Clay Township seeking reimbursement

CLAY TOWNSHIP – Last May’s tornados mostly spared Clay Township but are still causing a problem. At the Nov. 18 meeting of the board of trustees, President Steve Woolf said FEMA and the Ohio EMA were not able to reimburse the township for the mutual aid provided to other jurisdictions unless the township drew up a disaster mutual aid contract with each one.

“Everyone thought they had one,” he said. “The police have a statewide one, and the fire departments have a regional one. We just assumed that’s covered, and it’s not. You people (the police and street departments) are going to respond anyway, but it’s the reimbursement you will lose out on.

“What we have to do is come up with an agreement with the city of Brookville about nonemergency services, like road services,” Woolf added.

He said the amount of services provided was “$10,000 or more.”

He presented a sample agreement between Centerville and Brookville, asking if the township should draft its own or just use that one with the appropriate changes.

Trustee Dave Vore said any agreement should be broader in scope. Woolf replied he had been to County Prosecutor Mat Heck’s office and suggested a countywide agreement, but there needed to be a quicker agreement to get reimbursement.

“We can expunge this one if a countywide agreement comes along,” he said.

The trustees also discussed the plan to tile the field next to the township building to relieve flooding along Arlington Road. The project had been delayed allowing Stefan Bridenbaugh, who rents the property, to harvest his corn so the township didn’t have to pay for the destroyed crops. Bridenbaugh was harvesting the corn during the Nov. 4 meeting.

When Road Superintendent Chris Maleski said calls to the contractor gone unreturned, Vore suggested moving on to the next contractor who had bid on the project last spring.

Woolf pointed out that, while there was no signed contract with the firm, the trustees had voted to accept the bid.

“That’s a legal action, and we need to follow legal procedures to move on,” he said, asking Vore to contact the township’s legal representative to make sure such procedures would be followed. Maleski promised to call the contractor again after the meeting and call Vore in the morning with the result.

“It’s holding up paving my driveway, as well,” he said.

Woolf also announced that the Ohio Township Association has set aside $1 million for townships to bury indigents. Deceased residents and former residents dying without funds must be buried in the township cemetery at township expense if the next of kin requests it. Clay Township has no cemetery levy, and Arlington Cemetery is maintained by burial fees. Fortunately, Maleski pointed out, such a situation has not yet arisen.

Trustee Dave Winner said he will post the calendar of meetings on the township Web site

Several residents have told Vore they “feel a lot safer” with the improvements to the intersection of St. Rt. 49 and Brookville-Salem Road.

The next regular trustee meeting will be at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2, in the township building, 8207 Arlington Road.

Reach this writer at or by calling 937-836-6314.