Bethel Township prosecutor, Attorney Andrew Pickering, attended last week’s trustee meeting in order to answer legal questions from the community over the issue of Tillie Lane’s substantial flooding issues. Attorney Pickering explained that, in 2010, the Ohio Attorney General issued that “… a township has no duty or responsibility to maintain privately constructed water-storage facilities.” The legislation dictates that the township has no authority to manage any privately owned, underground water-storage facility. The township has no control over State Route 40, which continues to be affected by flooding issues, according to Prosecutor Pickering.
Attorney Pickering and the trustees expressed that certain private sewer ditches are maintained by the trustees due to a legal easement which has existed since the ditches’ construction, since Bethel pipelines are integrated within these private plumbing infrastructures. However the Ohio Constitution has limits placed on the expenses and prosecutions that townships are allowed to make on behalf of a private property.
A contractor was contacted in order to see about options for repairing the private property causing a substantial amount of the flooding. In the event that the trustees are permitted to act on behalf of the private property, Attorney Pickering explained that the Constitution dictates that the township expenses for repairs must come out to less than the damage costs saved for the residencies. As of now, however, any complaints that residents take with another private residence for this issue must be taken up as a private civil issue. The primary responsibility for State Route 40 is under the legal jurisdiction of the Ohio Department of Transportation, and not within the Bethel trustees’ jurisdiction.
Fire Chief Jacob King reported that November’s emergency calls have included 83 Fire runs and 85 EMS runs, with 933 emergency calls made. The trustees approved the Fire department’s request to apply for the “Ohio First Responders Grant” in order to cover expenses towards the department’s equipment costs for 2018. The grant will go to F.E.M.A. for approval. The trustees also moved to pay National Testing Specialties for the testing of the Bethel Fire Department’s hoses, ladder and heat sensors.
The board also approved the Bethel Township Law Enforcement Agreement for 2018 with the Sheriff’s office.
There will be a Special Work Session held by the Bethel trustees on Tuesday, December 5th, at 4:30.
The next trustee meeting will be held on December 12th at 7:00 PM.