Delaware County Emergency Management Agency Director Sean Miller attended last Thursday evening’s (April 6) Genoa Township Board of Trustees meeting stumping for support for the EMA’s proposed change to the agency’s local funding mechanism.
Miller said since the EMA’s board was founded in 1989, EMA has invoiced local political subdivisions at a per capita rate, with additional funds from Delaware County and grants.
“The proposed amended agreement would take us away from a fixed per capita amount for our funding, which is currently $.40 per resident and $.20 per capita from the commissioners,” Miller said. “That amount hasn’t changed since 1989. The rest of our budget is from grants, but the grant landscape has been changing.”
Miller said the EMA board is asking support from county political subdivisions to move to a population percentage model, rather than the current per capita model.
“Our board would determine the need for the following year, and that amount would then be appropriated by the Delaware County commissioners,” Miller said. “The commissioners would pay one-third of that amount, the remaining jurisdictions would pay two-thirds; Genoa Township would pay a relative percentage.”
The proposed change would go into effect if the majority of political subdivisions in Delaware County approve it, Miller said.
Trustee Frank Dantonio asked why, under the proposed change, Genoa Township’s contribution to the EMA would increase 42 percent during 2018.
“Our funding model and rates haven’t changed since 1989,” Miller said. “And emergency management agencies nationwide are facing a 20 percent cut in funding. Grant money is becoming scarce, grant administration is time-consuming and takes staff time away from addressing local needs, and we have increasing personnel and maintenance costs.”
Miller also explained what services Delaware County EMA provides, both countywide and in Genoa Township.
“We are not a first responder agency; we provide support to first responders,” Miller said. “Our office provides public education and training. We have a great deal of community input and support that allows us to provide a great deal of service to Delaware County’s townships and villages.”
Miller said EMA provides cost recovery services and hazardous materials emergency management grants for training.
“The county’s siren activation system was recently turned over to us,” Miller said. “We are installing software to turn on the sirens, and software that can diagnose siren problems. We coordinate emergency response and hazardous materials teams, and a countywide emergency management team.”
Miller also said EMA is responsible for a countywide emergency management and recovery plan.
In other business, the trustees discussed a proposal that would permit homeowners in the Medallion subdivision to use golf carts on roadways within the subdivision.
Medallion General Manager Michael Heston said 90 percent of members of the Medallion Homeowners Association approve of golf cart use on neighborhood roads.
“These would be $8,000 street-legal golf carts, an added amenity for the community,” Heston said. “Medallion is a golf course community and other golf course communities have this benefit. Property values would go up, and because they’re electric vehicles it’s a green solution.”
The golf carts would not be permitted on roads with speed limits more than 35 miles per hour, Heston said. They would not be permitted on roadways outside the subdivision; and only Medallion Club members would be permitted to bring a home-based golf cart on club property.
Trustee Karl Gebhardt said Genoa Township has the right to allow golf carts in the Medallion subdivision. The trustees agreed to meet with relevant parties and the Genoa Township Police Department to establish safety guidelines, and have the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office review a document that would allow golf carts in the Medallion subdivision.
An updated list of Genoa Township meetings and activities is available on the township website at < genoatwp.com >.
The Genoa Township Hall and Administration Office is at 5111 S. Old 3C Hwy., Westerville. The township administration and zoning offices are regularly open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.