Knox Twp. voters face fire renewals, uncontested seats

KNOX TWP. – Residents will see two fire renewal levies and an uncontested race for two seats on the board of trustees on the November ballot.

A 1.5-mill, five-year renewal levy will be up for both the North Georgetown and Homeworth fire departments, while incumbent trustee Gregory Carver and newcomer Ben Pidgeon will run for the two trustee spots.

The renewal of the levies will not increase current taxes. The levies generate annually $66,300 for Homeworth and $49,400 for North Georgetown. Each is $45.66 a year for owners of a $100,000 home in the respective jurisdictions.

According to North Georgetown Fire Chief Ed Reichenbach, the levy is his department’s only source of income, helping pay for equipment and operating expenses.

“We appreciate the help we get from residents,” he said.

Homeworth Fire Chief Brian Baker noted that the members of the departments are volunteer so the levies do not go toward wages, only equipment, training and day-to-day expenses at his department.

“We’ve had great support from the community in the past,” he said. “I know its a tough time (financially) for everybody, but (the tax) is nothing the public hasn’t already been paying. We’ve been fortunate to be equipped the way we are and without the support we can’t operate.”

For trustee, incumbent Gregory Carver, a 1974 West Branch graduate, has served two terms on the board. He is currently a highway technician with the Ohio Department of Transportation and had previously worked 27 years with American Steel Foundries in Alliance.

Appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Initiative in January 2012, Carver is an active member of the community, serving as president of the West Branch Little Warrior Football program, 30-year member of the Homeworth Volunteer Fire Company and a member of the Ohio Township Association. He is currently attending the University of Mount Union with expected graduation in May.

Carver said his experience in road and bridge construction, fire safety and cooperation with other elected officials makes him a quality candidate for the position. He also cited his ability to listen to residents and take a proactive approach as a board to help not only the residents of the township, but those of the county, state and country, as well.

During his tenure on the board, Carver has been instrumental in bringing to the township the MARCS communication tower at the administration building, the early warning siren system throughout the township and a continued effort to upgrade the township’s roads and bridges.

Carver promised to continue to listen, be a good servant of the resident’s money and be open to new ideas.

“As a trustee for the past eight years, I have met great people while working in Knox Township, along with outstanding fellow trustees and fiscal officers in Columbiana County,” he said. “I have worked with public officials at the county, state and federal level[s] who have listened to me in order to help make a difference. The job of trustee is not a one person job but a community effort if Knox Township is to continue to succeed, as well as Columbiana County and the state of Ohio”

Carver lives with his wife, Phyllis, on Homeworth Road. They have three daughters and three grandchildren.

A 2004 graduate of West Branch, Ben Pidgeon is currently employed at the family owned Salem Air Park. He is a member of the Columbiana County Farm Bureau, the Knox Sportsman Club and the East Central Ohio Pilots Association.

Pidgeon noted his small business experience will help him be a quality trustee.

“Working closely with family, co-workers and employees from a young age has taught me the importance of cooperation to attain goals, while staying within a set budget in an ever changing economy,” he said. “This small business environment has also prepared me to properly serve my community and stay current with issues affecting us on a local level.”

Pidgeon said he will cooperate with other members of the community to help the township run effectively.

“As trustee, I will work closely with the other elected officials, road crew, volunteer fire departments, and, most importantly, residents of Knox Township to keep our community thriving in the most fiscally responsible manner possible,” he said.

Pidgeon lives with his wife, Emilie, on U.S. Route 62.