Orange Township trustees were asked to help protect the children of Oak Creek Elementary by allowing flashers to be placed on the 20 mile per hour school zone signs.

Nelson Katz, Oak Creek Home Owner Association’s vice president and trustee, stood before the board explaining the association’s stance regarding why the flashers are needed. He said the association has heard a number of complaints about speeding in the school zone during drop off and pick up hours, early morning, and late afternoon.

“The HOA is totally committed to protecting the children,” he said. “The hope is that the flashing lights will jolt drivers into slowing down.”

Katz said the association contacted Maintenance and Parks Director Beth Hugh who had the large speed zone markers on Oak Creek Road road repainted. The association also approached the Olentangy School District about the flashing signs.

“The district agreed to purchase flashing 20 mile per hour school zone speed limit signs,” Katz said. “At our request, Beth Hugh wrote and submitted a Request for Engineer Assistance to the Delaware County Engineer.”

Chief Deputy Engineer Rob Riley said active speed zone signs are very effective in the higher speed zones of 35 miles per hour and over, but not in the lower ones.

“The effectiveness is a measurable thing,” Riley said. “The fact of the matter is it is a 25 mile per hour zone.”

The school zone speed limit is 20 miles per hour.

Riley said the engineer’s office recommendation was based on current available resources.

“Given the choice, we would recommend spending those resources somewhere else,” he said. “It’s $15,000 per school zone is what you’re talking about.”

However, Riley was unaware of the school district’s willingness to purchase the signs, and recommended that trustees handle the matter at the “policy level and not on case-by-case basis.”

“It’s important to treat all these situations the same,” he said. ”It’s really a policy issue of how you treat all the schools in the area.”

Trustee Rob Quigley said he didn’t see an issue with the matter. He asked Hugh to check back with the school district for a guarantee on “picking up the cost on the signs.”

“I think we can move forward,” he said. “I think we’re all in agreement in supporting it. If the school is willing to pay for the signs and we know that for sure they are going to do that for every school within the township, I don’t see an issue with it.”

Trustees asked that a resolution be written and presented at the next meeting on Nov. 6.

In other business, the trustees authorized extending the hours of a spot labor position from 20 to 28 hours per week to work in the Fiscal Office.

Fiscal Officer Joel Spitzer said the person in the position pulls the public document requests.

“I would say she worked through 6,000 pages last week,” he said.

“This position has been very helpful for the fiscal officer and myself in jumping in helping to get a lot of projects completed so we can focus on other priorities,” said Human Resources Manager Amanda Sheterom.

Both Trustees Debbie Taranto and Quigley voted in favor of the hours extension while Trustee Lisa Knapp voted against it.

Trustees approved the release of payment to J&J Schlaegel Inc. in the amount of $341,861 for road improvements to Bale Kenyon Road.

Trustees also took the following action:

• Authorized the issuance of a purchase order to Decker Construction Company in the amount for $143,847 for the update of curb ramps to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act.

• Authorized the issuance of a purchase order in the amount of $6,400 to Contract Sweepers and Equipment for the fall street sweep.

• Authorized a payment to George J. Igel & Company Inc. in the amount of $68,264 for the Alum Creek pedestrian bridge.

• Authorized the issuance of a purchase order to Hendren Seal Coating for $19,167 for the sealing of Lewis Trail.

• Appointed Trevor Murphy to the position of a full-time firefighter and paramedic.

• Authorized the issuance of a purchase order to the Jefferson Health Plan in the amount of $248,755.

By D. Anthony Botkin

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D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.