Fire chief Nicholson shares proposed building plans and department annual report with Magnolia Council

By TESA STRASSER The Press-News Published:

Five Magnolia Volunteer Firemen accompanied fire chief Donnie Nicholson Jr. to the village council meeting on Feb. 13, to share preliminary drawings for a new fire house.

Scott Eckinger, Gregg Oswald, Scott Snyder, Clay Loomis and Jay Herstine watched and fielded questions, as Nicholson shared the drawings. If funding can be secured, the department would like to build on a portion of the Magnolia School property, near Harrison Street.

According to village solicitor Kevin L'Hommedieu, in order to lease the property, it must be surveyed to gain a legal description. The firemen seemed concerned about investing the money for the survey without a commitment from the council. Mayor Bob Leach assured them the proper steps would be taken to adhere to the law and asked them to trust that the council would act in good faith. He also expressed appreciation to the firemen for their selfless devotion to the village.

The proposed lease would allow as long as 15 years for the department to get funding. The building would have metal sides and roof, with split-face cement block on the lower portion of the walls. Nicholson sited the narrowness of the garage doors on the current fire station as one of the reasons a new building would be very welcomed.

"We practically need a shoe horn to pull the newer trucks in," he stated.

When planning the layout of the building and property allowances were made for possible future improvements and space was made to facilitate a future walking track.

Council members expressed approval of the practicality and appearance of the building based on the drawings.

Chief Nicholson then went on to give a summary of the department's annual report. There were 95 total incidents for the fire department, with 44.21 percent in Rose Township, 21.05 in the village of Magnolia and 23.15 percent in Sandy Township. The chief was pleased with the average response time for the first truck out the doors being under five minutes.

Nicholson also shared with council about the donation of a 2010 pick-up truck to the department.

Police department statistics for January shared at the meeting include 713 paid officer hours, 110 auxiliary hours, 21 traffic arrests, two juvenile arrests, seven crash reports, 11 misdemeanor arrests, five felony arrests, 28 reports and 12 agency assists. Appreciation was expressed for a $100 donation to the department from Dave Rainsburg of Sparta Steel for help securing the gate at the business.

Sean Montgomery and Adam Dauberman were hired as auxiliary policemen, and Aric Ninni and Tyler Miller were promoted to patrolmen second class.

A request was made by councilman Steve Loomis to try to get more information on the mausoleum at the village cemetery. There are no records available and some of the crypts are unmarked. It appears that the last person in the mausoleum died in 1973. Anyone having information about anyone laid to rest in the mausoleum should contact a council member.

Mayor Leach reported to council most of the new stop signs are in place and new flags have been purchased for Memorial Day.

In other business, the council:

• HEARD from Steve Lebold that his son Tyler, will hold his Boy Scout Court of Honor on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m., the Waynesburg American Legion Hall. Tyler's Eagle Scout project was to update the sign in front of the village fire department;

• DISCUSSED the possibility of purchasing a new police car. The topic was tabled for a few months until there is more village financial information available;

• APPROVED the clerk-treasurer report reflecting $209,649.52 in all accounts;

• HEARD the water has been turned off to a home on Harrison Street so the owners can have it torn down;

• DISCUSSED the possible repairs to the back porch of the town hall;

• HEARD the cemetery took in $350 in January and Dale (Sonny) Fitzsimmons was named as the cemetery sexton;

• RECEIVED $5,633.01 from Time Warner Cable as franchise fee;

• EXPRESSED appreciation to Waynesburg for their help clearing snow from the streets when the village truck was out of operation during snowfalls recently;

• DECIDED to order more road salt ;

• PAID bills of $18,770.63.

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