Tommy Kirker takes over as Sardinia Fire Chief

It was a bittersweet meeting for members of the Sardinia Village Council, as Fire Chief Chris Schumacher stepped down as chief after serving the village for over 24 years. Council accepted his resignation at its Aug. 8 meeting.

Schumacher recommended Captain Tommy Kirker as his replacement for the position.

“Chris has been having some personal issues in his family and stepped down as our volunteer fire chief,” said Village fiscal officer Karen Miller. “He is currently a full time firefighter at a department up around Caesar Creek, and his job with our village was as a volunteer.

“Chris has been with us 24 years and we’ve all learned to appreciate what a great guy he is and he will be missed by all of us.”

Council wasted no time swearing in Captain Kirker who has been a full time firefighter/EMT with the Mt. Orab Fire Department since 2008. He also worked at Stone Lick Fire Department for several years.

“I am excited to take on this new position,” Kirker said, “I have some plans in the works for some revamping of the department. Chris did a good job and I appreciated his recommendation.”

In other business at the meeting, discussions continue in regards to the purchase of a new furnace for the Town Hall on Maple Avenue in Sardinia.

“We desperately need to get this issue resolved,” Miller said. “We can’t get through another winter with this old furnace. Council has been negotiating on the price and kind of furnace it wants to purchase for over three months now.

“We’ve planned a finance committee meeting this Friday to discuss the issue further and make a decision.”

Police Chief Jim Lewis provided a report to council at the meeting and briefly discussed the recent “Back the Blue Rally” held in Mt. Orab on July 30. He said that several officers from Sardinia, along with their families attended the event.

Chief Lewis also reported that he had assisted the State Highway Patrol with traffic control recently after a three car crash at Rt. 32 and Sardinia-Mowrystown Road. He said he had hired a new auxiliary officer, Ryan Pennington who has been a Cadet for over a year and has now graduated from the Police Academy.

“Chief Lewis is working hard right now trying to obtain body cams and vehicle cams for his department,” Miller said. “We are looking into the costs. We’ve talked to one company already, but we’re looking to find the best deal.”

Village administrator Tim Mock told council that he is looking into a total phone system upgrade in the town hall building. The current phones are old ones that had been purchased many years ago, and are not working well. The plan by council is to sign with Frontier for a lease-to-purchase plan that will cost the village about the same, but offer what the village needs.  Council approved the new system.

A new crosswalk was approved by council which will be installed at Fairview Avenue and Winchester Street.

“Right now the kids going to school have to walk a block farther to cross over then walk back the other way a block,” Mock said, “I’ve had several complaints about it so a crosswalk there will go right across Winchester Street leading up to the bus stop where they are picked up.”

Mayor Greg Cassidy reminded council of a plan to hold a 9/11 Remembrance Event at the village park in Sardinia on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 4 to 10 p.m.