Nelson Twp. – Residents gathered at the Nelson Community House on Wednesday, August 7th for the first trustee meeting of the month. All trustees and officials were present and accounted for.
Dave Finney presented the board of trustees with the minutes from the budget meeting; the minutes were approved as presented.
Finney mentioned that he was attempting to get in touch with Vicki Cline or Janet Esposito to obtain clarification on current estate tax rules, so that he can better anticipate where the township stands. He also received a letter from ODOT indicating that road salt prices were expected to drop by ten dollars per ton, lowering the township’s cost to $27.50/ton this winter.
Addressing a question received in the mail, Finney confirmed that Nelson Township is part of the NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council), enabling residents to take advantage of lower energy rates. Visit http://www.nopecinfo.org/energy-solutions/ for information.
Concerns were raised by a resident about the size of aggregate used for chip-and-seal projects and the damage they may pose to vehicles. According to Road Supervisor Chuck Vanek, the department currently uses #8 and #9 gravel; with #9 gravel being the size and consistency of coarse sand. Trustee Matota suggested that as a courtesy to drivers the township purchase several “loose stone” signs similar to those in use on roads maintained by Portage County.
Vanek also mentioned that about 150 tons of asphalt will be used along Pierce Road, among others, to repair damage sustained in last months’ flooding. The Road Department will also be replacing a culvert along Pierce, and getting in another round of mowing along the township roads.
Trustee Leonard brought up a preliminary email he received from the EPA regarding the dumping of potentially contaminated soil at private residences, as well as alleged permitting issues surrounding the demolition of the old township garage. Trustee Matota moved to table the discussion until the certified letter arrives in the mail. Leonard also presented an estimate from Ravenna Oil Company for the installation of new fuel tanks, and bringing the fuel paddock into compliance with State regulations. He is waiting on estimates from other companies, which may arrive in time for the next meeting.
With no other business to discuss, Matota opened the floor to questions and comments from those in attendance.
One resident asked whether the trustees were able to switch cable providers when the township contract was up. Dave Finney plans to look into the topic and should be able to answer the question at the next meeting.
Two resident’s demanded that the trustees reveal who approved the dumping of potentially contaminated soil from the site of the old Township Garage. Trustee Matota accepted responsibility for approving the dumping, prompting one of the residents to “thank” the trustee for potentially polluting the waterway on his property, and his groundwater—to which Matota replied, “You’re welcome.”
A complaint was heard from another resident, whose property was inspected by two representatives of the Akron Regional Air Control (div EPA). Her complaint stemmed from Trustee Leonard’s accompaniment of the representatives onto her property, which she feels was trespassing. Leonard stated that he was asked to take the EPA representatives and the Portage County Health Department to each dump-site, giving him the understanding that he was under the EPA’s authority.*
After a lengthy discussion that ultimately went nowhere, the meeting was adjourned.
* Following the meeting this reporter spoke with Trustee Leonard about the situation and learned that despite receiving verbal confirmation from the EPA representative who had given Leonard permission to accompany him, he immediately left the property at the request of the property owner. The representatives from the EPA and Health Department were accompanied onto the property by Garrettsville Chief of Police Tony Milicia and another officer. A deputy of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office waited on the road with Trustee Leonard, and another EPA representative.