Village of Thurston

Council Meeting Minutes

January 25, 2007



Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm by Mayor Mary Barber.  Pledge of Allegiance was recited. 


Roll call:          Robert Ortman – Present

Warren Simpson – Present

Ed Vanek – Present

Vickie Carroll - Present

Steve Reedy – Present

Laura Clark – Present

Mary Barber – Present

Aaron Reedy – Present


Mary said this special meeting was called for the purpose of discussing the future of the fire department’s control and the contract between the Walnut Township Trustees and the Village.


Present were Walnut Township Trustees Sonny Dupler and Ralph Zollinger.  Township Trustee Pauline Ety was also present.  Also present was Fire Chief Jim Hite, Jimmy Barber, Greg Grube, Jamie Carroll, Kent Leitnaker, Donna Thompson and Michelle Shumaker.


Jim Hite said things have been going well fiscally.  He feels the shared control between the Trustees & Council is working.  He would like to see the department get part-time crews now and full-time in the future.  Jim told the Trustees that he didn’t think it was fair that Millersport Fire Department was going to get 65% of the total levy income leaving Thurston with a shoestring budget.  He feels it’s a smack in the face and wrong to leave the southern half of the township out.  Jim said the Village of Thurston is trying to help by giving the little bit of money it can towards the fire budget (around $11,000 per year through the fire levy). 


Vickie Carroll agreed with Mike.  She doesn’t feel Thurston is being taken seriously.


Jimmy Barber said the Thurston Fire Dept wanted 40% of the levy income.  The issue arose regarding Millersport having part-time/full-time personnel for their area, but leaves nothing for the lower half of the township.  Ed Vanek said that Bobby Price from Millersport Fire had said he didn’t need part-time help at Millersport to get a crew out.  Ed asked the trustees why they were then wasting that money?  The issue also came up that Millersport Fire has not submitted a budget, though they’ve been asked several times for one.  The Millersport Fire Chief had told the trustees he couldn’t do one.  Several Council members said anyone could do a budget, why couldn’t he?  Why were the Trustees caving in to Millersport Fire’s demands, leaving Thurston with so little?  Jamie Carroll said Thurston is very careful how they spend their fire dollars, Millersport is not as careful.  Who is accounting for what they spend?


After listening to those present, and trying to explain why things were done the way they were, Sonny Dupler said the reason they were present at tonight’s meeting is to discuss being 50/50 partners with Thurston over the Fire Department.


Sonny said after the 65% given to Millersport Fire, that would leave $311,500.  Trustees approved $138,710 to be given to Thurston Fire for their budget.  That leaves $172,790.  Sonny said they would consider putting $131,400 of that towards Thurston Fire in the form of paying part-time personnel.  That would leave $41,390 in the “rainy-day fund”.  They said the part-time employees would be paid by Walnut Township Trustees, and the volunteers would be paid out of the budget of Thurston Fire.  Jim Hite said it should work. 


Sonny asked what does the 50/50 mean to the Council?  Equipment?  Property?  Mary Barber wants a fair 50/50 split if either party backs out.  The 50% would be forfeited by the party who wanted to back out of the contract, leaving total ownership to the party that remains.  All property, including the building would be part of the agreement.  Mary warned that we would have to have our Solicitor review and advise us in any agreement.  Trustees said the same.


Sonny asked if Thurston Fire wanted Medic 631 that Millersport Fire currently has.  Jim Hite said they’d have to look at it.


Council and trustees continued to discuss the 50/50 issue.  Sonny said they will have their Solicitor start a contract.  Thurston will then have their Solicitor review it.


Resident Donna Thompson asked the Trustees why 65% of the levy monies is going to Millersport Fire.  She said Thurston is just as important.  Ralph said that they basically backed down, caved in to Millersport Fire on the issue.  He couldn’t explain why.


Ed made a motion to adjourn.  Robert second.  Time is 8:43 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,




Aaron L. Reedy, Clerk