Ephrata Twp. stock

When: Ephrata Township Supervisors meeting, Jan. 4.

What happened: Township supervisors learned they have a decision to make on the future of local fire companies. They must decide if they want to join with Ephrata Borough and Clay Township to establish a fire commission. If the municipalities agree, the next step would be to hire legal counsel to begin the implementation.

Why it matters: Municipal and fire officials are seeking ways to help the companies thrive.

Caution urged: Township Manager Steve Sawyer recommended the supervisors wait to make a decision until they have some idea of the costs associated with establishing a fire commission and gain more information on what the role of the fire commission would be.

Comments: Rich Gehman, Chief of the Lincoln Fire Company, told Sawyer the fire company is in favor of the concept of a fire commission, but it has questions about the role and function of the commission. Gehman said he needed more information before they could move forward with the idea. Township solicitor Anthony Schimaneck agreed with Sawyer’s recommendation, so more fact-finding sessions will be needed before they proceed to establish a fire commission.

What’s next: A joint municipal public meeting might be scheduled in fhe future but after the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Reorganization: Supervisor Clark Stauffer was once again appointed chairman and J. Tyler Zerbe appointed vice chairman. Supervisor Tony Haws was appointed secretary and Ty Zerbe as treasurer. Borough Manager Steve Sawyer was appointed assistant secretary. The law firm of Morgan, Hallgren, Crosswell & Kane will be township solicitor, while RETTEW will remain the township engineering firm. The board reappointed Leon Roy Martin to a five-year term on the Zoning Hearing Board.

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