Home Community News Freedom Township

Freedom Trustee News

Freedom Township – The regular meeting of the Freedom Township Board of Trustees was called to order by Chairman Hammar at 7:30 pm on Thursday, June 16, 2011, immediately following the public hearing. In attendance were Trustees James Hammar, Roy Martin, John Zizka; Rosemary Nicholas, Fiscal Officer; Jeff Derthick, Zoning Inspector and Charles VanSteenberg, Road Supervisor. Also present were  Harold Cain, Charles Duffield, Dan Grafton, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Hawkins, and Stan Lawrence.The minutes of the June 2, 2011 regular meeting were approved as presented.During the public comment section Mr. Hawkins asked the trustees for an extension on a project he is working on. Mr. Derthick noted that Mr. Hawkins is in violation of our zoning resolution, dating back to mid-November of 2010. This has been referred to the Prosecutor’s office. Mr. Hawkins was granted one extension which has expired. The violation involves a number of vehicles on the property, and Mr. Hawkins said he is trying to get rid of them; they are for sale. Three have no plates and do not run; two have plates and do run. Mr. Derthick said the process is slow and as far as the zoning office is concerned, they want the Prosecutor’s office to follow their standard procedure. Mr. Hammar pointed out that this will give Mr. Hawkins additional time. Mr. Zizka said we should let it run its course; Mr. Martin and Mr. Hammar agreed. Mr. and Mrs. Hawkins then left the meeting.Mr. Lawrence presented a proposed amendment to the Zoning Resolution which had been approved by the Zoning Commission at their public hearing held on June 15, 2011: Amendment #1 Add §416.0 Outdoor Hydronic Furnace Regulation.Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, to accept the recommendation of the Zoning Commission to amend the Zoning Resolution. Motion carried. Mr. Martin made the motion to set a public hearing for Thursday, July 21, 2011. It was pointed out that this will be past the 30 day deadline. Mr. Martin moved to amend his motion as follows: to set a public hearing for Thursday, July 7, 2011, at 7:00 pm at the Town Hall to review the proposed amendment to the Zoning Resolution, with the Regular Trustees meeting to immediately follow the public hearing. Mr. Zizka seconded the motion.  Motion carried. Zoning Report: Mr. Derthick said they had issued one certificate for a deck. He mentioned the “all boards” meeting held recently in Nelson Township with Mr. Meduri in attendance, and asked if the board of trustees would like to entertain an “all boards” meeting for Freedom Township. Mr. Hammar suggested we ask Mark Finamore to attend. Mr. Martin agreed with the concept but said that when we had opportunities in the past, few people chose to attend. Mr. Zizka said it would be nice if the trustees and zoning, as a group, were all on the same page. He added that he doesn’t necessarily see that such a meeting would require Mr. Meduri’s presence but he was open to any suggestions. Mr. Derthick said that Mr. Meduri is part of the process. Mr. Duffield said he didn’t think the trustees should go out of the county and pay somebody $100 an hour to interpret our zoning resolution. Mr. Martin and Mr. Hammar will check with the Zoning Commission and Board of Appeals to see if they are interested in an “all boards” meeting and  will go forward from there.     In response to a question from Mr. Zizka, Mr. Lawrence said the Zoning Commission is looking at regulations for internet cafes.Roads Report: Mr. VanSteenberg said they started mowing, and also did patching on Vaughn, Hewins, Vair, King and Slagle. They cleaned out Mrs. McCoy’s culvert, cleaned out the ditches on both sides of the culvert, and hauled all of the dirt. No dirt was piled on the bank. The trash drop-off resulted in 4 dumpsters of trash, 1 of tires and 1-1/2 of scrap metal, for which we received $842.40. Work is delayed on Goodell Road because Luli’s grader is out of service.Cemetery Report: The rope broke on the flag pole at the Freedom West Cemetery; it was repaired with new rope, snaps and cable at a cost of $150. Mr. Hammar said he looked at some of the leaning headstones and they do need some attention. Mr. VanSteenberg said they can take care of this in-house, as they have in the past. Mr. VanSteenberg said Burrows would look at the pump at Drakesburg Cemetery, which is not working. Mr. Hammar said a resident complained about plant hangers being stolen from a grave in Drakesburg Cemetery. Everyone agreed with Mr. Zizka’s comment on how nice the cemeteries looked for Memorial Day.Park Report: Mr. Hammar said the park committee met and discussed an Election Day raffle. He said everyone’s help is needed, to give the park committee direction and to encourage others to get involved.Fire Report: Mr. Martin provided a handout detailing the June 14 District Meeting with regard to personnel and maintenance matters. He reported that to date we are the only department in Ohio to use both of the Ohio Fire Academy’s training trailers (Mobile Search & Rescue Lab and the Flash-Over Lab).EMS Report: Mr. Zizka said the open house held in May ended up $200 under budget. They are getting ready for SummerFest. The Association is working to apply for a 501C3 non-profit status. They would like to get a power washer and install air conditioning in the building. In response to a request from a nonresident to forgive or in some way modify the bill she received for $700 for transport, it was decided we cannot reduce bills for non-residents.In new business, Mr. Martin had asked that the topic of Town Hall Pavilion Rental Fees be put back on the agenda. After considering the fact that the trustees discussed this at length at the beginning of the year, and decided in February what the policy was going to be for the year, he was having second thoughts about the decision to not charge a fee. With no disrespect to the donors, he thinks we should stay with the decision made earlier in the year. The pavilion has been rented several times and no one has complained about the rental fee. Mr. Zizka contacted other townships and quite a few of them have no pavilions. Those that do, charge a rental fee. Mr. Martin said that the majority of the time the pavilion would be open to the public free of charge but if someone wants to reserve it for their exclusive use, they should pay a fee. Mr. Martin made the motion to rescind the motion passed at the June 2 meeting (6-2-11.7) and to reinstate the policy set in February of this year; i.e., to set the rental fee for the town hall pavilion at $25 for residents and $50 for non-residents, with  corresponding security deposit. Mr. Zizka seconded the motion.  Motion carried.  Mr. Martin further suggested that all fees should be discussed and set at the organizational meeting in January of each year.  Mr. Grafton said the trustees should feel honored that a pavilion was donated to the township and should abide by the donors’ request that there be no charge for township residents, only a refundable deposit.Mr. Zizka attended the NOPEC grant workshop on June 8 and our township was awarded a plaque for participating in the “Powering our Communities” energy grant program. The plaque will be displayed at the town hall.Mr. Zizka said that the members of Bethel Springs had renovated the flower beds at the church building and they would like some mulch to put around the plants. Mr. Hammar added that Bethel Springs also volunteered to paint the trim on the front of the church and around the sign. Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Hammar, to allow the members of Bethel Springs to paint the trim on the front of the church building and around the sign. Mr. Zizka suggested that the township supply the paint. Motion carried unanimously. Mr. Zizka will get the mulch and paint.Unfinished Business: Mr. Zizka said we are still waiting for information from Mr. Miller regarding the town hall porch work.Mr. Derthick will check on the Vaughn Road property (trailer). Mr. Derthick also stated that the POD unit on S.R. 88 will be removed.Mr. Hammar reminded everyone that the Community Picnic will be held August 21. He would like to have crafts and music. Both churches will be invited to participate, we will ask the VFW to conduct the flag ceremony, and the township will furnish chicken, the same as last year. At Mr. Hammar’s request, Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, authorizing Mr. Hammar to place an ad in The Villager asking for participants for the Community Picnic.Mr. Zizka said he had tickets printed for the picnic table raffle, drawing to be held at the picnic on August 21. Detour Drive-Thru and S&K Sales & Service will post a flyer and also be selling tickets for the event.During the meeting, warrants #5595 – #5608 in the amount of $5,065.96 were presented to the Trustees for approval and ordered paid by signature. There being no further business, Mr. Zizka made the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin, to adjourn the meeting at 9:45 pm.