News roundup: Edinburg needs a new fire truck, plus updates from Paris, Deerfield, Palmyra and Rootstown

Palmyra township hall and fire department. Jeremy Brown/The Portager


Edinburg is considering purchasing a new pumper truck for the fire department.

“Typically, they call it the No. 1 engine in a fire department. Everybody has a No. 1 engine,” township Trustee Chris Diehl said. “It’s supposed to be the attack engine; it should be the first one to a fire. Regulations say we’re supposed to replace that one every 20 years unless we make major improvements to it. Ours is 23 years old. Our fire chief is supposed to be getting some actual figures together and seeing how much it’s going to cost. The last pumper truck we bought cost $250,000. Now, it could cost $750,000. We may try to get a grant to help us pay for it.”

Even if a new pumper truck was ordered right now, it would take three years before the fire department would get it due to supply-chain issues.

Said Diehl, “Everybody is facing the same dilemma.”


Paris adopted a resolution for a speed study for Gilbert Road from state Route 225 all the way over to the county line on the other side of the township.

“Portage County came out and did up all the paperwork suggesting a speed limit of 40 mph on Gilbert Road,” township Chair Dave Kemble said. “They have to send it down to the transportation office in Columbus to get it approved. Hopefully it will be approved soon, and then we can order the speed limit signs and put them up.”

Gilbert Road, from state Route 225 to Wayland Road, actually has a 40 mph speed limit, but the other two sections of Gilbert Road going east to McMullen Allen Road on the county line have no speed limit signs at all, making them 55 mph.


The township has set aside about $200,000 from a grant it received from the American Relief Act for a road project to put in drainage ditches in Labelle Heights, more or less to redo the infrastructure there.

“There are about four or five roads that make up Labelle Heights,” Kemble said. “We’re in the process with Portage County of getting bids to do the project. We were hoping to start on it some time this summer, but it might get stretched out.”


The township received a $2,904 NOPEC grant to help pay for a possible new generator for Town Hall.

“A new generator is going to cost around $25,000,” Kemble said. “We’re continuing to look for other grants to try to make up the difference. We’ve been working on it for about three years now, since Covid started.”


Deerfield advertised for a permanent part-time fire chief at its last trustees meeting.

“Our current fire chief is the temporary chief, but doesn’t want the position permanently,” township Chair Ed Dean said. “We’re currently accepting resumes for that position.”

Applications are available through the township website or can be picked up in person at Town Hall.


Palmyra just passed a resolution to purchase a new Kenworth T-480 dump truck/snowplow truck for the road department.

“We’re replacing one of our older trucks that’s 23 years old. It’s just getting to that age where it’s taking a lot of maintenance to keep it going,” township Chair Tom Grund said. “The new truck is going to be more efficient for us.”

The township should have the new truck by May.


The township has a tower that it leases to management firm Crown Castle.

“We have authorized Crown Castle to amend the contract to add Verizon Wireless to the tower as a service benefit to our residents,” Grund said.

Verizon Wireless is in the beginning stages of adding some equipment to the tower, which is going to greatly increase cell phone reception for Verizon Wireless customers in the area.

“We have a very big deficiency right now,” Grund said. “It was affecting 911 calls and regular personal and business calls.”


The township just finalized the purchase of land expansion for West Cemetery.

“In the back side of the cemetery, we were able to acquire five additional acres,” Grund said. “This has been in process for a little more than a year now, but things kept coming up.”


Rootstown received a $102,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for walking trails at Rootstown Community Park.

“We’re hoping the grant is going to cover the whole thing. It just depends on how fast we get the money and how expensive materials are this year,” township Vice Chair Dave McIntyre said. “Once we get confirmation of the grant, once we get a letter saying we got it, when they tell us we can start spending money, we’ll get started on it. There’s a good chance we’ll have to bid the trails out.”


The township is trading in one of its riding mowers for a new Cub Cadet mower for the road department.

“We’ll have to pay some money for it as well,” McIntyre said.


The township is looking to get an assistant fiscal officer.

“I think we have somebody who is going to come on and help us,” McIntyre said.


The Rootstown Sports Boosters will have a reverse raffle Saturday, March 25 at the Immaculate Conception Hall in Ravenna, with a grand prize of $2,000.

The event will also feature dinner, regular raffles, several silent-auction items, Chinese auction items and lottery trees. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; admission is $70.


The Rootstown Lions Club held a chili cookoff Feb. 19 at the NEOMED NEW center.

“It was a good turnout,” McIntyre said. “I’d say there were a couple hundred people there.”

A people’s choice trophy and a judge’s choice trophy were both awarded to Fairhaven Church of Rootstown.

Roger Gordon
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