|Lake Twp. shares grant|
|Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:47|
MILLBURY - Lake Township is one of three area fire departments sharing in a $487,358 federal grant.
At Tuesday's meeting, the trustees approved accepting its portion - $260,000 - which will be used to purchase portable and mobile radios. The rest of the money, awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Association and Homeland Security, is for Northwood and the Allen-Clay Joint Fire District.
"This is huge, huge, huge for us," said trustee Chairwoman Melanie Bowen.
Acting Fire Chief Mike Hornyak said the grant money will purchase 50 portable radios and 15 mobile radios.
The new radios are needed because so many area emergency entities are sharing space on the old, narrow-band frequency that has limited signal. With the new radios, the township will be on the Lucas County frequency along with Northwood and Rossford.
Police Chief Mark Hummer said his department also has new radios which will be on the Lucas County frequency by the end of the week.
Bowen said the money for the new fire radios had already been budgeted this year, so the federal grant is a bonus. The township's matching share is $26,000.
The trustees are considering using the money specified for the radios to pay off the loan on a 5-year-old pumper at fire station No. 2 in Millbury.
Hummer, who is also the township administrator, said by paying off the loan, the township would save $50,000 in interest.
Hornyak said the township could then begin the process of buying a replacement pumper for station No. 1 in Walbridge. The main truck there is 20 years old. He said the specification, bid, purchase and delivery process takes two years.
Updating the township communication systems started after the June 2010 tornado, which destroyed the administration building, home to dispatching and police.
Hummer said during the tornado, dispatchers stayed on the phones "until literally the building fell apart around them."
With the new technology, dispatchers can work from laptops in a basement, the chief said. Communications could also continue after a disaster.
The trustees were also asked Tuesday to share in applying for another grant.
Millbury Mayor Michael Timmons said the village and township should jointly apply for grants in 2014 to expand a bicycle trail that would connect Veterans and Fireside parks.
More property is becoming available for the North Coast Inland Trail; the village is a trail head in the path, Timmons said.
He believes the township and village together would have a good chance to receive a couple of grants, which would be explained by Poggemeyer Design Co., Bowling Green.
The trustees said they would be interested in hearing more details.
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