Violet Township Fire Chief John Eisel wears an assortment of hats as the township's top fire official. Now he'll wear one more big one.
July 16, the Violet Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Eisel as interim director of operations for the township.
Eisel will take the helm, albeit temporarily, because Benjamin King resigned from the township's top post to become Pataskala's city administrator, effective July 18.
Violet Township officials said Eisel was a wise choice given his background. He has been Violet Township's Fire Chief since 2009.
"I think with his knowledge of (Fairfield) County, it will help us tremendously until we find a replacement," said Terry Dunlap Sr., a Violet Township trustee.
"I think he's demonstrated excellent leadership in his role as fire chief," added Violet Township trustee Gary Weltlich.
Eisel will take over day-to-day managerial duties of running the township in addition to being fire chief. He said he looks forward to the challenge.
"I am humbled that the township trustees have the confidence and trust that I can handle these additional responsibilities on an interim basis," Eisel said.
"We have a great staff in key positions, and I am confident we can continue to provide excellent service to our residents during this transition time."
Eisel is in the midst of overseeing the design of the township's new fire station on Lockville Road, an endeavor made possible because of a successful 3.8-mill property tax levy campaign for township fire service operations in May.
As part of a five-year strategic plan, a projected $6 million in systemwide improvements include the expenditure of $3.3 million for the replacement of Station 591 in Olde Pickerington Village.
The current Station 591, built in 1954, does not have the capability to house modern fire equipment or additional personnel.
Eisel said the design process for Station 591 has already commenced, with 14 architectural firms responding to an advertised "request for qualifications" in early July.
"Now the building team may begin the process of reviewing them, grading and selection," Eisel said.
"This will take some time and energy to make sure we do it right, and our hope is to be ready to have an architect selected in September," he said.
Eisel said a "very preliminary timeline that we developed internally" projects the new station to open in 2016.