MILLBURY — Lake Township will continue to be led by some familiar faces — but not for long.
At a special meeting on Tuesday, the trustees extended the contract of the police chief, who is also the township administrator, and asked the fire chief to delay his retirement.
Mark Hummer was granted a two-year contract extension beginning in January 2024. He and the trustees will be selecting a police chief in 2024 and Hummer will assist in the transition.
He will then assume the duties of administrator full time through 2025.
“He’s been here for such a long time, he’s instrumental to the township,” said Trustee Chairman Ken Gilsdorf.
Hummer was key to landing the First Solar plant and expansion on Ohio 795 in the township, Gilsdorf said.
“If it wasn’t for Chief Hummer, I don’t know if we would have got First Solar,” he said, adding that there are several other “exciting things going on in Lake Township” that need continuity and leadership.
“I don’t think we can afford to lose him as our administrator,” Gilsdorf said. “After a lot of discussion last night (Tuesday), we decided it was the best for the community and for us and for Mark Hummer.”
Hummer said he enjoys being both the police chief and administrator, but the workload is increasing.
“This would be pretty good timing to split the positions,” he said. “It’s just the right move for the township.”
Hummer’s last contract adjustment was in January 2020 when he was offered a new annual salary of $110,000 and a four-year contract, to stay as police chief and administrator. Hummer had been considering an offer to become the Rossford administrator.
Hummer will receive raises of 2.5% is each year of the two-year contract extension.
“I love being a police officer and it’s going to be a tough adjustment to not be,” he said. “Forty years of wearing a badge, that’s a long time.”
Also Tuesday, it was announced that Fire Chief Bruce Moritz will be delaying his retirement to assist in selecting a candidate for his replacement.
Hummer said that Moritz is expected to stay on for a few more months.
In June, Moritz announced that he would retire Oct. 7. He has been with Lake Township since 2013 and has had a 53-year career in fire.
A key point to his staying is the release of a $24,000 study with Rossford and Northwood about combining EMS and fire services.
Hummer on Wednesday said that the draft of the report has been released. It mainly reviews the capabilities of Northwood, Rossford and Lake, he said.
Also on Tuesday, the trustees hired Jason Sallows as EMS coordinator at the rank of captain and the hourly wage of $27.92.
He is replacing Kevin Sanders, who resigned effective Sept. 23.
Hummer said Sanders was a candidate to replace Moritz.
“It was certainly discussed, and he got an opportunity in the private sector,” Hummer said. “He’s done a wonderful job for us, coordinating EMS.”
Sallows is a Lake Township paramedic, and also works for Rossford, and will be a good fit, Hummer said.