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Nelson Residents Question Trustees on Road Maintenance

Published on April 14, 2013

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regular trustee meeting with only two of the three trustees present, the fiscal officer, three employees and 19 residents in attendance. Trustee Jim Turos was absent despite being present at a special meeting held at Pixley Park prior to the regularly scheduled meeting.

Chairman Tom Matota called the meeting to order. Fiscal officer presented bills and wages totaling $18, 689.46, the minutes from the previous meeting, bank reconciliation, funds status report and revenue status report. The board approved all of these measures.

The trustees passed three separate resolutions to proceed with the demolition of the dilapidated structures located at 11515 Windham-Parkman Road, 10061 Pierce Road, and 10604 Hopkins Road. The owners of the properties will be notified of the decision by certified mail.

A  Pierce Road resident presented the trustees with a petition from the residents living on the end of the road that doesn’t receive cable services from Time Warner. The resident asked if the trustees would contact Time Warner on their behalf to have the cable company to extend cable service to the 12 residents they don’t serve.   Currently cable service is not available to their end of the street and according to the cable company they have to hear from the trustees before they will extend the service.  A motion was made and approved to have Dave Finney investigate the situation.

Another township resident asked if they could get some help with the clean-up along State Route 282. The resident said the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) trimmed the trees, which has exposed all the garbage and debris that was illegally disposed of along the road. Matota said he will contact ODOT and see if they will do it. If ODOT declines,   Trustee Joe Leonard will check and see if they can have the prisoners from Portage County Jail come out and do the clean-up along the highway.

Matota made a motion to enter into an agreement with ODOT for the purchase of sodium chloride for 2013-2014 calendar year, Leonard second the motion with both trustees voting yes.  The township estimates they will need 325 tons of salt at a rate to be determined later when ODOT negotiates with the salt companies. The township will be required to purchase 80% of their 325 ton estimate.

Nelson United Methodist Church, the parent organization of the Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard submitted a letter to formally withdraw their offer, hypothetical or otherwise, to rent the old township garage. The letter stated that they are no longer interested in the facility.

Leonard presented an amended estimate of $30,278- $30,678 from a Mr. Hoover (who built the Shalersville salt shed) for a salt shed in Nelson. The original estimate of $28,678 was amended after the trustees decided they wanted 10 foot walls rather than eight foot walls.  As soon as they determine where to build the salt shed, they will have Mr. Hoover come out and look at the site.

Leonard brought up salvaging the old township garage; he states that he has interested parties in renting the facility for storage. Leonard says the cost to roof it would be $1600-$2000 since the Amish would donate the labor. The estimate to demolish it by Gibson excavating is $4200. Leonard suggested having an engineer look at the structure. Matota emphatically stated that he is not interested in spending any money to do so. Leonard believes the building is structurally sound and fears they will run into EPA issues if they demolish it driving the cost significantly higher than the original estimate by Gibson.

Road Supervisor Chuck Vanek reported that the old garage was cleaned out and they have received $700 from the scrap they recycled. He asked if the township could buy two string trimmers with the money as the old ones are deteriorating quickly. The board agreed to purchase two commercial grade trimmers at $265 each and the old ones will be donated to the Pixley Park garage sale.

In zoning, the trustees decided to approach the zoning board  and have them updatie the zoning code, because the appeals board is continually writing variances for the same issue.  Anna Mae Vanderhoeven will write a summary of the repetitive variances the Board of Zoning Appeals have issued and present to the zoning commission.

Resident Roger Pettit presented the trustees with some interesting facts on roads and taxes for township residents. In his estimatation there is a possibility for a  3% error, as some houses are hard to see from the road. He found that there are 955 homes/residences in Nelson Township; of the 955 homes/residences there are 455 on township roads and 500 homes/residences on non-township roads.

Each resident’s/home owner’s real estate taxes are divided into categories depending on additional levies and such. Nelson home owners’ taxes are divided up in the following categories 12% tax dollars go to the township, 61% to the school, 10% to the fire district/EMS and 17% to the county.

The 12% tax dollars the township receives primarily goes into the General Fund and Road and Bridge Fund. The General Fund pays administrative costs, salaries, insurance and Community House maintenance etc. The Road and Bridge Fund is used for road and bridge maintenance.

Following Pettit’s presentation a township resident presented the board with pictures of several township roads that need repaired, while another resident questioned the board on whether they were going to chip and seal roads as Matota had stated at a previous meeting that they would not be chipping and sealing any roads this year. Both residents were concerned about funding road repairs after the trustees recently purchased an excavator using money from the Road and Bridge Fund. The two also questioned the board on what their plans were for maintaining the roads. Matota said they will continue to maintain the roads, by patching and overlaying asphalt where needed,  however since oil from the roads bleeds quite a bit there is no need to chip and seal any of them. He also stated that the money they used for the excavator from the Road and Bridge Fund will not prevent them from properly maintaining the roads.

Nelson Township Trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm.

Denise Bly

About Denise Bly

Denise Bly has been a correspondent for the Weekly Villager for five years. She also does the public relations for Garrettsville SummerFest and the Garrettsville Area Chamber. In her spare time, she can be found at most local events, especially J.A. Garfield’s, high school and middle school athletic and musical events. When not out and about in the community, she can be found at home reading, sewing, cooking and spending time with her family.

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