The 12 years Ron Sims was a member of the Lake Township Board of Trustees marked one of the most progressive periods in the township history – highlighted by the construction of new facilities and parks, the creation of a police K-9 unit and a Special Response Team, the acquisition of modern vehicles and equipment for the police and fire departments and other advancements, said Richard Welling, a trustee, who paid tribute Monday to Sims during the trustees’ final meeting of 2013.
Sims was not re-elected in the November election and didn’t attend the meeting.
“The trustees’ decisions and actions over the past 12 years have successfully met the rigorous challenges, mandates and technological changes of the 21st century,” Welling said, reading from a prepared statement.
He said Lake Township was the first township in Wood County to adopt gas and electric service aggregation, collectively saving residents thousands of dollars on their utility bills. The board of trustees during Sims time in office hired the township’s first solicitor to help expedite legal decisions.
He also credited Sims for helping complete the purchase of property on Ayers Road where a new fire station was constructed, replacing a station built in the 1940s.
“The majority of the current staff of police officers and firefighters on the Lake Township rolls have been hired and promoted during the past 12 years,” Welling said. “They are an outstanding group of well trained and professional men and women.”
The trustees’ decision to hire an administrator was also made while Sims held office and Welling credited administrator Mark Hummer for facilitating more efficient governmental service. He praised parks director Ron Hanley and volunteers on the parks committee for implementing the Music in the Park and farmers market programs.
The township has also benefited from more than $1 million in grants for roads, dispatching service and the police and fire departments, Welling said.
He also praised Vicki Schwamberger, fiscal officer, for her efforts during the rebuilding of the township administration building in the wake of the June 2010 tornado.
Jeff Pettit, who was elected in November, was sworn into office for a four-year term along with Welling, who was re-elected.
Trustee Melanie Bowen and Welling welcomed Pettit and said he’d bring a new perspective to the office.
In other business, the trustees:
• Approved a resolution renewing dental, vision and life insurance coverage employees with Guardian Insurance.
• Re-appointed James Balogh and Dwight Gettings to five-year terms on the board of zoning appeals, effective Jan. 1.
• Scheduled the organizational meeting for Jan. 7 at 5:30 p.m.