It’s an explosive issue in Muskingum Township that has its residents raising their voices on both sides of the issue.
The Muskingum Township Trustees voted last month to disband its volunteer fire department and have Falls Township take over their calls.
When the 3 sat down this evening to hold their monthly meeting, they came under fire. Many residents who attended say they felt the issue was handled "behind their backs."
"The taxpayers and members of our township had no idea that that was going to be done. There was no agenda, public agenda posted to make us aware that such a huge decision was going to be made, " says Muskingum Township resident Susan Wickham.
But Thelma Cohagen, who has been a resident of Muskingum Township for 9 years and makes an effort to have a constant presence at these meetings, says it was an issue that has been boiling for about 2 year, and people would have known that had they attended.
"As a rule, you’ll have maybe the same 6 people at every meeting. You can’t get a lot done in the township and you don’t carry the word out with just 6 people, " says Cohagen.
While both sides disagree on the issue, they do agree that they want what’s best for this township.
"I am extremely happy for this change. I live not far from the station. I know when the squad is toned out. Falls (Township) has had a squad here almost every day. They were not required to have it for those 12 hours a day until the first (of July), " says Cohagen.
"I am concerned if certainly they get a number of runs and then where are we at down the list? They can only have so many as well. They need to be covered in their township as well as our township, " says Wickham.
The trustees did sign a contract with Falls Township for 5 years.