Plain Township upgraded cemetery, equipment
Plain Township officials completed another piece of the Maplewood Cemetery master plan and upgraded equipment for the Plain Township Fire Department in 2012.
The township spent the past two years improving the historic cemetery's aesthetics, grading the entrance off Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road and installing an iron fence with landscaping.
This year, the township spent $236,315.50 to rebuild the one-lane roads throughout the cemetery, said Township Administrator Ben Collins.
That included rebuilding a portion of the parking lot near the maintenance building and repaving the entire parking lot, he said.
The trustees also updated the cemetery rules and regulations and increased lot prices after staff members reviewed other township cemetery prices. Burial plots increased from $450 to $600 for residents and from $1,000 to $1,300 for others.
The township also opened another section of the cemetery, which is now called Section 8. Collins said the area has a gentle slope with a good view of Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road. Lots cost $1,000 for residents and $2,500 for others.
The Plain Township Fire Department spent $61,162.51 in 2012 to upgrade equipment to improve the department's efficiency and safety.
Fire Chief John Hoovler said new hydraulic rescue tools that cost $36,480 were purchased to extract people from automobiles and machinery.
"The rescue tools are designed to work on the new high strength steel in cars," Hoovler said.
He said firefighters had the opportunity to use the tools this year and they worked well.
The department spent $12,753.51 on a Lucas device, used to provide CPR compression on patients.
Hoovler said paramedics often have difficulty performing CPR on patients who are being carried down stairs or during transport, when a paramedic may be standing or kneeling and trying to stay steady with the medic starting and stopping.
The department recently completed training on the Lucas device and it was put in the medic unit this month, Hoovler said.
The department spent $3,329 for a King Vision scope, which allows paramedics to see a person's airway during emergency procedures. Hoovler said paramedics successfully used the King Vision scope several times in 2012.
The final purchase in 2012 was $8,600 for new radio headsets for the ladder truck.
Hoovler said the headsets allow fire fighters to communicate during an emergency run. The old sets stopped working and replacement parts weren't available.
The Plain Township Aquatic Center had another record year with the most daily visits in the pool's history.
Collins said the pool welcomed 30,385 daily visitors in 2012, up from the previous record of 29,629 set in 2010. The pool's busiest season on record was in 2010 when there were 52,782 total visits, including those by members. In 2012, the pool had 49,541 total visits.
Collins said the pool finished with a surplus again this year, taking in $374,715.32 and spending $322,664.78.
The township also has worked to improve communications with the community by upgrading its website and newsletter and to provide better records storage by digitizing public records.
Collins said the township paid Buckeye Interactive $4,500 to upgrade the website, which included updating the outdated platform and making the site easier to use, more interactive and more visually appealing.
The contract with Buckeye Interactive includes another $4,000 paid in 2012 for hosting the site and helping optimize the township's presence on Internet search engines.
The township also spent $400 updating the newsletter, which is mailed out to residents. YesPress of Columbus completed the work in 2012, incorporating the new township logo and colors used on the website.
Collins said the township staff is scanning records from 1988 to the present and downloading copies to a compact disc. The disc will be sent to ARC Industries of Columbus, which digitizes the records and sends them back for $10 a disc.
Collins said township officials are working to index of all work previously stored in paper notebooks and to eventually have zoning records and township trustee meeting minutes available digitally.