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Nelson Township Trustee Meeting News

Nelson Twp. – Calling the meeting to order at 7:30 PM, Chairman Tom Matota opened the floor to those in attendance. A resident from Kyle Road was present to ask whether Dave Finney had been able to find information regarding cable service contracts within the township. The resident mentioned that SuddenLink (one of two providers in the township) continues to raise prices on cable/internet services of marginal quality. In his research, Finney found that contracts with SuddenLink and Time Warner had both expired in 2010; he also stated that townships no longer contract with cable companies for service, as the companies are able to deliver service in any areas they desire—paying the township 5% fee on their quarterly gross income.  After successfully navigating the labyrinth that is Time Warner Cable’s phone system, Finney learned that for Time Warner to consider extending service to an area, at least 20 houses per mile would need to be interested in service. Finney will call to inquire whether Time Warner can extend service to more locations in the township.

Another resident inquired about the insurance offered to township part-time employees, trustees, and their families; specifically whether the trustees, and part-time employees pay anything toward medical, or co-payments/deductibles. According to Dave Finney, the township pays insurance for trustees and eligible employees, while the Health Reimbursement Plan handles the deductibles — $2,500 single / $5,000 family. There is no copay for any insurance plan.  For the trustees and full-time employees spouses are covered by the insurance plan. Finney also mentioned that Matota had opted out of the township’s plan. It should be noted that Matota already receives insurance coverage as an employee of Hiram Township.

Matota then turned the meeting to the subject of the drainage issue on Hopkins Road, which was discussed at the previous meeting. Chuck Vanek took several elevation shots along Hopkins and Pierce Roads.  To help drain excess water in the right-of-way on the west side of Hopkins Road, Vanek proposed running a 12” culvert west to east across Hopkins, and digging the ditch on the northern side of Pierce 6-7” deeper to allow water from Hopkins to slowly drain eastward towards Windham-Parkman Road. In theory reducing the amount of water in the ditch will allow the properties effected by high water at the intersection of Hopkins and Pierce to slowly dry out, and should also decrease the amount of flooding they experience. Matota stated that he felt that the township should cover the expense of replacing any driveway culvert pipes removed to complete this project. The project could be completed within the next couple of weeks, in time for rain and snowmelt.

Dave Finney presented the minutes and bills to be paid. Both were accepted as presented and handled at the meeting. Finney contacted Ferrellgas and learned that if the township commits to purchasing gas through Ferrellgas a rate of $1.89/gal. would be locked in for the season (a savings of 16 cents on the current market rate). Finney also brought the laptop provided by the Unified Accounting Network, and offered to show the accounting system to anyone interested.

A zoning text was received by the trustees and will be reviewed in its final form by legal counsel Chris Meduri following a Trustee Meeting at 7:00 PM, September 18.

Finney will also be getting in touch with Meduri to have him review a letter from NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council) requesting a resolution from the Trustees “protecting the freedom of choice” of residents in regards to energy suppliers. Finney plans to ask what, if anything, needs to be done with the request.

Chuck Vanek reported that a culvert running diagonally across the intersection of Bloom and Knowlton Roads was in need of replacement, as the existing culvert has developed a hole. Vanek also reported that the Bicycle Club would be using the shop for registration and a gathering location prior to their event.

Zoning Inspector Anne Mae VanDerHoevan reported that there will be a zoning variance meeting at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, September 11, for a structure variance on Bloom Road. No news on the pending legal case.

Michelle Cmunt, caretaker of the Community House, had no news to report.

Trustee Jim Turos had no news or issues to present at this meeting.

Vice-Chairman Joe Leonard talked to the building department which is requiring full building plans, electrical plans, etc. for the proposed Veterans Memorial and Gazebo. Other requirements involve ADA compliance issues. These requirements may also be required of the Pixley Park pavilion.

Matota addressed Veteran Memorial chairperson  Roger Pettit, and asked for clarification on whether his committee was planning to pay as they go on the project, or start with a bulk of the funds.

Leonard also mentioned that Meduri advised having  a memorandum specifying who was doing what on the project to avoid legal and financial issues later on if things don’t work out as planned.

Matota was under the impression that the committee wanted to decide what they wanted and how to fund it. He sees a problem if the township gets involved in creating a capital projects fund, and things don’t proceed smoothly. Matota doesn’t want to get in a position where the township is administering the funds. He worries that in a worse case scenario the township “would be left holding the bag”.

Leonard also brought up the fuel tanks. Based on the construction of the existing pad, a new pad will likely need to be poured to meet standards.

Matota opened the floor for closing comments. A resident asked whether the Zoning Hearing at 7:00 PM, September 18 would be an open meeting. Matota confirmed that it would. Another resident suggested that the foundation for the Garden Club gazebo, and fuel tank pad be poured at the same time—potentially saving some money on both jobs.

Matota stated that the dumpsites from the demolition of the old township garage were tested by an outside contractor and the results came back clean of asbestos. He then proceeded to read from an open letter directed at Vice-Chairman Leonard in which Matota asked for Leonard’s resignation. Leonard declined Matota’s request.

The meeting was adjourned.

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In addition to his roles as reporter and graphic designer at The Weekly Villager, Benjamin is also deeply involved with a number of local organizations and events including G-Men Unite and Garrettsville Summerfest among others. Currently serving as President of the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Benjamin has worked hard to develop the 'Think Local' campaign which promotes awareness of what our community has to offer. In his downtime, Benjamin enjoys graphic design; researching entertainment industry marketing trends; performing arts; hiking; and photography.