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Fredericktown fire district asking for passage of 1 mill levy

FREDERICKTOWN -- The Fredericktown Community Fire District will be asking voters this November to approve a renewal to an existing 1-mill levy fire protection levy for a period of five years.  The levy would commence in 2014 and be due in 2015 and generate $124,900 per year according to fire district clerk Sandy Casto.


That levy directly funds the operations of the FCFD on a yearly basis and is a renewal, not new taxes being assessed.  In addition to the levy funding, yearly the department seeks grant opportunities at the Local, State, and Federal levels that allows them to fund equipment purchases and pay for the cost of training.  


“We have been able to continually increase the quantity and the quality of the service that we provide our residents,” said FCFD Chief Scott Mast.  “We want to keep providing the great services that we do, and expand on that as time goes on.”


Budgeting and working with funding isn’t just limited to larger departments, the FCFD is faced with many of the same challenges by any publically funded organization and takes that very seriously.  


“We try to forecast into the future and then set forth plans to meet those goals, we have to evaluate the needs of the community,” said Chief Mast.  Along with continued fiscal responsibility of the board and their appropriation of the funding, we are able to plug the money into the right places and save money as needed.”


Projects and purchases aren’t just something that is limited to a single persons idea, at the FCFD it is a team effort with many involved throughout the process.  From firefighters up to the fireboard that consists of a member from each township represented, there are many people that have the interest of the community in mind.


“It’s a group effort starting at the ground level with conversations amongst firefighters and officers and from that level moves up to the officers.  Once we are comfortable with those decisions and have a plan, we take it to the fire board with a request for the funds,” said Chief Mast.


A huge part of the FCFD success is the members of the department and the effort and dedication that they give throughout the year.  Although a volunteer department, they hold professionalism and customer service as a key part of their operation.   


“I think our firefighters take the job very serious, even though it is a volunteer basis.  They have the passion and put in a lot of hard work and effort to be the best.  In turn, as a whole makes the department as good as it can be,” said Chief Mast.  


The members of the FCFD live and in many cases work at businesses within the fire district, so it places every call on a very personal level that adds to the commitment.  Often times, firefighters are responding to calls involving friends, co-workers, or family, and it increases the driving force.


“I think its key to success of the organization when members can buy into it and have ownership into what they’re doing.  When you’re doing something in your own community you take a different pride and ownership into the tasks at hand and it pays off,” said Chief Mast.


Fredericktown is no different from other communities throughout the United States when it comes to first responders and problem solving.  Fire departments are often looked upon to fill those gaps and make a situation better, and the FCFD realizes that need. In a small community it is often the first responders that are the go to group of individuals to help solve problems.  


“We clear roadways of trees and hazards during and after storms, we pump flooded basements, rescue animals, and provide a lot of services other departments won’t do,” said Chief Mast.  “A lot of departments won’t go over and above to do some of those things and that is where we excel, going over and above what is asked of us.  It might not be fire related or emergency, but we will do whatever we can to help people out.”


Customer service is a key part of the fire district and the feedback that they get back from the community goes back into the organization to continually improve.


“We do treat everyone with the philosophy that everyone is our customer, and we have to keep them happy.  If we keep them happy and give them what they need, then hopefully they will continue to support our levy and funding.”


The FCFD is an all-volunteer fire department that protects the residents of 118 square miles of northwest Knox County and those that pass through on a daily basis.  They operate two stations with 30 current members with over 50% of our members being certified at the 240-hour professional firefighter level.   Their department fleet consists of two engines, a rescue, tanker, two grass trucks, dive rescue boat, technical rescue trailer, fire ATV, and a chief’s vehicle.  


In 2012 the department responded to 184 calls, and so far to date they have responded to 166 as of October 28.


New minister begins service at First Congregational Church

MOUNT VERNON – Rev. Scott Elliott is the new minister at First Congregational United Church of Christ, and will be preaching his first official Mount Vernon sermon on Sunday, November 2nd. Elliott recently moved to Mount Vernon from Melbourne, Florida, with his faithful companion, a German Shepherd named Seeley Booth. They will be joined in May by his wife Nancy. The Elliotts are excited about living and working in Mount Vernon. They express a “rightness” about moving here and have enjoyed researching the area and all of its wonderful attributes. They welcome living where there are seasons and, as Rev. Elliott put it, "the deep community connections that seem harder to find in many other places."


Rev. Scott Elliott - Submitted Photo

Elliott holds a bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) in Drama from California State University, and has led successful youth and community theater programs, including seven years with a family musical theater ministry in Oregon and four with a family Shakespeare company in Florida. His Masters of Divinity degree is from Eden Theological Seminary in Missouri. He has served as an interim pastor in Oregon, Illinois and Missouri and was a settled pastor in Palm Bay, Florida for seven years before moving to Mount Vernon.

Elliott also holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the University of Oregon, and retired from a 16-year career as a lawyer in Oregon. During those years, he worked for a federal court in Las Vegas, and then had a small town practice on the Oregon coast which included civil rights, employment, land use, wills, criminal and tort law.

At his Florida church, Elliott worked in community outreach, ecumenical leadership, social justice, family Shakespeare productions, and peace and environmental activities. He enjoys visiting with people, working with children and youth, creating social justice opportunities and preaching.

Nancy will join him in Mount Vernon in May 2014. They are the parents of four adult children.

For more information visit the First Congregational church website at http://www.mvucc.org/ or check out Rev. Elliott's aGodvlog at https://www.youtube.com/user/AGodVlog.

KCSO reports October 28, 2013

KCSO Reports 10-28-13


At around 1:40 p.m. on Friday, a deputy stopped along Martinsburg Road in Mount Vernon to investigate a crashed truck.  When he radioed it in, the deputy found that the truck had been stolen a little over an hour earlier.  No suspect was found at the scene but blood and vomit was visible both inside and outside the vehicle.

A detective and officers from the MVPD arrived at the scene and took possession of the vehicle.  An Ohio State Patrolman took the crash report.  The deputy completed a report and photographed the scene and remained on-site as blood evidence was taken from the vehicle.


Just before 10:30 p.m. on Friday, a deputy performed a routine traffic stop on Vernedale Road in Mount Vernon.  A passenger in the vehicle, Amanda Marie Withem, 23, of Cardington, was found to be wanted on a warrant issued by Morrow County.  She was taken into custody and transported to the county line where she was handed over to a Morrow County deputy.


At around 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, an officer found a vehicle in a ditch on N. Liberty Road near Fredericktown-Amity Road in Butler.  Dispatch advised that the vehicle had been reported as stolen to the MVPD.


At around 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jaron Michael Dean, 26, of Howard was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant for domestic violence.   He was arrested at his home and taken to the Knox County Jail without incident.


At around 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Teresa L. Shuler, 41, of Mount Vernon was arrested at her residence on an outstanding warrant for obstruction and for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.


At 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, a resident on Yankee Street in Fredericktown reported that an unknown person or persons had broken a glass window pane at his home.    

MVPD reports October 29, 2013

MVPD reports



Denny W. Dilldine, 39, of Mount Vernon was charged last Sunday (10/20/2013) with petty theft from the Wal-Mart.


Traffic Violations:

Clarissa A. Tomlin, 18, of Mount Vernon was cited just before 3:30 p.m. on Monday for failing to yield the right-of-way while making a left turn.



No reports available


At around 7:40 a.m. on Monday, officers responded to an alarm at a South Main Street business.  They found the exterior of the building secure and in-order.  No keyholder was available to let them in to investigate the interior, so they left the scene.

At 12:30 p.m. on Monday, officers responded to a disturbance at a church on E. High Street.  Further details were unavailable.

At 3:00 p.m. on Monday, a victim reported an incident of fraud.   No suspect was identified and an officer took a report.

At around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, a resident of the 1000-block of N. Mulberry Street reported that he had found an ID card from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections in his backyard.

At about 6:50 p.m. on Monday, a victim reported that her iPod had been stolen from her residence on the 300-block of Howard Street.  A suspect was identified.

At around 9:30 p.m. on Monday, a resident of the 200-block of Shirley Avenue reported that several individuals refused to leave her apartment.  Suspects were identified.  Recovered at the scene was a 24-carat gold necklace, a pink-and-white shell necklace, and a glass marijuana pipe.  All were confiscated as evidence.


City Council continues work to revise property maintenance ordinances

by Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com reporter


MOUNT VERNON — The bulk of City Council’s work on Monday evening involved the ongoing process of revising the city’s property maintenance ordinances. Several landlords attended the meeting of the Planning and Zoning Committee held prior to council’s regular legislative session.

Councilman Mike Hillier returned to the issue of who the city will hold responsible for violations relating to trash, garbage, solid waste and weeds. Council reversed its earlier view that if it was stipulated in a lease agreement that the tenant was responsible, the city would look to the tenant first, then to the property owner or landlord. “The city has to keep this with the owners,” said council member and committee chairwoman Nancy Vail. “We have to keep this in a manner that can be enforced and within our ability to enforce it.”

“We’re not the ones making the mess; we’re not the ones violating the laws,” said landlord Tom Cennamo. “You need to go after the violator.”

Resident and homeowner Steven Stein disagreed, telling Cennamo that keeping the property in compliance with city ordinances, as well as paying any fines for violations, is “part of the cost of doing business when you put someone in your house.”

When appealed to for a solution that would satisfy both parties, Law Director Chip McConville replied, “It’s not appropriate to leave it to me. Council is the policy maker, not me.”

Although no formal consensus was stated, Councilman John Francis seemed to reflect council’s view when he said the relationship has to be between the city and the property owner. “An owner can delegate some responsibility to the tenants in a lease agreement, but that does not absolve the owner in regard to the city,” he said.

Council began discussion of specific property maintenance requirements relating to a range of issues from exterior maintenance to stairways and decks to windows. Most drew little or no discussion; a few were discussed and/or amended:

*Sidewalks and driveways. Councilman Sam Barone said he would like to give property owners more guidance as to what constitutes unsafe or hazardous conditions. He is also concerned about the standards being evenly enforced throughout the city. Safety-service Director Dave Glass will bring specific definitions and guidelines to the next meeting. Relating to snow removal, McConville explained that under Ohio’s common law there is no owner liability relating to natural conditions (snow accumulation on the sidewalk). If unnatural conditions occur (the walk is shoveled, some snow melts and then refreezes) there is owner responsibility. Glass suggested including language relating to complying with the Americans With Disabilities Act when repairing or replacing sidewalks and driveways.

*Grass and weeds. High grass and weeds are not to exceed 8 inches high. After discussing the time frame between grass growth and possible prosecution, council members recommended that one written notice be given to the property owner, who will have 10 calendar days from the date on the notice to cut or destroy the weeds before being subject to prosecution. The landlords agreed with this procedure.

*Trees. Council deleted a provision that stated trees shall not come into contact with any structure located on adjacent property. This is a civil matter and covered under the Ohio Revised Code.

*Premises identification. All buildings assigned a street address are required to have legible and visible address numbers. Address numbers shall be in Arabic numerals or alphabetic letters; this eliminates cursive lettering as it is difficult for fire and EMS personnel to read from the road. Numbers and letters shall be a minimum of 4 inches in height with a minimum stroke width of ½ inch.

*Leak-proof garbage containers. Council eliminated a minimum size requirement and a clause that required owners to enter into a contract for removal of rubbish and solid waste.
*Dumpsters. Council added a provision that trash shall not exceed the capacity of the Dumpster.

Council will resume revising the property maintenance ordinances at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

During its regular legislative session at 7:30 p.m., council adopted as an emergency an ordinance setting the salary of certain elected city officials. The council president and council members will receive $8,378 in 2014 and 2015; the city treasurer will receive $8,888 for 2014-2017. All salaries are unchanged from the current rate.

After a third reading, council approved an ordinance changing the parking on the south side of West High Street between West and Norton streets to a two-hour parking zone. A resolution authorizing Glass to advertise for bids and enter into a contract for sludge removal received its second reading.

Council members authorized City Auditor Terry Scott to pay three bills, transfer funds and appropriate funds. The city received $2.085 million from a Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant and $490,975 from the property owner for cleanup of the American National Can property. A contract has been awarded to a contractor for cleanup, which should take about 24 months. The cleanup will be completed at no cost to the city.


Editor's note: In an earlier edition of this story Steve Stein was identified as a landlord.  He actually is not a landlord but a Mount Vernon resident and homeowner. KnoxPages.com regrets the error.

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