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Nelson Residents Outraged over Trustee’s Comments

Published on April 24, 2013

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all trustees and fiscal officer in attendance. The trustees approved the minutes and expenditures. They also signed cemetery deeds. Mr. David Finney presented a letter from their insurance company, Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority (OTARMA) questioning some items the township didn’t list on their policy. After some discussion, the trustees thought they should insure the Civil War Memorial on the town circle and Jay Pixley Field Sign on the ball field. The other item, the insurance was concerned about was Pixley Park playground equipment. The township had the equipment removed so there is not a need to insure them.

Chairman Tom Matota questioned the fiscal officer Finney on whether the township had ever used OTARMA grant monies. Finney said he didn’t think so Matota suggested they use the grant money for the battery for the defirillator and road signs. The grant requires one to just turn in receipts for up to $500 for safety issues and they will be reimbursed them for them.

Take a picture!”The subject of the old township garage came up again. Matota made a motion to raze the township garage Trustee Jim Turos seconded the motion. A discussion was held, with Leonard stating the building is still usable. Leonard said they could have the roof fixed for $1600 – $2000, rent out the three bays and potentially make $7000 / year. He also said that when they raze the facility they could run into problems with the Environmental Protection Agency for environmental issues because of soil contamination that could cost the township as much as $40,000. When Matota was asked where they would get the money to clean-up the soil, he replied ‘We will borrow it, if we have to.” This comment angered the 22 residents in attendance. Leonard said, “The building is part of township history and shouldn’t be destroyed.” Matota told Leonard, “Take a picture!”   Residents in attendance were outraged over the comment.

A vote was taken on razing the building with the following results: Matota-yes, Turos-yes and Leonard-no. Matota said he will obtain a demolition permit, have the utilities turned off to the structure and investigate the cost of renting equipment so the township employees can do the razing. Residents in attendance were upset and accused the trustees of making a decision without all the pertinent information, such as soil contamination, and engineer’s opinion on the structures condition/stability.

[..]possible violation of the Sunshine Law[..] Matota presented   new plans for placement of a salt shed. Joe Leonard objected to the plan since it wasn’t what they had discussed at the last special meeting. Matota said the original placement was too close to the hiking trails and there were some issues with the topography so they (Matota  & Turos) chose to move it to the west side of the driveway. Leonard alluded to a possible violation of the Sunshine Law by Matota and Turos meeting and making a decision on township business outside of a scheduled meeting. Matota said “No, it wasn’t” and tried to move on but Leonard said the Pixley Park Committee should have a say, Matota said they already had their say at the special meeting on April 4, 2013. Leonard ignored Matota and asked the Park Committee Member Terry Allen about the placement. Allen asked, why they couldn’t set the shed back further, Matota said it is too wet in the back;   Allen disagreed with Matota on the issue. Allen said the back is six feet higher than the front, how could it be too wet. Matota said he didn’t know but it was too wet there. Leonard will see if Mr. Hoover, builder of Shalersvilles shed, is able to attend the next trustees meeting. The trustees intend to have Hoover build theirs as well.

Leonard said he is working on the cost for double-walled fuel tanks. He also said it appears they are all manufactured by one company so he will meet with the township’s fuel supplier to get prices. Ravenna Oil is holding an information seminar on Monday April 22, 2013 from 4pm- 6pm at the Elk’ Club in Ravenna. The seminar will be to discuss the Ohio Fire Marshal’s requirement for fuel tanks.  Leonard said he will attend the meeting.

The trustees voted to allow Time Warner Cable Company to extend service on Pierce Road between Windham-Parkman and Newell Ledge Road. It is now the cable company’s decision on whether they extend service to that area.

Leonard said they could have the prisoners from the county jail do the clean-up along State Route 282. He also said they would need a list of other roads for them to do and all the township had to do was provide lunch for the prisoners.

A resident questioned Turos on why he was originally in favor of the food bank using the old garage and then changed his mind on the issue. Turos said he received numerous phone calls from residents against the idea and he didn’t realize how bad the building was at the time. He was also questioned on a statement he made that he supported the food bank. The resident wanted to know how or what he had done to help the food bank. Turos responded” I never give cash, but I have donated labor and gravel for the drive.

Discussions were held on WiFi status for the Community House, and they set the township clean-up days for May 4th &5th 9am – 4pm.

Lastly, Leonard made a motion to have the soil tested in the old garage. The motion died quickly as neither of the other trustees would second the motion.

The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Community House at 7:30 pm. more township news at www.nelsontownshipohio.org

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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