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Progress In Fire Department Talks?

Jeff Fryman, Archbold mayor, told council he has had “very good discussions” over the Archbold Fire Department debate.

“Bruce Lauber (president of the German Township Trustees) and I have had some very good discussions, and I want to keep those going forward and not sink the ship right here while we’re trying to get something worked out,” Fryman said at the Monday, Sept. 11 council meeting.

For decades, the village has operated the fire department and provides and maintains the two fire stations.

German Township owns and maintains the fire equipment, from fire trucks to firefighters’ protective equipment.

During the summer of 2016, contentious issues developed between the village council and the trustees.

There was debate over a proposal to reroute St. Rt. 66 down Co. Rd. 24.

At roughly the same time, council petitioned for the separation of the village from the township.

Council also asked to take total control of the fire department, including ownership of the equipment.

Council and the trustees have been negotiating on the issues since then.

Council was scheduled to discuss the fire department issues at its Monday meeting. The agenda included discussions of meetings and emails, plus a draft resolution calling for the Fulton County Auditor to not collect seven-tenths (.7) of a mill of the village 3.3-mill levy property tax levy.

The rollback was part of a deal negotiated between the village and the township, where the township is asking for a new two-mill levy for the fire department.

As part of that agreement, the township will ask the auditor not to collect two current levies totaling 1.1 mills.

Both rollbacks are contingent upon passage of the two-mill levy.

That agreement could be in jeopardy, as the trustees have discussed their options for removing the two-mill request from the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

Fryman asked council to table the fire department discussions Monday night. Council approved.

Fryman told council, “I know we thought we’ve been close (to an agreement) before.

“There’s some things that I’ve laid on the table that I think are enticing to them, some things that I’m working towards that we have all agreed to in the past. They’re coming back to life,” Fryman said.

“It’s nothing new, just trying to get them to really understand where we’re coming from.”

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