Consultant to update comprehensive plan

by Sheldon Ocker

Jan. 8 township trustees meeting

Bath trustees took another step forward in updating the township’s comprehensive plan by contracting with Envision Group LLC to act as consultants along with a resident advisory group the trustee board and Zoning Inspector Bill Funk selected.

“So the board interviewed several firms to update our comprehensive plan, which is really our guiding document for zoning,” said Township Administrator/ Police Chief Vito Sinopoli, speaking for Funk, who was absent.

Cost to the township for Envision’s assistance was set at a maximum of $89,400. Among the services that Envision – with offices in Cleveland and Columbus – provides are visioning, marketing, financial feasibility and educating the public.

American Rescue Plan Act funds will be used to cover the cost.

“This is a long and involved process,” Sinopoli said. “They do quite a bit of legwork learning about where we’ve been and where we hope to be in the future.”

According to the terms of the contract, Envision will “Define rural and development area limits – Where does the ‘Keep Bath Rural’ theme begin and end? What areas of the township are vulnerable to development pressures over the next decade?”

The expectation, according to the agreement, is that Envision’s services will be “substantially complete 12 months after the contract start date,” but the contract will be in force for up to three additional months.

Police and fire

Trustees approved seven recommendations by Sinopoli on behalf of the police department totaling $38,302.

These funds will be used for a service agreement for police and fire dispatch, investigative tools for the detective bureau, online scheduling software, Tasers, Cloud services, CAD dispatch disaster support services and renewal of a digital fingerprint system.

The fire department will pay a portion of the cost for several of these services.

Trustees also approved an application for a $2,624 Ohio Law Enforcement Body Armor grant for three bulletproof vests funded by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. The grant requires a 75/25 match.

In talking about the need for the vests, Sinopoli said, “[They] have a five-year shelf life, so we track those when they are issued to officers and replace those when they come due.”

By the numbers

Sinopoli and Fire Chief Rob Campbell reported on the activity of their respective departments in calendar year 2023.

Bath police answered 17,865 calls for service last year, including 11,140 for policing, 719 traffic stops, 537 traffic accidents and 530 alarm drops.

Total calls for Bath fire were 1,651, almost 100 more than in 2022. EMS answered 1,105 calls and fire personnel were called out 546 times.

Employment opportunities

The service department is seeking to fill two positions: a full-time road laborer/ equipment operator and a full-time parks laborer.

Candidates must be at least 19 years old and have a valid driver’s license, preferably a commercial license. ∞