Trustee Passes Torch

ST. MARYS — A township trustee with more than three decades of service recently announced his retirement — paving the way for a new member to join the board.

The Noble Township Board of Trustees met on Feb. 1 to swear in its newest member, Grant Shaner.

“The trustees came to me and asked if I’d be interested,” Shaner said. “I was appointed, and when the term is up, I’ll have to run.”

Outside of the board, Shaner owns Country Truck Sales in St. Marys, but he has always been interested in doing some service for the community, he said.

This position was just the opportunity he had been looking for to give that time back to the community.

Shaner expects that the first big project he will be involved in will be plowing snow from the streets of Noble Township.

Shaner replaces James Johns, who was a trustee on the township board for 35 years.

“Well, I decided to retire after 35 years and let somebody younger do my job,” Johns said.

“(I have) a lot of memories of being township trustee. My first and biggest memory was learning how to plow snow from 1978, and that was the year of the blizzard, so it’s been all downhill since then. It took me three days just to open the township up after that hit.”

People were stranded in their homes until the board cleared the roads, he said.

While some might find weather emergencies and road maintenance stressful or mundane, Johns enjoyed that aspect of the job.

“I just liked plowing snow, taking care of roads,” he said.

A few of his accomplishments as trustee member include the construction of the community center where the meeting was held and the purchase of Noble Township School.

“It used to be part of the city, and the city closed it,” Johns said.

“So the township was able to purchase it and create a park. That’s what the township community park is.”

One of the big events the township holds every year in the park is the spring hog roast.

“It’s a fundraiser to support the park,” Johns said.

This year’s event is scheduled to be held on April 13. People wanted to preserve the history of the school and the area around it, Johns said, and the building is now used for reunions, birthdays, weddings, and other activities.

The board’s bigger accomplishments from 2012 include the joint project with the city of St. Marys of resurfacing McKinley Road.

“That’s the township line between Noble and St. Marys so we share that cost,” Johns said.

They also sealed the cracks in several local roads.

“We contract (out) all the road work. The trustees don’t really do it anymore.”