By JOY BROWN
Findlay firefighters will be entering into an automatic aid agreement with the Allen Township Volunteer Fire Department to provide assistance with confirmed commercial and residential building fires.
The territory will include industrial corporations and other businesses just to the north of the Findlay, and the Hillcrest subdivision.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Fire Chief Tom Lonyo said the agreement will eliminate the step, present in traditional mutual aid agreements, that requires the city to wait for Allen Township to request help before fighting a fire.
The two departments will communicate via the Multi-Agency Radio Communication System.
The agreement will also allow Findlay firefighters to plan ahead for emergencies by inspecting the Whirlpool and Ball Metal factories.
Conversely, the agreement will enable Allen Township firefighters to respond when a large fire in Findlay requires the entire city department to turn out. The township firefighters would supplement the city force in case it receives a second fire call.
“The ability to leverage additional resources in the event of a large catastrophe is valuable,” Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer wrote to council members.
For all other fire and 911 calls the township receives, mutual aid will continue to be available.
Lonyo said the two departments on Monday will start a series of three training sessions on responding and collaborating.
Separately Tuesday, council gave the first of three readings to legislation that, if approved, would provide $20,000 in seed money for Municipal Building remodeling, to better accommodate the municipal courts.
The remodeling project has been contemplated for years as the courts’ caseloads have increased. City Council on July 29 will meet informally to discuss administrative plans that Schmelzer said “would give them (courts) needed space without constructing a new facility.”
Schmelzer is asking council to allocate $20,000 for initial design work.
Also given a first reading was an ordinance asking Hancock County to clean out Howard Run.
Howard Run, located to the west and north of the University of Findlay, has been the subject of several recent complaints, administrators and council members said. Residents have said it is clogged with weeds and trash.
Cleaning of waterways, however, is the responsibility of Hancock County. The city can petition the county to do the work, which would require a $2,000 fee to get the process started.
Although Findlay this year contributed money for cleaning Dalzell and Oil ditches in the city, it doesn’t intend to pay for Howard Run. Schmelzer said all cleaning costs would have to be assessed to adjacent property owners.
Even if the Hancock County commissioners approve the Howard Run cleaning, Schmelzer said he wouldn’t expect the work to start until the spring of 2016, at the earliest.