Russell Township Trustees are bringing in extra help for their emergency crews and residents — a new pumper fire truck and a Traffic Preemption Control System for the intersection at Chillicothe and Kinsman roads.

The pumper fire truck, which is the truck that carries the water needed to fight fires in areas without hydrant access, will cost a total of $775,000 with a 10-year financing plan. The current truck has been in use since 1988. Fire Chief John Frazier said most of the contract with Finley Fire Equipment Co. is completed and that financing with KeyBank, and logistical issues like delivery, will be wrapped up soon.

“It looks like we’ll have a special meeting by the end of the week,” Chief Fraizer said. “Everything should be finalized then.”

The Traffic Preemption Control System will allow first responders to change traffic lights to ensure the safety of motorists, while optimizing response time, when leaving the station. The estimated cost proposal indicated that the system would be about $8,000 to install and about $300 to maintain annually, which would be split each year by the fire and police departments.

“We talked about [Routes] 306 and 87 — that seems to be the most problematic intersection,” Mr. Fraizer said. “We’re looking at the 306 corridors because it’s an important passageway for us, Bainbridge and others.”

The board is also shopping around for a new recycling company, as the current company, River Valley Recycling, who had dropped the rate per recycled ton from $30 per ton to $15 per ton recently, has also just added charges for pick-up and the bins. The costs and the deduction in the pay rate will add up to a loss of $400 to $500 per month, officials said. The board approved to move on to another company at the end of the contract, which expires on April 1.

Trustee Kristina Port will be spearheading an effort to update the township website, which hasn’t been updated in about seven years and is not optimized for mobile or tablet viewing. The village is looking to utilize the company who made the current website in order to maintain their content management system and data.

“We could pick the keywords in our content so that it draws people to the website, we could do road closures,” Mrs. Port said. “I think it’s overdue.”

The project will cost an estimated $5,000 to $6,500, which was interpreted as a fair price, and will be voted on in a future trustee meeting after the details of what is needed are finalized.

In other village news, trustees approved a list for the 2020 road materials, as well as approved the use of town hall for the purposes of hosting voting in the upcoming March 17 election. Russell Township will also be assisting South Russell Village during their April 25 Scrap Day event. The two municipalities each loan the other two employees and equipment for their respective Scrap Days annually, with the host paying for the employees’ wages for the day.

The village also wants residents to be aware that any low flying helicopters spotted in the area recently are flying over to check powerlines.

Fiscal Officer Karen Walder also stated that the year-end financials for 2019 have been posted to the township website.

The next board of trustees meeting will be held at 2:30 p.m. on March 4 at the Russell Township fire department building.

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