West Side News

Prairie Township trustees

Ball wants to keep eye on development projects


Finishing major construction projects and overseeing the opening of a new community center are among the reasons why Prairie Township Trustee Ron Ball wants to be re-elected.

Ball has served one four-year term as trustee. Newcomer Andy Andrews, Ball and incumbent Steve Kennedy are competing for two seats on the board of trustees in the Nov. 5 election.

Kennedy was profiled in the Sept. 29 edition of ThisWeek West Side News. Andrews has not responded to ThisWeek's attempts to reach him.

Ball said there are many reasons why he's seeking re-election.

"I would like to continue to be the voice of the residents and make sound, solid financial decisions and spend taxpayer dollars responsibly," he said. "I would like to finish all the projects which are currently on the table and see that all departments continue to provide a high level of service."

Ball said there have been just as many challenges as successes these past four years.

"One of the biggest challenges was the task of getting the Hometown Inn demolished and the sale of the property," he said.

The Hometown Inn had been an eyesore in the township for years, he said.

"Another challenge was the electric aggregation, putting it out in front of the voters and understanding how it works," he said.

Prairie Township officials held several public meetings that allowed residents to ask questions, not only of the trustees but of those who are directly involved in the aggregation process, Ball said.

Trying to be fiscally responsible was also a great challenge, he said.

"Keeping a balanced budget has been a challenge, with the increase in costs to operate and the decrease in tax revenue due to the decrease in property evaluations," Ball said.

Despite the challenges, there were numerous accomplishments, Ball said.

"The board was able to maintain public service levels in the face of deep state funding cuts," he said. "The township also received an AA rating from the Standard & Poor's bond sale."

Other accomplishments during his tenure, according to Ball, include updating the township fire stations; purchasing land for ball fields and a park along Galloway Road; increasing the presence of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office; resuming leaf pick-up services; establishing a chipper program; preparing plans and buying land for a community recreation center; and establishing a Joint Economic Development District along with a Joint Economic Development Zone as a way to capture more revenue.

Ball said Prairie Township has a lot more to accomplish and he wants to be a part of that progress.

"I would like to help oversee the community center from start to finish, ensuring that the seniors have a place to call home," he said. "It's important that all deadlines are met and projected costs are within budget."

If he is re-elected, Ball said he would keep a vigilant eye on township development and revitalization, including developing incentives to attract new businesses and residents. He also would like to complete new road improvements, have the township website reworked to be more user-friendly and pursue all avenues with water suppliers to ensure residents are getting the best available rate.

"I want to continue to provide the high level of services the township residents deserve," Ball said.