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The Madison Township insurance fire rating has been lowered for the first time in years

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Residents and business owners of Madison Township can expect some sort of savings on their home insurance this fall. That’s because a recent review by the Insurance Services Office improved the public protection rating for the township’s structural fire suppression system by two levels.

“That’s virtually unheard of,” Madison Fire Chief Ken Justus said Monday during his administrative report at the trustees’ regular meeting. “According to the ISO representative, it’s a pretty big problem because it doesn’t happen very often.”

Madison Township had been in the middle range for more than twenty years.

Justus told the board the improved rating was due to upgrades to the county dispatch center, which changed from analog radios to the state’s digital Multi Area Radio Communications System, as well as the addition of a new tanker truck and a new ladder truck, among other things. Adding the Mansfield Fire Department to the Madison Fire Department, which provided additional manpower for fire calls, also helped, as did adding staff in Madison and having a plan for the future.

Justus said in a news release that the improvement in score and rating was due to the hard work of Madison’s firefighters and officers. Related factors included staff training, fire prevention and code enforcement, fire investigation, and public education about fire safety.

Justus noted that the community has a split classification because only a portion of the community has recognized fire hydrants as part of a pressurized water system. He said the Madison Fire Department will work in the future to develop a better classification for residents outside the pressurized system or greater than 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant, through the use of tankers and water shuttle systems and testing and reporting findings for new fire hydrants.

Justus said the ISO representative has indicated that the improvement will impact insurance rates when the new ratings are published on September 1.

“I can’t tell you how much, because everyone’s house is different: the size of the house, the square footage, the year it was built, the type of construction, things like that. All these variables come into play when you evaluate a home,” he said.

According to Justus, of the 1,692 assessments in Ohio, only 361 communities have the Class 3 assessment that Madison received and only 241 communities have the same public protection rating as Madison.

Summer paving contract approved

In other business, administrators approved a $310,197 contract with Sarver Paving of Ashland for the summer road paving program. Sarver had the lowest bid of three companies that submitted figures.

The list of roads includes parts of Berger, Walker, Benedict, Averill and Herring Avenues, Woodside, Truxall, Fir, Springlake and Lakefront drives and Molly and Brentwood courts and special sections for Bentwood Road due to different milling specifications, and for Home Road, a joint project with Springfield Township that will split costs 50-50.

The administrators have not yet decided whether to implement a chip/seal surface repair program on any roads.

The board also approved a recommendation from Justus to accept the resignations of firefighters Zachary Wilson and Skyler Adams and hire Dennis Gast as a full-time firefighter.

Before their regular session, the trustees also held a special meeting to discuss collective bargaining in the fire department and employment in the highway department during a board meeting. No action was taken following the board meeting.