Genoa Twp. adjusting to new normal


In their communication with residents, Genoa Township officials recognize the historic nature of the times we’re living in.

“Future generations will read about COVID-19 in history books,” wrote Trustee Renee Vaughan in the township’s May newsletter. “We will all remember this year like we remember 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. This pandemic will make a mark not only in American history but world history.”

While it is tough time for many families, she said, it is also a life lesson for today’s youth. Some have adapted by being able to work remotely, and others are able to spend more quality time together.

“Genoa Township has adjusted during this pandemic in many ways. To name a few, township buildings are closed to the public, all facility rentals have been canceled … playgrounds, basketball courts, and park restrooms are closed, and board of trustees meetings have gone virtual. When this pandemic is resolved, what we have done and how we have handled it will leave Genoa Township residents stronger, more resilient, and community-minded.”

“Closing playgrounds and removing basketball hoops was unsettling for the department,” said Maintenance Director Bob Mathews.

Along with the township’s first responders and staff, Vaughan recognized several members of the community for their morale-boosting efforts in the time of COVID-19:

• Sally Buckles, for helping provide 140 meals to nurses at local hospitals.

• The Cerasi family, for their uplifting chalk messages.

• Dana Vignali, for organizing family activities in Barrington Estates.

Grace Vance, a resident of Eagle Trace and a sophomore at DeSales, was also recognized. She won the Ohio History State Competition in April with a now-timely exhibit on how Dr. John Snow halted the cholera epidemic in Victorian-era London.

Vaughan also said those needing assistance can contact the following: Big Walnut Friends Who Share, Delaware County, Del-Co Water, HelpLine, People in Need of Delaware County, and Westerville Area Resource Ministry.

Then-Fire Chief Gary Honeycutt said Genoa’s Fire Department had experienced an increase in transport requests within the early weeks of the COVID-19 crisis. He said the township could experience up to 25 cases per day unless residents took precautions.

“The best preventive measures are to wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, and practice social distancing,” Honeycutt said.

In July’s newsletter, Honeycutt said May ended up having a 25% decrease in overall incidents.

“This is a testament to residents in how well they are adhering to the governor’s stay at home orders. With all family members at home and minimal contact with the outside world, there have been fewer vehicle accidents, fires, and rescues needed,” Honeycutt said. “With the reopening of the state, we expect an increase in incidents as things return to normal.”

Honeycutt retired earlier this month.

“We continue to navigate our way through the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with our community events,” said Police Chief Stephen Gammill. “We have received recommendations to move National Night Out from August to October, and we are hopeful that we will be able to hold this fun event this year.”

“Our staff has done a very good job in continuing to provide services and work for the residents. We are proud of them all,” said Trustee Karl Gebhardt in the July newsletter. “Not that adjustments haven’t been made, but the work of the township has continued. We want to thank the residents for being patient and understanding. Our committees have been frustrated about cancelled meetings and video streaming of the trustee and zoning meetings isn’t ideal, but it has gotten the job done.”

Gebhardt closed by saying, “Stay well, stay safe, and enjoy a good summer in Genoa Township.”

For more information, visit the township’s website at

The Genoa Township offices are closed to the public, but staff are still working. Genoa Township offices are closed to the public, but staff are still working. Gary Budzak | The Gazette

By Gary Budzak

[email protected]

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

No posts to display