Fire District

MEAD TOWNSHIP and Shadyside village officials have put to bed a burning issue, that being the formation of a new fire district.

Shadyside Village Council, at its meeting Monday, signed off on a joint resolution between the two entities. It has been previously approved by the Mead trustees.

It will be formally called the OR&W Fire District, named after the former Ohio River & Western Railroad that operated in the village and throughout the township. We believe the former narrow gauge railroad is a fitting name for the new venture.

While the fire district became a reality upon Shadyside’s approval, the actual work now commences to make it viable.

A five-member panel must be formed to oversee the fire district’s operation. It will be comprised by two individuals residing within the village — one being a councilman — two township residents — one being a Mead trustee — and a fifth member selected by the other four.

The panel positions are ones that need filled by competent, passionate and responsible individuals. The first slot has been capably filled as Shadyside Councilman Bob Bell was approved Monday night. We totally support Bell’s selection to the fire district board, as he has demonstrated professionalism both as a councilman and a businessman.

A Nov. 25 deadline has been established for individuals seeking to serve on the board. We urge only those who would take such a challenge seriously to submit an application.

The panel, once in place, will formulate a budget, under the watchful eye of Belmont County Auditor Andy Sutak. The proper millage then will be determined and placed on the ballot for voters residing in the fire district.

The fire district’s fate will be in the voters’ hands. If it is voted down, the fire district goes up in flames. Should it gain approval, we hope OR&W can use the Cumberland Trail Fire District as a blueprint for ongoing success.