Olentangy Valley News

New captain named as fire department adjusts

Liberty fire's Duane Price promoted to third captain position

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

With its staffing model in flux, the Liberty Township Board of Trustees appointed a third captain for the fire department this week.

At their meeting Monday, March 4, trustees voted 3-0 to promote Lt. Duane Price to the rank of captain, with a recommendation from Fire Chief Tim Jensen.

Jensen said Price will serve as one of three captains and will oversee one of three primary shifts in the department's schedule.

In his new role, Price also will coordinate training and instruction for firefighters.

"We want to not waste a beat and get moving as quick as we can. We need to work with the staffing model we have," Jensen said.

He said a captain is needed to oversee each shift since the fire department recently completed a 20-percent reduction in staffing.

In all, 10 full-time firefighters have resigned or retired in the past year. Officials said that reduction was necessary to balance the fire department's budget after voters rejected a levy on the November ballot.

The trustees also approved payment of $2,504 to repair a faulty pump on a fire engine.

In addition, they approved the purchase of two new trucks for $177,762 for the township's road department to replace aging vehicles.

Road Superintendent Randy Leib said the trucks, which will be used to spread salt in the winter, are equipped with new technology to moisten salt before it hits the road.

Leib said that will save the township about 25 percent in salt usage, because wet salt sticks to the road and works more quickly to melt ice.

They also are outfitted with computers that regulate the amount of salt being spread.

"We're really advancing things into today's times versus some of the other equipment we've had in the past," Leib said.

The old trucks will be sold; Leib said he estimates the township can get roughly $30,000 to offset some of the cost of the newer vehicles.

Also at this week's meeting, trustees agreed to participate in the Delaware County engineer's joint bidding process for road improvements. Participation helps the township secure lower costs for road resurfacing.

This year, the township plans to spend an estimated $507,792 to repave roads. Slated for repairs this year are: Rutherford, Stratford, North Hampton and Churchill roads, Highland Drive, and Highland View and Malabar courts.

Trustees also gave their nod to the purchase of six desktop computers and software for $6,344.70 to replace outdated hardware in the administrative offices and fire department. Anderson said the township updates its technology regularly to maintain fast and reliable computers.

The trustees also renewed licenses for computer security software for $3,472.13.

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