BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath Township Road Supervisor Vern Heizer reported during the Dec. 20 regular meeting that a transmission in a township truck might have gone out when the Bath Township road crew was assisting another township road crew.
According to Heizer, the truck was towed to a local garage for repairs.
Heizer asked the board of trustees for clarity regarding the mutual aid policy with other townships, including maintenance and repair costs of township vehicles and equipment that are shared with other townships. He noted that the custom of townships helping neighboring townships, whose budgets cannot accommodate all the expensive vehicles and equipment, has proven to be a good practice of resource use.
Heizer also asked if the township should be responsible for the fuel costs when the road crew assists other townships on lengthy projects. Heizer also pointed out that he offers to fuel other township’s vehicles and equipment when they are working on a Bath Township project.
“If we need fuel, should we rely on our own fuel or should we get fuel from the township we are helping? If we tear up some equipment, who pays for it?” Heizer asked.
Township Trustee Tom Pitstick stated that he believed that all the townships needed to follow a standard prodigal when using township fuel in township-owned vehicles while preforming different tasks for other townships.
“I think if all the townships act consistently, we will not have a problem,” Pitstick said. “If this township fuels their equipment, they should fuel ours.”
Township Trustee John Martin told Heizer that all the townships needed to put forth an equal amount of effort and financial support to achieve a desired result for all.
“It should be a two-way street when it comes to sharing responsibility and liability,” said Martin.
Heizer noted that in the past, the township paid for certain repairs of equipment owned by other townships. Township Trustee President Steve Ross asked Heizer if he had notice any reciprocation. Heizer replied that he had experienced a little giving in return.
“If they are working for us, and it breaks, we fix it,” Heizer said. “Yet, certain things need to be clarified, especially when a vehicle or piece of equipment breaks down.”
Pitstick suggested that additional clarification be added to the mutual-aid agreement between townships. However, normal wear and tear should remain the responsibility of the township that owns the vehicle or piece of equipment.
“I think these issues should be negotiable case-by-case. If it is something that needs to be negotiated, then we will address it,” Martin added.
Ross also pointed out the need for all participating townships to comply with the mutual sharing agreement and maintain cooperation among road departments.
“If you (Heizer) do not think the township is getting a fair shake in whatever the situation, then you can always put it off on the trustees. I have to run this by the trustees, but it will have to be your call,” said Ross.
Bath Township Trustees will meet again in a regular session beginning 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3 at the township office, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.