BATH TOWNSHIP — The Bath Township Board of Trustees held a special year-end meeting Dec. 29 to wrap up township business for 2017.
Township Trustee Steve Ross reported that he had been in contact with Fairborn City Manager Rob Anderson regarding the township’s extended fire and EMS contract with the City of Fairborn. The current fire and EMS contract was scheduled to expire at midnight on Jan. 1, but Ross assured everyone that the City of Fairborn would continue to provide uninterrupted fire and EMS coverage to the township.
“The city will take care of us as they always do,” Ross said.
Ross noted that Township Trustee Tom Pitstick and Township Zoning Inspector Jim Miller would be negotiating the new fire and EMS contract with Fairborn city officials in 2018.
Ross also stated that township employees are in the process of making the transition to a new self-funded medical plan through the Southern Ohio Chamber Alliance. However, a number of employees had not yet received their insurance cards or any other document that verifies the name of the insurance company and the group health insurance plan. Ross stressed that he had been in contact with a representative of Anthem in hopes to expedite the process. He also met with the employees of the township cemetery and road departments to discuss the issue.
“Rest assured. The group members are covered on Jan. 1,” said Ross.
In other business, Township Road Supervisor Vern Heizer reported that all the township trucks were filled with a solution of road salt and beet juice and are ready to go. Heizer explained that the beet juice additive helps the road salt stick to township roads longer and melts ice at lower temperatures. He said more beet juice would be needed to keep township road ice-free during the punishing winter.
“We only have 218 gallons, and I believe the price will be $1.32 a gallon from Xenia Township,” Heizer told trustees. “We get the beet juice from Xenia Township because it charges less than Greene County.”
The township road crew is also making needed modifications to township road trucks that will allow an easy hookup to Xenia Township’s beet-distributing system. Heizer said the modifications would help reduce time and work for the township road crew when loading beet juice into the vehicles this winter.
The township supervisor also noted that the road department was installing safety lights on the top of all the township road trucks to improve visibility of the trucks while working in the right of way during snowstorm response and other road maintenance efforts.
“The safety lights are LED lights, and they are very powerful. When we back up on the hills, we will be able to see much better, and the lights will also be more visible to motorists,” Heizer said.
Bath Township Cemetery Supervisor Teresa Phillips provided a year-end report about both the ongoing and completed projects at Byron Cemetery.
Installation of the new columbarium is expected to be completed by the end of January, if weather conditions permit. According to Phillips, the new columbarium will help meet the growing demands for an additional columbarium for cremated remains. In July, township trustees approved the purchase of the second columbarium from Dodds Monuments for $24,278, which also included the cost of the crane and installation on site.
Phillips also reported record-high sales at Byron Cemetery this year. Ross noted that the monies collected from yearly plot sales are used to maintain and operate the cemetery and pay the annual salaries of cemetery employees. Ross also pointed out that the township deposits 10 percent of the money received from annual sales into a perpetual care fund for the cemetery. The fund will be used to maintain the gravesites and cover cemetery expenses continuously after the last section of plots are sold.
“By that time, it will probably be 50 to 100 years from now, and that fund will be way into seven figures or more. Therefore, taxpayers will not have a burden. That is protected money, so trustees cannot mess with it,” said Ross.
Ross pointed out that the township previously bought additional land from Byron to be use for additional cemetery plots. Cemex also donated land in the past that will be used for cemetery plots as well.
Township Zoning Inspector Jim Miller was not present at the meeting. The township trustees readjourned for the 2018 re-organizational meeting.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.