Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting last week with all trustees and fiscal officer present. The minutes from the last regular meeting and special meeting were presented to the trustees and approved as presented with a vote of 2-1, one trustee objected to the minutes not being read. There were no copies of the minutes available for the public, but one trustee offered his copy for folks to read. Fiscal Officer J. David Finney presented August bank reconciliation, expenditures, financial status, expected road and bridge revenue and estimated resources from the Portage County Budget Commission. The board approved each of those measures.
The community house is the official voting spot for Nelson Township resident this November. The Board of Elections approved the community house as a poling place for the November elections after the trustees had installed a the handicap assessable ramp, handicap parking spaces and safety handrail that are compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Residents will receive notices in the mail from the Board of Elections informing them of the change in poling place.
The Pierce Road Project is still incomplete at this time. A meeting with Snavely Contracting took place at the work site recently with a response from Snavely Contracting received. Snavely has requested to be paid $3000 of the remaining balance owed to them and call the project complete. Trustee Joe Leonard talked with assistant prosecutor on the issue and he recommended they settle for the $3000 and complete the project with their own workers. It would cost the township less that way rather than end up in a legal battle with Snavely. Trustee Tom Matota was not comfortable with giving them that amount. After a long discussion, the trustees will offer $2000 of the remaining $4778.95 owed and call the project complete. If the contractor insists on the $3000 they will need to come back and make the project right. The Pierce Road Project cost around $95,000 with approximately $76,000 coming from Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) grant and $20,000 from an interest free loan from OPWC.
A representative from Mountaineer Energy was at the meeting to request road use permit for seismic testing equipment. The road use permit would allow Mountaineer Energy to cross or run their equipment on a cross or parallel to Bloom and Pierce Roads. The equipment will be use to monitor seismic activity during the fracking of Soinski’s wells.
The trustees referred the matter to the road supervisor to check with the county engineer to see if a bond would be required to be provided before usage of roads.
In zoning, the trustees appointed township resident William J. Lappert to the zoning commission. One trustee suggested they interview the candidate, the others didn’t see the need so Lappert was appointed to the zoning commission without an interview. The zoning commission sent their proposed zoning amendments to the trustees for approval. The trustees set a public hearing on the issue for October 3, at 7pm, prior to the regular meeting at 7:30 pm.
Trustees approved the change from AmeriGas to Ferrell Gas providing everything that was expressed in the estimate is written in the contract. Ferrell Gas will eliminate the two-tank system and integrate all the propane needs into one-tank system including running a new gas line for the stove.
Other items discussed were the community house rental policy, traffic control signs, traffic study on State Route 305 and the commencement of chip and seal work. David Finney will check the files for the policy on the community house.
Lastly, Mr. Leonard read a letter he addressed to the trustees, reminding them that they were public officials, working for the residents. The trustees are expected to act respectful to all residents and to run an orderly and peaceful meeting. He went on to say that the behavior from a trustee at the previous meeting was unacceptable and would not be tolerated. He reminded the one trustee that keeps claiming the Pierce Road Project was the biggest waste of township money, that the vote for the project was unanimous. The letter also addressed the breakdown of the funding of the Pierce Road Project.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned. The trustee’s next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 3, 2012. They will start with a public hearing on the proposed zoning amendments beginning at 7pm followed by the regular business meeting beginning at 7:30 pm at the community house. More township news can be found at www.nelsontownshipohio.org
Editors Note: Trustee Leonard’s letter was printed at his request on page 4 of the 09/28/12 edition of the Villager. A copy has been included below.
[quote style=”boxed”]As an elected official of this township I feel it is my duty and obligation to address some of the circumstances from the last trustees meeting. The elected officials (Trustees) took an oath to do what is in the best interest for our township. We are not here to accuse, intimidate, threaten or show total disrespect to the residents of this township. These are the people we work for. The residents of this township who attend these meetings are here because they care enough about the Nelson Township Community to get involved and help develop it. Mr. Turos’ outbursts of angry rage particularly at the last meeting were totally inappropriate, embarrassing and rather disgusting and will not be tolerated. His most recent accusations against Mr. Elias were totally unwarranted and uncalled for. Mr. Elias did nothing more than deliver a message to the board of trustees. Was there a misunderstanding? yes there was but it certainly did not warrant that type of behavior. The duties of the chairman of the board of Trustees are to run a peaceful, meaningful, productive and timely meeting. Mr. Elias had been and is continuing to be a very active member of our township. He and several others including myself established the NGCC the Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard food bank. Mr. Elias was and is the nucleus for getting the food bank started and is there every day it is open. The food bank is currently serving over 90 families in our community. Dan Dolan and Mike Elias also established the senior citizens club, which meets every Thursday morning here in the community house. They also plan the programs and supply the refreshments for the seniors. Mike Elias, Dan Dolan and I also helped develop the Nelson Township website. Mike still operates the site at no cost to the township. It would seem that the citizens who do the most for our township have received the most criticism, including the members of the Pixley Park Development Committee. If it weren’t for them and their countless hours of dedication and the thousands of dollars raised and donated to the township we would not have a ball field. It has been mentioned several times in the past, that the Pierce Road project has been a huge waste of taxpayers dollars. To clarify, the Portage County Engineers evaluated the situation and came up with an estimate of $86,236.37 to fix the washed out culvert. The lowest bid was around $73,000.00 and the highest bid was around $110,000.00. I was directed by Mr. Bill Wilson to contact Kathleen Clyde’s office in regards to getting information on possible grant money for the Pierce Road project, which I did. I was referred to the Ohio Public Works Commission, the OWPC. In talking to Abbey Dehart in that office, I was given the necessary information on how to proceed. I wrote a letter of intent and took photos of the site and on Sunday Nov. 20, 2011 at 10:00pm, I emailed the letter, the photos and the estimate from the engineers office to the OPWC requesting funds for the culvert repairs. The following Monday morning at 11:45 I received a call from the OPWC saying the funds had been approved and that we were receiving a $76,000.00 grant with an interest free loan to help pay for the project. I immediately called Mr. Turos, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Finney to give them the good news. There was a lot of follow up paper work which included the necessary applications that was handled by Mr. Finney and Mr. Matota. The total cost of the project to date ended up costing approx. $95,000.00, with the township having to pay approx. $21,000.00 of the total cost. I don’t see how that can possibly equate to being a waste to taxpayers dollars! There were several resolutions presented in regards to the culvert project and all but one were voted yes unanimously for by the trustees board. While Mr. Turos has done a lot of work for this township in the past, the most recent outbursts are totally unacceptable. Any actions taken by any member of the board of Trustees becomes a direct reflection in the township and its residents! It is my hope that this board can operate in a more civil manor in the future and continue to do what is in the best interest of Nelson Township and its residents. <br /><br />Respectfully Submitted, <br />Joe Leonard<br /> Nelson Twp. Trustee[/quote]