During last Thursday evening’s Genoa Township trustees meeting, township Police Chief Steve Gammill received permission from trustees to purchase six AR-16 rifles from Vance’s Shooter Supplies.
Gammill said the department has Vietnam-era AR-15s on loan from the government, and because those older rifles have the potential to malfunction, some township officers are permitted to carry their own rifles while on duty.
“We have liability concerns about officers carrying their own rifles,” Gammill said. “We would like to return the old AR-15s to the government, and purchase six new rifles so we have one for each car on the road.”
Gammill said the six semi-automatic AR-16s would cost $5,136. He also asked trustees to approve spending an additional $3,728 to install a weapons storage unit in the police department squad room.
“The weapons storage unit would get us away from storing weapons in cars,” Gammill said.
After both purchase requests were approved, Trustee Karl Gebhardt asked Gammill if there was a heightened sense of awareness in Genoa Township following the recent terrorist attack in California.
“We have some high-profile people who live in the community,” Gammill replied. “The worst thing you can do is think it can’t happen here.”
Gammill said members of the township police department have scheduled active shooter training.
Township Fire Chief Gary Honeycutt reported that the fire department sold its old water tanker for $58,500, minus a $5,850 broker fee.
Scott Belcastro, of Trebel LLC, was in chambers to inform trustees of the next required steps to move toward governmental electric and natural gas aggregation in the township.
During the November election, township voters approved allowing both electric and natural gas opt-out governmental aggregation for residents and small businesses.
“We now have formalities with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio,” Belcastro said. “We need two public meetings. You need to publish them two consecutive weeks before the meetings to discuss plans of operation and governance. These meetings are typically horribly attended; we do not talk about rates and specifications, but we need to keep this moving along.”
Belcastro suggested holding the first public meeting on Dec. 23, but trustees objected to a meeting falling that close to Christmas.
“I don’t want these to be just token meetings,” said Trustee Rick Carfagna. “I want the community have an opportunity to be engaged in this process.”
Trustees agreed to hold electric and natural gas opt-out governmental aggregation public meetings on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and Wednesday, Jan. 6, both meetings at 7 p.m. in the township hall and administration building.
Trustees will hold their 2016 reorganization meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m.
The township hall and administration building is located at 5111 S. Old 3C Highway, Westerville.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093