Leneghan 'OK with' EMS study after research
The Liberty Township Board of Trustees was expected to vote to back a countywide EMS study at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Prior to the meeting, Trustee Melanie Leneghan said she would support the proposed study of different EMS models only after she had more time to investigate the matter.
Leneghan convinced Trustees Curt Sybert and Mary Carducci to delay voting on the measure at the board's Aug. 21 meeting, asking for more information.
The full details of how the study would be conducted won't be determined until after the grant is awarded.
But Leneghan said a call to the county administrator put her worries to rest. She said she was concerned that township staff would spend too much time organizing the effort, and wanted to ensure there was no possibility of bias.
Township Administrator Dave Anderson helped to create an outline describing the scope of the proposed study.
"I had to do the research to find out what's really going on, and now that I've done that, I'm OK with it," Leneghan said Aug. 29.
Townships in the southern half of the county, including Liberty Township, largely operate with a fire-based EMS model in which all firefighters also are licensed paramedics.
But in the less-populated northern parts of the county, many townships use volunteer fire departments, alongside medical care provided by Delaware County EMS.
The proposed study would compare the various models to determine which are most efficient and cost-effective across communities, Anderson said.
If the grant ultimately is awarded to the county, the study would be conducted by a third party at no cost to local municipalities. A Local Government Innovation Fund Grant would cover all costs.
A grant application must have backing from all participating parties.
Anderson first said a special meeting would have to be held to vote before a Sept. 3 deadline, but later backtracked, saying a resolution in support of the project could be approved after the deadline.
Also at the Sept. 4 meeting, trustees were expected to vote to convene an implementation committee to continue plans to save the historic Orange Road Bridge, which spans the Olentangy River.
During the first half of this year, the Orange Road Bridge Task Force identified several potential ways to rescue the structurally unstable bridge from the scrap heap, including the possibility of moving it to a nearby park, where it would stand as an outdoor "museum" piece.
Anderson said the committee would continue where the task force left off, investigating funding methods to help support the renovation or relocation of the bridge and narrowing the list of potential park locations.
He said the board also would recognize the task force's work on the project at an upcoming meeting.
The bridge, which was built in 1898, has been deemed unsafe even for pedestrians and was closed to vehicles in 2007 after inspections revealed significant structural deterioration.
The discovery prompted the county engineer's office to take action. In 2009, the road was rerouted over a new, wider bridge.
A task force convened after the county made plans to seek bids to tear down the bridge.