Olentangy Valley News

Orange Township considers veterans memorial

Committee will mull potential locations, costs

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A committee of the Orange Township Community Parks Board will be formed to look into the feasibility of a veterans memorial in the township.

Trustee Rob Quigley discussed the idea with fellow Trustees Lisa Knapp and Debbie Taranto at their meeting Monday, May 20. Quigley said he thinks something recognizing the sacrifices of members of the military would be good for the township. Taranto and Knapp agreed.

"I believe we can do quite a bit of this with donations from businesses, residents and various organizations," Quigley said.

The committee will look into costs, potential locations, the type of memorial and other related matters.

Quigley said he thinks the township can provide no more than $5,000 toward the project.

After the meeting, he said the project is in its preliminary stages. He said he hopes once a committee is formed, it can have its work done by the end of the year and forward its recommendations to trustees.

 

Cul-de-sac parking

Also at this week's meeting, trustees voted to allow residents living on cul-de-sacs of a certain size to participate in a variance process if they want to park in the cul-de-sac. Currently, parking is prohibited on all cul-de-sacs.

At least 75 percent of residents who live on cul-de-sacs that have a minimum diameter of at least 110 linear feet of paved surface (less the diameter of any center island) would have to sign a petition seeking to allow parking. Township Maintenance Director Beth Hugh would rule on such petitions.

The issue arose in February when some residents on Edgewater Court told trustees they wanted parking on their street. Township officials said at that time the current policy is in place so safety equipment such as fire trucks would be able to turn safely on such streets.

Knapp suggested the long-standing policy be reviewed so residents on large cul-de-sacs such as Edgewater -- which has about 130 linear feet of paved surface and no center island -- could have an opportunity to park on the street near their homes.

Resident Mark Marcum said at the time that his family had an overflow of cars to park in his driveway and it was difficult to have people over for special occasions such as Christmas. The recent addition of a no-parking sign on the street caused Marcum and others to approach trustees.

Knapp voted against the variance proposal and suggested an alternative that would allow parking in cul-de-sacs of at least 105 linear feet. Neither Quigley nor Taranto seconded that motion.

"The original code was put in for different reasons," Knapp said. "Times have changed."

Quigley and Taranto said the variance process would work the best.

Quigley said some residents don't want parking on cul-de-sacs, so the majority would rule in such cases.

"This addresses both sides" of the issue, he said.

Taranto suggested the variance process could be revisited in a year to see if it is working out.

 

July 4th, EMS billing

Residents John Oreskovich and Kirby Nielsen addressed the trustees on other topics.

Oreskovich, president of the Shores Home Owners Association, said the fireworks show held last July Fourth at nearby Alum Creek Reservoir was a nice event, but it caused some safety and other concerns for his neighborhood. It was the first time the township has launched fireworks at Alum Creek.

Oreskovich raised issues about parking, traffic safety and debris from falling fireworks shells. He asked township officials to make sure there is an action plan for this year's event.

Nielsen said he was concerned the township has failed to move forward with an EMS billing plan that would be a source of income for the fire department.

"EMS billing seems to be put on the back burner," Nielsen said. "Money left on the table is still money left on the table. I ask you to be fiscally prudent in this matter."

Knapp, who has pushed for EMS billing for several months, said it could raise up to $400,000 a year and be a revenue stream for the cash-strapped fire department.

Insurance companies of people transported by township emergency vehicles would be billed and no bills would be sent to residents.

"I'm in favor of going ahead with this program." she said.

However, Quigley, who is trustee liaison this year for public safety, said he still is exploring options with Delaware County and other county townships. He said he wants to have a long-term plan, perhaps in cooperation with other political subdivisions.

Quigley said he hopes to have something to present to trustees within the next couple of months.

Knapp asked the other trustees if they would go along with asking the county prosecutor for an opinion on whether individual trustees can seek legal advice from the prosecutor's office.

That office decided more than a year ago that opinions would be given only to the entire board, not individually.

Knapp said that hampers her efforts if she wants advice and doesn't have support from at least one of the other trustees.

Both Quigley and Taranto said it seems the prosecutor's office has made a determination on that matter and that seeking an opinion now was not necessary.

Taranto said she had no problem with Knapp asking the prosecutor about the decision. Knapp said she has tried but gets the same response that the board must seek opinions.

Resident Jim Hahn told the board he is curious why an individual board member can't talk with the prosecutor.

Quigley said he doesn't have that answer, but that is the stance the office has taken.

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