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A Fresh Start for Nelson Township

Nelson Twp.  – Acting as the Chairman-Pro Tem, Nelson Township Fiscal Officer Dave Finney called the first trustee meeting of 2014 to order on January 8 and lead those in attendance in reciting the pledge of allegiance. Officials present at the meeting were trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were Chuck Vanek, Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney opened the floor to the trustees for the nomination of a Chairman. Matota nominated Leonard, and was seconded by Elias. All three trustees voted to close the nomination for Chairman making Leonard the Chairman. Finney then turned over control of the meeting to Leonard who opened the floor for the nomination of a Vice Chairman. Matota nominated Elias, and Leonard seconded the nomination, and the trustees voted to make Elias the Vice Chairman.Working to establish a schedule for meetings for the year, the trustees voted unanimously to retain the existing meeting schedule in 2014 with trustee meetings being held on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the Community House.

The trustees voted to have Elias serve on the EMS Board, and Leonard to serve on both the Fire Board, and County Planning Commission. Matota was unable to serve on the Planning Commission as meetings during the day would cause conflicts in his schedule.

Finney presented the trustees with a letter of interest from Dawn Kahoun who is seeking to serve on the Board of Zoning Appeals for another term. Leonard made a motion to accept Kahoun’s letter and appoint her for another term. Leonard and Elias voted Yes, Matota voted No. With a 2:1 vote to the affirmative, the motion carried and Kahoun was appointed to another term.

Finney presented the trustees with the meeting minutes from December 18th. After reviewing the minutes, Matota made a motion to accept the minutes as presented. Leonard, Elias, and Matota voted unanimously to approve the minutes. Following the approval of the minutes, Finney presented the trustees with copies of a year-end fund status report and payment listings with the bills and wages to be paid.

Matota asked Finney to give an estimate of how well the township is doing on gas consumption for the Community House. Finney suggested that the insulation and windows have made a significant difference (about a 1/3 decrease in consumption) in fuel usage for heating the building.

Elias made a motion to pay the bills and wages as presented and Leonard seconded the motion. The trustees voted unanimously to pay the bills and wages. While the trustees were signing checks, Finney stated that almost half of the funds allotted for road salt had been used.

Cmunt asked the trustees if there was anything she needed to do about the leak in the water softner or the drain that froze up. Vanek had looked into the issue and believes that the leak was coming from the potato peeler. Elias plans to talk to Pastor Rick as the potato peeler belongs to the church. He said that he would let Rick know that the potato peeler would be removed to resolve the water issue. They will also be looking into the various water systems installed in the Community House.

VanDerHoeven provided the trustees with details from the zoning hearing that preceded the trustee meeting. The Hershberger conditional use permit was approved contingent on the septic system approval.

Elias inquired into whether an inventory had been done recently, and asked that it be completed soon. He also asked Vanek whether he had looked into the tractor repair situation. The articulated boom mower on the existing tractor is a 1997 model, and is not aging well. It has a number of issues, including cracks and warping. After discussion the trustees decided to have Vanek look into all the options: buying new, used, and repairing. Elias would also like to see Vanek present the benefits of buying a newer, larger mower to help justify the expense (eg: reducing man-hours when mowing, increased efficiency, etcetera). Elias also announced that he will establish office hours at least twice a month at the maintenance building.

Leonard presented information about the salt barn project. Due to the increased height requested for the walls, an additional six feet on either side of the salt barn will be needed to allow for support arm to hold the sidewalls. Elias would like to have the contractor for the project attend a meeting to review the project. Electrical drawings for the fuel paddock have been obtained, so that project should be rolling along soon.

Leonard placed a motion on the table to have the maintenance building re-keyed. Matota asked whether the township should look into switching to a coded door system; allowing the changing of access codes without the need to rekey locks.

Ultimately it was decided that it would be best to look into all the options before making a decision. Leonard will obtain prices, and report back at the next meeting.

Steve Suder was appointed to the Zoning Commission.

Jacob Seinc presented a status update on his Boy Scout project on the Pixley Park Trail, and requested the ability to be reimbursed for expenses for the project. The trustees approved reimbursement of up to $100 for project expenses with valid documentation and receipts.

Matota made a motion to enter into executive session to discuss a purchase where advance information would provide someone with unfair advantage, and to deal with employee compensation issues. The trustees voted to enter executive session for 10-15 minutes.

Following the executive session, the trustees voted to adjourn the meeting leaving a decision on compensation for the January 15th meeting.

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