By Leigh Ann Rutledge
CARROLLTON – The village fire department has a new chief.
Village council approved the appointment of Shane Thomas as the new fire chief during the March 26 meeting.
Thomas has been a firefighter in the county for over 20 years. He joined the village department May 27, 2003, after spending seven years with the county department. Thomas will be sworn in April 2 during the department’s business meeting.
He is excited about the new position, but also realizes it will be a challenge.
“We have things we need to improve,” he said. “The first challenge is our financial situation. We encourage residents to vote for our levy on the May ballot. It helps with purchasing trucks, training and other operational expenses, such as gear.”
Thomas plans to change the business model of the department and work on the administrative side. He is serving as chairman of the levy committee and was on the truck committee when the department purchased Engine 10.
Another important aspect he would like to focus on is training.
“Our coverage area has grown with additional hotels, the gas plant and the new school in process,” he explained. “We need more advanced training.”
There are 35 members on the fire department. The roster was filled when Mike Ruby and Nicholas Roudebush were hired during the March 12 council meeting.
He replaced Tom Mesler, who resigned the position in February.
In other business, council:
-HEARD monthly supervisor reports.
-SCHEDULED a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting April 9 at 6:30 p.m. to hear a request involving Lumber Service. Representatives want to install storage racks at the rear of the property. The request was denied by Blaine Strawder, building and zoning, because a 50-foot buffer must remain between a B2 zoned property and an RS zoned property. Installing the racks would only leave a 25 to 30-foot buffer. Lumber Service officials have been given permission by the RS landowner regarding installation.
-LEARNED the police department is searching for grants and funding to possibly put a K9 unit on the department. Officer Jason Neidert is interested in working with a K9. The department would have a dedicated car for the pair and they would work full-time. Chief Bob Ellington noted the biggest expense is the initial start-up.
-HEARD Patrolman Dustin Kempf was honored on Emergency Services Appreciation Day. He assisted deputies at an automobile accident where the vehicle was on fire and a person trapped inside. He received awards for lifesaving, gallantry and an award from the Buckeye Sheriff’s Association.
-SET a safety committee meeting April 16 at 6 p.m. A work session will follow.
-WENT into executive session for 35 minutes for potential demotion or compensation of a village employee. No action was taken.
-APPROVED an ordinance amending the village income tax code to collect and administer municipal net profit taxes.
-HIRED Natasha Darr for the office clerk accounting position during the March 12 meeting. She began her duties March 19.
-RECEIVED a thank you note for a donation from Tonya Myers of the Carroll County Senior Friendship Center.
-APPROVED an ordinance during the March 12 meeting for a third full-time laborer position in the water department. The part-time water meter reader position was eliminated and will be included in the new full-time position. The job should be posted internally mid-April.
-PAID the bills totaling $35,121.03 for vendors and $35,332.85 for payroll.
-SCHEDULED the next council meeting for April 9 at 7p.m. in council chambers.