By Wayne Allen
The Brush Creek Township Trustees — Steve Brown, Rick Gambill and Mike Seaman — meet in regular session earlier this week to discuss a number of items, including the contract it has with the village of Otway for fire protection services.
Attending the meeting was roughly 50 residents of the village who wanted to express their opinions on why the trustees should renew the contract with the village. The contract for fire protection services between the village and the township is typically renewed yearly and voted on by the trustees and Otway village council.
The 2013 contract states, “whereas there is significant need for fire protection in the unincorporated area of Brush Creek Township. The village of Otway through its fire department shall provide fire protection for the unincorporated area of Brush Creek Township by responding to fire calls in the township in the same manner as fire calls are answered in the village of Otway.
Brush Creek Township shall pay the village of Otway the sum of $30,000 annually payable in two equal installments, each installment shall be payed within 45 days of the distribution of real property taxes by the Scioto County Auditor.”
“I am not against and do not want to do away with this fire department, I want to make that clear. Since all of this has gone on I’ve had three people contact me (to voice their concerns),” Seaman said.
Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn also attended to provide his legal opinion.
“There was a question of whether or not he (Gambill) could participate in a vote for a contract with the village. Because he (Gambill) is the fire chief of the fire department they (Brush Creek Township) are contracting for services with, our opinion was that it would be a conflict for him to vote on that contract.” Kuhn advised.
Kuhn said the trustees voted to propose a year contract with the village for $38,900 for fire protection, and Gambill abstained from the vote.
“(With Gambill abstaining from the vote) it lends some confidence to what the trustees did. It sounded like there was a lot more speculation and gossip than there was a real issue,” Kuhn said.
He said the proposal will now be presented to the village council for consideration.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT