Genoa Township Fire Chief Gary Honeycutt has announced his retirement date for August 2020, the township announced this week. It is a planned retirement.
Honeycutt oversees a department of more than 40 personnel, including 36 certified firefighter/paramedics and six firefighters/EMTs. The department’s fleet consists of three engines, two medic vehicles, a water rescue boat, and a trailer to decontaminate hazardous materials. The fire and EMS staff are based in a station at 7049 Big Walnut Road, Galena. The facility is currently shared with the police department, whose new station is being built across the street.
The fire department’s jurisdiction is 21.5 square miles, and it also provides automatic aid to eight neighboring townships and three municipalities. Calls are dispatched by Delaware County. The U.S. Census Bureau states Genoa’s population in 2018 was nearly 26,000 people and next-door Westerville had more than 38,000 people.
The township’s website states the department specializes in emergency medical services, fire prevention and public education services, fire suppression, hazard mitigation and rescue. The department’s mission statement is, “To promote fire safety awareness in the Township and respond in times of fire, accident or other emergency to preserve lives, property and the environment.”
On behalf of the township, the application process to find Honeycutt’s replacement is being handled by the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association. Applications are due May 12.
Township officials have noted its firefighters, paramedics, and police officers have personal protective equipment if needed and may assist patients who may have COVID-19 to a responding vehicle. If possible, the resident will be asked to walk to their front door or garage to meet the first responder.
In other township news, there’s work being done on South Old 3C Highway once again. The Delaware County Engineer posted on Facebook: “South Old 3C Highway will be closed to northbound traffic between Henchen Circle and Freeman Road for construction April 9 to Aug. 14. This will allow southbound traffic only. (Side streets coming to S. Old 3C have to go southbound only.) Road is open to two way traffic between Mt. Royal and Henchen Circle.”
Like other communities in Ohio, Genoa’s regular trustees meetings are currently closed for public attendance due to the novel coronavirus. However, the meetings are streamed live on Facebook and posted on the township website.
Genoa residents who have done good deeds during these trying times can be nominated by their neighbors to receive a gift on their front porch by visiting www.genoatwp.com/gooddeeds.
Finally, public comment is being sought on a draft of the Genoa Parks Master Plan. Genoa has the following parks: Center Green, Community Hall, Freeman Road, Hilmar and McNamara. In addition, Jaycox Park is the sledding hill, and Worthington Road Park is the community garden. Genoa is notable for having a portion of the Ohio to Erie Trail, and its proximity to Hoover and Alum reservoirs.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, park basketball courts, playgrounds and restrooms are closed. Trails are still open, but users are advised to maintain social distancing and good hygiene.
The parks plan was last updated in 2010. The 48-page document can be accessed from the Genoa website or Facebook page. Comments are requested by May 1.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.