The Prairie Township Fire Department will temporarily be without a tanker truck while a water pump on the vehicle is repaired.

The Prairie Township Fire Department will temporarily be without a tanker truck while a water pump on the vehicle is repaired.

Assistant Fire Chief Chris Snyder told trustees at the March 6 board meeting the township may have to depend on mutual aid agreements with surrounding departments until its sole tanker can be fixed.

Snyder said the tanker developed problems last year with leaky valves. They were patched, but now the problem seems to have worsened, he said.

"Last year, we got with a vendor in West Jefferson who put a plug in," Snyder said. "We are living on borrowed time. Since last week, the pump has developed another leak. We are losing half a tank of water a day."

Snyder asked trustees to approve funds not to exceed $6,500 for the estimated repairs that will be done by Triad Fire Apparatus Service. The work is expected to put the tanker out of service for at least a week, he said.

"I believe the repair will be much cheaper than the estimate," Snyder said. "It's at the point where it has to be repaired."

Trustee Ron Ball said the township has used Triad as a vendor for more than 25 years and he believes it will do the best job.

"We trust him (Triad's operator) because he knows our equipment," Ball said.

Snyder also asked the board for permission to advertise and sell outdated or inoperable fire items on a government website,, that helps government entities get rid of surplus or used items via the Internet.

He said the department wants to dispose of several high-band-frequency radios it can no longer use.

"Besides the radios, we have an air compressor the motor went out on," Snyder said. "Instead of disposing of them, we put the items on govdeals. We've been pleasantly surprised in the past on items we thought were worthless."

In other business last week, trustees approved a proposal that moves the township and the city of Columbus forward in recruiting a master developer for the Big Darby Town Center.

The proposed development site is located between Interstate 70 to the north and Kuhlwein Road to the south. Plans call for about 3.500 residential units along with 300,000 square feet reserved for businesses and a 100-room hotel.

The township is responsible for $50,000 of the $100,000 cost of the proposal, with Columbus picking up the rest of the tab.

Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker said the collaboration between the township and Columbus is necessary to ensure responsible development within the Big Darby Creek watershed. The city has promised Prairie Township water and sewer access without annexation, he said.

Hatmaker said the relationship with Columbus is a positive thing for the township.

"Prairie Township needs quality development or no development," he said. "Poor development came with annexation. We are continuing to strengthen our relationship with Columbus."

The next Prairie Township Board of Trustees meeting is slated for 7 p.m. March 20 at township hall, 23 Maple Drive.