Hilliard Northwest News

Norwich Township

Trustees earmark $900,000 to help build digital tower


The Norwich Township trustees wrapped up appropriations for 2014 operating expenses during their last scheduled meeting of the year Dec. 17.

The trustees approved appropriations of $17.75 million. The expenses include the general fund, fire, EMS, street department and cemetery accounts.

The appropriations bill was amended to include an additional expenditure of $900,000, half the cost of the $1.8-million digital-communications tower planned for construction next year at Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park.

The tower is necessary because Hilliard is poised to join the Central Ohio Interoperability Radio System, and Hilliard police will replace analog radios with digital radios as part of the upgrade. Norwich Township already uses digital radios.

Earlier this year, Hilliard transferred fire-suppression and EMS dispatching to the Dublin Division of Police, a founding member of COIRS.

Hilliard police previously handled those calls for Norwich Township.

The transfer will be complete in a few weeks when Dublin begins handling Hilliard's police calls.

In other business Dec. 17, the trustees approved a battery of year-end resolutions, including:

* Approval of Internet auctions to sell township property.

* Renewal of membership in various organizations for 2014.

* Extension of a mosquito-control contract to Vector Disease Control. Franklin County Public Health awarded the contract to Vector for its spraying program, and Norwich Township participates in the program, Fiscal Officer Jamie Miles said.

* Retention of Loveland and Brosius as legal counsel in 2014. The 2014 appropriations for legal and accounting services is $52,000, the same as 2013, Miles said.

* Approval of the salaries for the trustees and the fiscal officer.

Unlike city councils, Ohio boards of trustees cannot establish their compensation.

The Ohio General Assembly determines compensation and wage increases for trustees.

The salary of township trustees and the fiscal officer are on a sliding scale, based on a township's budget, Trustee Larry Earman said.

With an annual budget in excess of $10 million, Norwich Township is at the highest step, with its trustees earning and fiscal officer earning the highest salary possible under current Ohio law.

In 2014, each of the three trustees will earn $20,568 annually; the salary of the fiscal officer will be $28,176.

Norwich Township officials' salaries have been the same since 2008.

The trustees also approved salary increases ranging from 2 to 3.5 percent for nonunion employees, who last received a wage increase in 2011.

The township has six full-time and four part-time employees who do not belong to a union.