As Archbold Village Council discussed a proposal to separate from German Township, a question arose over fire protection.
Council held the first reading on a proposal asking the Fulton County commissioners to redraw the boundaries of German Township so as to exclude the village of Archbold from the township at its Monday, June 6 meeting.
The major impact would be on the township trustees.
Village officials estimated that removing Archbold from the township would save Archbold taxpayers more than $262,000 in taxes per year.
At the same time, it would deprive German Township of that much revenue.
However, one area where Archbold and German Township officials have always cooperated has been the Archbold Fire Department.
The correct, full name for AFD is the German Township Archbold Fire Department.
For decades, the agreement between village council and the trustees has been that the trustees are responsible for purchasing and maintaining the AFD fire apparatus.
The township buys and maintains the fire trucks, but not the ambulances, which are funded by Fulton County.
The village of Archbold provides shelter for the equipment; in other words, fire stations.
The village also pays firefighters for their work.
During the discussion of the proposed separation, Kevin Morton, a councilman, said one of the first concerns of such a separation would be the fire department, “since it’s a shared responsibility.”
Dennis Howell, village administrator, said there is a contract between the village and the trustees for fire protection.
The contract contains a 60 days-and-out (one source says 90 days) clause that allows either side to withdraw from the contract with 60 days notice.
Howell said, “I can’t see anybody in this room or German Township leaving any part of Archbold or German Township without fire protection.”
But one source said, which Andy Brodbeck, Archbold fire chief, confirmed, the contract only extends through 2018.
Ed Leininger, a councilman, asked if Brodbeck is aware of the situation.
Howell said yes, and Brodbeck is “putting together some numbers” that will be presented to council in the next few weeks.
Morton and Howell said they were comfortable with the numbers.
Morton said the only thing the village and the township have in common is the fire department.
“We need to reassure people…” Morton said
“…that’s not going to change,” said Jeff Fryman, mayor, finishing Morton’s sentence.
Prior to discussing the proposal to separate from German Township, Archbold councilmen met in executive session for about 20 minutes.
Stated reasons for the closed-door session were personnel and legal actions.