This is the third article in a series about the townships in Fayette County.
At the Nov. 5 election, Jefferson Township will have a fiscal officer and one trustee to elect.
Jefferson Township is one of 10 townships in Fayette County and is located in the northwestern corner and contains various businesses. Each township has one fiscal officer and three trustees.
The current Jefferson Township Fiscal Officer Jomi Ward has a term expiring March 31 of next year. Current trustee Jonathan Wright has a term expiring Dec. 31 of this year.
The other trustees whose terms don’t expire until Dec. 31 of 2021 are Jeffery Hoppes and Ryan Yenger.
Of the 29,030 population recorded in Fayette County by the US Census Bureau’s 2010 survey, there was a population of 2,636 reported for Jefferson Township. Of that number 1,203 lived in Jeffersonville and 14 in the part of Octa Village located within Jefferson Township (the other part of Octa Village is located in Jasper Township).
There are many projects underway in Jefferson. Currently, Jefferson Township utilizes the Fayette County Zoning Board but the township is in the process of creating their own.
Yenger said, “We are in the process of creating a zoning board and a board of zoning appeals. We’re in the process of looking for who our zoning inspector will be. We’ve passed the resolution for this and we’re working with prosecutor Jess Weade to get that on the ballot in the spring of 2020.”
“We have a lot of commercial activity that’s looking at Jefferson Township right now. It’s kind of a hot sport for new businesses to come in. Menards got their final sign-off and they’re going to start digging dirt soon,” he added.
The double-taxation on Jefferson Township residents for the EMS levies is still ongoing but a possible solution is being explored.
In the spring, the trustees’ main focus is on the seven cemeteries in Jefferson Township in order to keep them mowed, maintained and prepped for days like the Fourth of July and Memorial Day.
Due to the amount of rainfall this year, keeping up with maintenance has been a struggle. They have two full-time employees to assist them, and contract out some of the mowing. Larry Deppy is one of the full-time employees who helps a great amount with cemetery maintenance.
According to Yenger, Jefferson has 33 miles of road. John Trimble is the other employee who is dedicated to road ditches. He uses a tractor and mower to keep those ditches maintained so people can see what may be coming while driving along the road.
One of the projects nearing completion is an online archive for Fairview Cemetery. This archive would allow users to search for loved ones or those who may be buried in the cemetery. The archive could also assist genealogical research.
As summer continues, the grass slows down so the trustees refocus Deppy from mowing to clean-up and headstone maintenance. Equipment and supplies for winter maintenance of roads are checked ahead of time for their conditions and supply.
According to Yenger, the trustees are starting to look at budgeting for 2020 and various projects that can be done for the township roads. “Right now we’re trying to determine which roads we’re going to do two years from now and determine what work needs to be done on them this coming year to get them ready for paving.”
“We need to stay within a certain amount of dollars and we try to maintain that as best we can,” said Yenger.
The Fayette County Historical Society Museum, which is located at 517 Columbus Ave. in Washington Court House, is featuring the history of the townships as its exhibit this year. People are welcome to tour the museum from 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. There is no cost although donations are welcome.
Follow the Record-Herald for the remaining articles. For more information now please visit www.ohiohistorycentral.org. For information on the history of Jefferson Township please visit Ohio Genealogy Express at http://www.ohiogenealogyexpress.com/fayette/fayetteco_hist_1914/fayetteco_hist_1914_jeffersontwp.htm. For specific information on what the Board of Township Trustees are responsiblefor or not supposed to do please visit codes.ohio.gov/orc/5.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.