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Fire / EMS Services in Jeopardy

On November 3rd, the Brown Township Board of Trustees discussed its ongoing efforts to negotiate a new contract with Norwich Township for provision of fire protection and emergency medical services (EMS). Norwich Township currently provides fire and EMS coverage to Brown Township under a 1998 agreement that has been renewed several times over the years. While the current contract should automatically renew, Brown Township worries Norwich Township will give notice, at the beginning of 2024, that it is terminating the contract at the end of 2024 and ending this twenty-six-year relationship.
In 2022, during discussions involving an expansion to the Brown Township Fire Station, Brown Township called Norwich Township’s attention to certain contract provisions that Norwich, once it was aware of these provisions, believed were unfair. At the beginning of this year, Brown Township started working on a new contract to meet Norwich Township’s objectives.
Over the last ten months, multiple revisions of a new contract were presented to Norwich Township as Brown Township believed the Townships were coming closer together on issues related to the management of the Brown Fire Station. This summer, the chairpersons, fiscal officers, and legal representatives of both townships met to discuss various contact terms. Brown Township left the meeting believing a clear path to a new agreement had been forged.
Since then, Brown Township attempted several times to finalize the agreement, but, to its surprise, was met with increasingly belligerent responses from the Norwich Trustees. On more than one occasion, Norwich Township Board Chairperson Chuck Buck falsely accused Brown Township Chairperson Joe Martin of negotiating in bad faith. In September, a member of the Norwich Board conveyed a list of four “deal killers” in the ninth version of the proposed contract. Brown responded with version ten, addressing these issues, along with a memo explaining its response in detail. On October 25, 2023, Norwich Chairperson Chuck Buck responded by saying that his Board had not discussed version 10, but that he knew all three board members were displeased with the version and that Norwich Township was ending negotiations. Instead, Mr. Buck recommended Brown Township consider a completely new contract with drastically different provisions, including the closing the Brown Township Fire Station on Walker Rd.
During its November 3rd meeting, the Brown Township Trustees discussed how frustrated they had become with trying to work with the Norwich Board of Trustees. Beyond the fact that Norwich Township continues “moving the goalposts” as discussions proceeded, the Brown Township Trustees expressed bewilderment at the hostility which was reflected in statements made at Norwich Township Trustee meetings. Board Chairperson Martin said, “We began this process as neighbors eager to continue a longstanding partnership to provide residents with fire and EMS service, now we feel like political targets. I am simply at a loss for words.”
The Brown Township Trustees fear the future of its partnership with Norwich Township is more uncertain than ever. Given this unfortunate situation, Brown Township must explore a range of options regarding fire and EMS protection for its residents, including new partnerships.

Brown Township Central Ohio Greenways Visioning Study

Brown Township successfully applied for MORPC Technical Assistance to engage in a Central Ohio Greenways Vision Refinement Study. The goal of the study is to determine the alignment of an east-west trail connecting Prairie Oaks Metro Parks to the City of Hilliard’s municipal park system. This connection would also interconnect two regionally significant trails: the Darby Creek and Hellbranch Trails. A 2021 township survey of nearly 100 households revealed that over 80% supported this east-west trail connection, citing the benefits it would have to the community’s collective value, health, and capacity for outdoor recreation. In response, the township has been critically assessing all opportunities, with the eventual goal of creating an Implementation Plan to transform the trail concept to reality.

This study has included an analysis of existing conditions in the township and an exploratory workshop with key regional stakeholders, including Franklin County Engineer’s Office, the City of Hilliard, Metro Parks, and the Big Darby Accord Advisory Panel. Next, different potential alternatives will be analyzed to compare the relative benefits of all the opportunities available to the township.

A key next step of this study will be hearing from and engaging with the Brown Township community. To that end, a public open house is planned for Thursday, July 20th at 6:30pm in the Brown Township Hall. This open house will be an opportunity for members of the public to hear an update on the study and planning process thus far, lend critical input and feedback on options identified to this point, and voice community concerns and desires regarding trails, access to trails, and connections to local parks.

Please reach out to Joe Martin (Brown Township) or Jordan Petrov (MORPC) with any comments or questions.

Open Burning

Please see our updated page on open burning.

Mando Ditch Petition

Patterson Rd., Jerman Ln., Morris Rd., small part of Amity Rd.

Mando Ditch Petition Materials: [Click Here]

Ohio Revised Code section 6131 allows the cost and maintenance of drainage improvement projects to be assessed over multiple landowners based on the benefit created to those properties. The Franklin County Engineer’s Office performs the design and oversees the construction and maintenance of these projects. Concerned landowners should attend these meetings to stay informed and provide feedback to the process.

Jim Ramsey, PE
Riparian and Environmental
Franklin County Drainage Engineer
(614) 525-7469
Kate Radtke
Drainage Project E.I.
Franklin County Drainage Engineer
(614) 525-7318

Don Murphy
Drainage Technician
Franklin County Engineer
(614) 525-2787

Report Failing Sewage Systems

When household sewage treatment systems fail, untreated sewage is discharged into the environment. Untreated wastewater from a failing system can contaminate drainage ditches, streams and drinking water wells. Avoid contact with untreated human waste.

Report suspected failed systems:

  • Call (614) 525-4787

About Township Communications

Section 505.07 of the Ohio Revised Code allows newsletters and websites for public awareness. Content for the Brown Township Newsletters and Website is provided by township officials, residents and various public organizations. This website contains much more information than is published in the newsletters. However, each newsletter is archived on this website.

Please send comments, articles and photos to Brown Township Newsletter Editor, 2491 Walker Rd, Hilliard, OH; 43026.