Archbold Village Council will invite the German Township Trustees to a meeting to discuss the future of the Archbold Fire Department sometime during the second week of July, according to Kevin Morton, council president.
Morton presided over the Monday, June 20 council meeting in the absence of Jeff Fryman, mayor.
The discussion came after council heard the second reading of legislation that will effectively separate Archbold from German Township.
Council first proposed the measure at its Monday, June 6 meeting, announcing it is joining Delta and Swanton councils in similar moves.
Ultimately, the question of redrawing the German Township limits must go before the Fulton County commissioners, who are expected to hear all the requests from all three villages in September.
At the third reading, scheduled for Monday, July 11, council will vote to proceed to submit the request to the commissioners.
Vaughn Bentz, a councilman, said he had a conversation with one individual “who asked why we even have townships anymore. Three people supervising two or three employees? They thought it was an obsolete form of government.”
Bentz said the individual suggested eliminating the townships and having the county take over the territory completely.
“But that’s outside our scope,” he said.
After a question from Ed Leininger, councilman, Morton said after he discussed the matter with Fryman, Dennis Howell, village administrator, and Donna Dettling, assistant village administrator, he expected to invite the trustees to the meeting during the second week of July.
Bentz asked if the meeting was to discuss the separation of Archbold from the township.
Morton said that topic “would probably come up,” but the real reason for the meeting is regarding the fire department, a joint operation of the village and the township.
For decades, the village has paid the firefighters, and provided the fire stations for equipment.
The trustees have owned the fire trucks and equipment.
Morton said he was surprised by how many people didn’t realize that the village and township worked together to operate AFD.
“They get a puzzled look on their face.
“It doesn’t make much sense to give people two bosses,” Morton said, noting the arrangement is inefficient.
Kevin Eicher, councilman, said the only concern people had asked him about– the most important thing to them– is continued fire and rescue services.
“Once they understand what’s going on, they’re in favor of it,” Eicher said.
Morton said the one promise that has been made in connection with the separation proposal has been the continued operation and coverage of the fire department.
Eicher said he “would hope the township trustees would be willing to work together with the village of Archbold. This has to be a partnership deal.
“It can’t be a one-sided fence, ‘this is the way it’s going to be and to heck with everybody else.’
“It has to be an even understanding between the two parties,” he said.
If there isn’t such an understanding, “it could be a disaster,” Eicher said.
Morton thanked his fellow council members for staying above board, “and not airing your feelings to the press.”
He also appreciated councilmen keeping the members of the fire department out of the middle of the debate.
After Labor Day
Morton said the whole separation proposal got started “from our end” after discussions with officials from Delta and Swanton.
“Delta decided to do it. If we wanted to do it with the same timing,” it had to be announced at the June 6 meeting.
Bentz commented on the success the village of Montpelier has had with its separation, but Eicher said Montpelier was in a slightly different scenario, being part of two townships.
Bentz said Montpelier had been generous to the two townships, allowing them to phase out their loss of income.
Eicher applauded the Crescent-News, a newspaper in Defiance, for that publication’s article on the St. Rt. 66-Co. Rd. 24 debate.
He said he wanted to thank Chuck Martinez, the CN reporter, “for printing the truth. He did a good job of explaining it.
“I wish other newspapers would print it the way it’s supposed to be done, not fabricate it.
“And that comes from Jeff Fryman also,” Eicher said.