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Trustees welcome Chappy as new firefighter

July 11, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

A crowd of friends, family, and church members attended the July 9 township meeting to witness the swearing in of Austintown Fire Department's newest firefighter. Michael "Chappy" Smith was first introduced to the fire service when a close friend asked for his help, according to trustee Jim Davis.

"Former trustee Rick Stauffer served as our fire department chaplain," Davis said. "When he became a trustee, he thought it might be a little too much and he asked Michael to take over the chaplain duties."

Smith serves as senior pastor of the Four Mile Run Christian Church. Davis said when Stauffer approached him, he was glad to help out, not knowing where he would end up.

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"He wanted to understand what a firefighter went through, so he took the training to be a fire fighter," Davis said. "He was next in line to be sworn in."

Chief Andy Frost said everyone in the department calls him Chappy for short and he is well known throughout the area.

"We are [one of a small number] of fire departments that has a chaplain," Frost said. "Many other departments have come to us requesting his services. He has been an incredible friend to all."

Following a short recess in the meeting to congratulate Smith, the trustees got back to business and the issue of noise came up. Resident Steve Terlecky said since the story came out in the Town Crier on the trustees stance on fireworks, the "neighbors seemed to be more respectful."

Chief Frost added that his department did go on one call involving illegal fireworks. He said the details could not be released at this time, but there was a serious injury that required a trauma team.

Trustees also dealt with another noise problem by passing a resolution that repealed a Feb. 2, 1993 resolution to control noise at "D" liquor permit businesses. The new resolution regulates noise by setting time limits and noise level.

"Hopefully this is one step to make it easier for police to control noise levels," Davis said.

He said under the 1993 noise resolution, it was up to the officer to determine if the noise levels were too loud or not. All three trustees agree that one person's idea of too loud, is not what another would say.

As for times, the new resolution sets quiet hours as 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Davis said it takes into account the various "D" class liquor permitted businesses to host outside entertainment at reasonable hours.

"I think this is set up to benefit the businesses and the residents," said trustee Doug McGlynn.

Davis said the resolution sets definite guidelines for both time and noise, giving the police a more defined set of guidelines to use when responding to a noise call.

Another item that will help police to maintain services was a resolution to replace a 2.4 mill existing levy with an increase of 0.8 mills. Trustees unanimously approved sending the tax levy to the county auditor for certification so it can be placed on the November ballot.

"When you move into a community, you look at police, fire service and schools," McGlynn said. "I think people need to understand this police levy. Without the levy, we'll deal with loss of services. We really need to get out there and market this."

Trustee Carano said the township needs the funds to maintain services because the state continues to cut money coming back to the township. He asked everyone to tell the candidates for Ohio governor that it is time to release the rainy day funds and give the money back to the townships.

In other business:

Davis thanked all the people who helped make the Fourth of July celebration a success. He said on Aug. 13 at 4:30 p.m. the committee will meet to plan next year's fireworks and event. The fireworks display is already set for June 30, 2019 at the Austintown Plaza.

Trustee Carano said there have been some concerns about finding firework debris in lawns on Country Green. He said anyone finding the debris is asked to call the township and report it.

Park Supervisor Todd Shaffer confirmed there was a black bear sighting at Walmart and later on one of the Township Park trails. He said it appears to be a young bear and it should leave the area in a few days as it continues to roam while looking for a mate.



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