NEW KNOXVILLE – New Knoxville Council voted to purchase a fire truck and upgraded video equipment at their April 13 meeting.
The council agreed to move forward with the purchase of a $588,382 Sutphen pumper fire truck by approving a first reading of an ordinance to pay for the engine. Fire chief Jerry Merges said the custom-built vehicle will fit inside the current fire station’s 9 and ½ foot high doors and still meet 95% of the department’s needs.
Before the vote, there was some debate about the timing of the purchase of the fire engine because the Auglaize county commissioners are considering building a new multi-use building at the Neil Armstrong airport which might house the New Knoxville/Washington Township Fire Department.
Since the new fire engine will take 22 to 24 months to build, it was decided to go ahead with the purchase and perhaps cancel the order if plans for a new county building come together.
The village has been trying to find a location for their emergency services department that would accommodate a late model fire engine, which usually needs a 12-foot clearance. One recent idea was to reconfigure the current building at a cost of approximately $800,000.
Council also approved by emergency an ordinance to purchase an upgraded security camera server and three cameras. In order to finance this, council agreed to increase appropriations in General Fund Police Machinery, Equipment & Furniture account from $13,000 to $24,000. Fiscal officer Abby Homan said that the current server for the 16 cameras in service around the village was failing. She added the new server can handle up to 30 cameras. She said one of the new cameras would be placed at the village’s new splash pad and the second at the village’s industrial park. No location has been chosen for the third camera.
Mark Rosenbeck became the newest EMS member of the New Knoxville/Washington Township EMS/Fire Department. According to Mayor Keith Leffel, Rosenbeck would be available Monday through Friday during the day. He added he will not be serving as a fireman. Rosenbeck is a St. Henry resident, but fulfills his residency requirements by working in the village at Katterheinrich Motor Sales.
Brian Jones, chair of the council’s zoning and planning committee, said they were ready to being sending out letters to residents who may be in violation of updated zoning regulations.
Council also gave final approval by emergency to adopt the 2022 basic codes of ordinances supplied by the American Legal Publishing.
The next council meeting is May 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the village administration building.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.