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Franklin Township fires not arson
"There is no arsonist in our area," said Franklin Township Fire Chief Richard Howard.
"There have been a couple of fires in the township and we have received lots of calls concerning possible arsonists," Howard added. "None of our fires have been a group effort and most have been ruled accidental."
Residents fear a group of arsonists who damaged Columbus properties may have spread into the township, but the increase in local fires has "just been the luck of the draw", Howard said.
"However, I do encourage residents if they see something suspicious to call the sheriff's office (614-462-3350). A lot of times arsonists will case a joint and set a small fire before setting a large fire to see how we respond," Howard said.
The township firefighters have battled the increased workload under an old contract that expired on Feb. 28. Their union and the township trustees have yet to reach an agreement.
Negotiations began in December, but both sides decided against making a firm decision until the township settled a new insurance contract, said Trustee Tim Guyton
Representatives from the township's insurance provider will present options to the trustees at a special meeting on April 30 at 5:30 p.m. The regular trustee meeting will follow at 7 p.m.
Once both sides sign the labor contract, the firefighters will receive retroactive compensation for raises they should have received beginning March 1.
The township's contract with the Fraternal Order of Police expires June 30.
Other Franklin Township news
•The trustees will continue to accept sealed bids on two 2003 Crown Victorias and one 1997 Jeep Cherokee until May 5 at 5 p.m. The vehicles are parked in front of the township office at 2193 Frank Road. The trustees will read the bids at their May 14 meeting.
•The week of May 4, the road department will suspend brush collection to pick-up any leaves that residents may have remaining from last fall. Leaves should be raked to the curb and should not include brush, said Road Supervisor Jim Stevens.
Originally the leaf pick-up was scheduled for the week of April 20, but a delay in the township newsletter pushed the date back.
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