Loudonville council approves fire contract with Western Holmes to restore service

LOUDONVILLE − Village Council again approved a fire contract with the Western Holmes Fire District at its Monday, March 6 meeting.

Village officials said they were contacted by Western Holmes members last week about restoring the contractwhich the fire district had canceled last month.

Caught in the middle: West Holmes residents want a quick end to fire fight with Loudonville

In an unanimous vote, the council renewed the contract for a one-year period at a rate of $21,150.

A vehicle crosses the Loudonville corporation line as it travels west of state Route 39 into the village from Holmes County on Tuesday, Feb.  7, 2023.

A vehicle crosses the Loudonville corporation line as it travels west of state Route 39 into the village from Holmes County on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.

The primary change in the adopted contract is that Holmes County residents and businesses near Loudonville, which includes campgrounds and other recreational operations along Wally Road, will receive fire and emergency services from the Loudonville department, rather than Nashville and Lakeville in the Western Holmes Fire District.

Western Holmes had requested the agreement includes limiting mutual aid calls during the contract term to 30.

“It is the position of the village that mutual aid is a voluntary action of each party,” said Loudonville Law Director Thom Gilman. “We don’t have contracts for mutual aid. If they want to stop showing up at 30 calls, they have a right to do that. We have not changed what we have and this expectation is that if they don’t want to exceed 30, they will not have to. I do not plan to do a contract that codifies that position.”

Village officials talk funding for street improvements

In other businesses, members of the street committee shared ideas on raising more funds for street improvements.

Councilman Tom Young said one idea was to reduce the credit given to residents who pay income tax at other cities from 1 ¾% to 1 %, a move that would generate about $90,000. He stressed that any change in the income tax would be given three readings, allowing residents the opportunity to voice concerns on the changes.

Councilman Matt Young did not present an alternative suggestion but said reducing the tax credit might not be the right decision.

The street committee will continue to discuss options for additional funding. He encouraged those with concerns to bring them to committee members Tom Young, Bill Huffman, and Hollie McCauley.

Other business at the March 6 Loudonville Village Council meeting

  • Administrator Garret DeWitt said he is posting seasonal positions, including pool manager and pool staff, park and cemetery positions. For details, check at the village office.

  • Fire Chief Dan Robinson said he had internal applications to two positions he recently posted.

  • DeWitt reported Dominion Gas will soon start a project in the South Wood Street-Jackson Street neighborhood to cut and cap gas lines.

  • Council approved an ordinance creating two new EMS positions.

  • OK’d an agreement on employee training where employees leaving a position be required to reimburse the village for training costs if they haven’t worked a specified time.

  • DeWitt also presented a verbal update to the council on village safety meetings, a requirement that hasn’t been done in the past.

  • Darla Stitzlein of the pickleball committee said the group has grown to 150 members ranging in age from 7 to 96. She said the revised project budget is between $130,000 and $140,000 for the first phase, three news courts and fencing, with $108,000 raised. Phase II will involve resurfacing and converting two basketball courts at the in the pool-park complex to pickleball courts. The plan calls for starting construction after the swimming pool opens, with the court opening in mid-October.

  • Council approved resurfacing the basketball courts for pickleball.

  • Approved granting opioid settlement funds to Redbird Resilient totaling $1,133.

  • Approved having Eloquin install new flooring in the police department.

The next meeting is 6 pm Monday, March 20 in council chambers, 156 N. Water St.

This article originally appeared on the Ashland Times Gazette: Loudonville OKs fire contract with Western Holmes without mutual aid

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