Damascus fire officials respond to negative talk

GOSHEN TWP. — The Damascus Fire Department cannot enter homes that have not been secured by law enforcement, according to fire department personnel.

In response to negative rumors regarding the department, member Mike Thorne reported for Chief Derek Day that the department will not enter an emergency scene until it has been secured by a law enforcement agency. He said the incident in question occurred in Butler Township and involved a firearm in the home. In the specific incident, the department had to wait on the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office to arrive before entering the home.

The report sparked talks of a mutual aid contract with Butler Township, which uses the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office for police protection even though Goshen Township is the nearest police department. The township currently does not have a mutual aid contract with the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office and cannot respond to incidents in the sheriff’s office’s jurisdiction.

Goshen Township trustees said they have been in contact with Butler Township trustees regarding a mutual aid contract and will continue to pursue the possibility.

In other business, trustees authorized Fiscal Officer Tom Knoedler to place $208,000 in a two-year Certificate of Deposit (CD) and $101,500 each in two separate one-year CDs at Farmers National Bank after the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (CDARs) accounts of the same amounts expire at the end of the year. The two-year CD will generate 2.1 percent interest while the one-year CDs will generate a 2.15 percent interest rate.

Knoedler said a bank representative told him the interest rates are falling and that even though the two-year interest rate is slightly less, chances are the rate will be even lower yet in the second year, so locking the rate in for two years is a good idea. He said the interest rate will remain approximately the same as the previous two years with the CDARs.

Knoedler also said there is a penalty for using the money, but that he does not anticipate a need to use it. He noted the township did not use the money while in CDARs.

In response to questions from resident Abe Bricker regarding why the township is investing money instead of spending it on road resurfacing, Trustee Chair Bob McCracken said the money being invested is carry over balances from a variety of funds, such as the police fund, so even if it was not being invested, it would not be available for the roads.

Knoedler said the CDARS accounts are spread across other banks while the CDs remain with Farmers National Bank.

Also at the meeting, trustees approved $800 for Pilolli Land & Tree Maintenance LLC to remove a large tree on the northwest corner of the maintenance garage on Seacrist Road that is too big for the road department to remove. The cost is for taking down the tree and removing the debris. The removal of the stump will be discussed at a later date.

The trustees also accepted the resignation of police officer Steve Stanton and approved the sale of a basketball hoop and backboard to Knoedler for $25, with other miscellaneous items to be donated to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Salem.

Coffee with a Cop is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 2 at the administration building.

The township’s recycling department’s Customer Appreciation Day is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, with a scrap tire drive from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and electronic drive from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is open to everyone and there will be free refreshments. Additional information is available on the township’s website, www.goshentownship.com.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at the administration building.