for funding the project were further discussed.

County recycling: Matt Old, Erie County Commissioner was in attendance to answer any questions the township had regarding Erie County and to introduce Tiffany McNeely, the new Erie County Solid Waste Management District, Community Outreach/Education Coordinator.  Old discussed recycling and trash collection for Erie County.  He reported that Erie County is now the only county in Ohio not meeting their access goal for recycling.  McNeely will be working on how to get the county in compliance with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.  The variety of abuses of the Recycling Center were discussed by the Board.  The Solid Waste Committee also approved a $2,500.00 grant for community collections that the township will be eligible for to offset some of the costs for Clean-up Days.

County updates: Old handed out brochures explaining the Community Housing Impact and Preservation Program (CHIP) Grant which helps lower-income homeowners do home improvements.  This grant program is available to all income-eligible Erie County homeowners.  Last discussed, was the implementation of a county-wide bed tax system with a target date of May to include B&B’s (single units), as well as, hotels, motels, and cottages.

Building and zoning updates: Building official/zoning administrator, Robert Kurtz, reported for February the Zoning Department issued 1 zoning permits ($25.00) and 1 address signs ($15.00) with a total fee collection of $40.00; the Building Department issued 12 permits with a total fee collection of $2,245.00 and total valuation of work being done at $185,843.00.

Fire department update: Fire chief Frank Triana reported that between February 21 and February 28, they had eight EMS assists and responded to one motor vehicle accident. Master drain on 842 has been replaced.  System has been tested and functions properly.  Thanks to Firefighter Tony Basso for completing this work.

As the department continues to look at EMS, and specifically EMS transports, the chief would like the Trustees to consider moving in this direction.  The department’s run volumes indicate they are comparable to other communities in our area that staff and transport to local hospitals.  Whether this would be staffing with part-time or full-time employees still needs to be determined.  Many things need to be in place before this can happen, such as acquiring a billing company, as well as, some additional equipment.  The benefits include, but are not limited to, providing an improved service to our residents and visitors; creating jobs for the workforce; and producing additional revenue which will cover the operational costs.  This will also eliminate paying funds to the City of Vermilion annually to subsidize EMS.  ISO ratings will also improve through deployment analysis, quicker response times to all scenes (both EMS and other calls) resulting in possible lower homeowner insurance rates.

The used truck purchased from Westlake Fire has arrived.  It is presently out for service.  The department is working on a quote to stencil the truck the same as what the department has now, as well as, working on getting quotes to touch up several spots prior to training the personnel and placing the squad in service.

Kneisel Road drainage: Kurtz received three quotes for the drainage issue on Kneisel Road concerning the resident’s basement flooding.  Quotes are from Herk Excavating, Mark Haynes Construction, Inc., and Abraham Miller Excavating for 600 feet of 12-inch pipe with 1 catch basin.  Another contractor was also contacted with no response.  Mark Haynes Construction was the lowest bid at $11,760.00.  It was noted that Mr. Haynes said the project could be started in the month of March. The trustees approved the recommendation to hire Mark Haynes Construction, Inc.

Road maintenance: Trustee Dickel reported the Board completed road inventory.  Roads needed to be striped include Barnes Road, Kneisel Road and Thompson Road at an estimated cost of $1,672.00.  The tar and chip job completed last year is still being reviewed by the county; whereas, the bid bond is good through October 2018. This voted on and approved by the trustees.

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