Fairfield trustee: Can’t bill for accident costs

FAIRFIELD TWP. — Trustee Barry Miner said he spoke with the Columbiana County prosecutor’s office, which said without its own fire department the township could not bill insurance companies for motor vehicle accidents.

At the last meeting, trustees discussed the issue as way to recover fire levy money being used for accidents.

Miner was advised that townships don’t have the authority.

He noted that after the issue was raised and reported on he received calls from a number of other townships in the county experiencing the same thing.

Miner said it appears to be “a growing problem.”

In other business, trustees discussed the electric and gas aggregation solicitations they have received.

Trustee Chairman Bob Hum said they were being “inundated by a number of vendors” and asked for suggestions on how to “whittle these down.”

Trustees heard a presentation from a company during the last meeting that does both the electric and gas aggregation and Hum, noting there are about 34 vendors “out there,” said he would prefer to hire a company that does both.

“I think we should give serious consideration to having one do both,” he said, to keep it simple.

Miner said he didn’t know if there was list from a statewide or countywide organization that would have information to help them.

Trustee John Garwood wondered if the township association would get involved with it. No action was taken.

Road Supervisor Mel Miller said his department had about half of the township taken care of with the rotary ditcher so far, road signs from a state grant continue to go up, they are preparing roads for the upcoming chip and seal program, while also replacing cross culverts and tree trimming.

Miller asked trustees for a purchase order of $5,000 for Timberline Tree Service to remove a large tree over a culvert on Woodsdale Road which was approved unanimously.

Trustees also approved a resolution to purchase 400 tons of road salt. Garwood asked about the price and Miller said, “We don’t know the price until they come back and tell you. We usually know by the end of May.”

The township purchased 200 tons last year.

Trustees also approved the purchase of a trash pump for the dry hydrant at the Old School Lake behind the government building from Ray Lewis Co. for an amount not to exceed $5,000.

Miller said the pump came with a 15-foot hose but said they may want to increase the length.

In other business, Randy Smith, who resides in the Middleton area near state Route 7 and Waterford Road, wants a neighbor to clean up their property.

“The neighbor’s house is very bad,” Smith said noting there are rats.

“My goal is, I live in a neighborhood I’m proud of and don’t want to live next to a pig sty … I can’t do it myself. I realized the place was bad but didn’t realize it was so bad. If it’s a junkyard, put a fence up.”

Zoning Officer Kymberly Seabolt suggested he might be confusing zoning with aesthetics and Smith said the neighbors were cutting up vehicles, dumping fluids and burning copper.

Seabolt said, “We’ll definitely talk to them, especially if they’re burning.”

Miner said there are regulations that the township needed to start enforcing.

Smith said, “Something has to be done. We’ve go to get the place cleaned up.”

Seabolt explained that the health department likes first person accounts regarding problems in suggesting that department as an option and said, “We’ll come over … we can talk to them about (being a) nuisance.”