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Internet Service A Hot Topic At Nelson Township Meeting

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the March 5th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the February 19th meeting for approval.  Matota made a motion to accept the minutes as presented;  Elias seconded the motion. All trustees voted to approve the minutes.

The meeting agenda was adjusted to add appropriations to the discussion topics.

Two representatives from Frontier were present to help explain how internet service is assigned and regulated in the township. Local service representative Mark joined Ben Fauver, General Manager at Frontier Communications to explain how high-speed internet coverage is assigned and regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. Essentially the county is divided into franchise territories, despite being a deregulated industry. The territories are frequently irreregular in shape, and in some cases residents may find that their neighbors have different service providers available to them. Sadly, Frontier and other providers can do very little to encroach upon an established territory; in short, if a resident is within a territory assigned to a competitor, Frontier is unable to offer service in that zone.

A resident asked Fauver to explain how CenturyLink and Windstream can offer coverage that almost completely spans their territory while Frontier does not. Fauver explained that Frontier is in the process of upgrading local equipment to extend the service coverage. The first phase of this project will commence within 3-5 months, and will see infrastructure upgrades at the Garrettsville Office. These upgrades will increase the number of connections that can be adequately serviced in this area.

Following the presentation by Frontier Communications, Fiscal Officer Finney presented the trustees with bills and wages totaling $15625.98. Elias made a motion to pay the bills and wages, the motion was seconded by Matota. All trustees voted in favor. The trustees were also told of the advice Finney received regarding the establishment of a fund for the war memorial project. Finney explained that  establishing “Cost Centers” for the projects would enable the township to accept payments and donations towards the project. Finney also presented the trustees with copies of his recommended appropriations for 2014. Finney walked the trustees through the appropriations and how they can determine whether the proposed appropriations would work in the budget for projects. Matota made a motion to accept the appropriation recommendations as represented by Finney. Seconded by Elias. With a 3:0 vote, the motion carried.

It was also reported that the properties scheduled for demolition under the Move Ohio Forward program have had title searches completed. Public hearings will be held on March 19th at 6:30 pm.

VanDerHoeven reported that she had submitted her Zoning Report, and that the zoning meeting will still be 7pm on the 12th but will be held upstairs (due to the Drug Task Force presentation).

Vanek reported that after being informed by Matota of International Trucks having a coolant leak issue he had the township’s vehicles inspected. Vanek stated that he has found that they lose about 1 gallon of coolant in a year which he was advised is normal. Vanek also reported tht the septic tank at Pixley Park had frozen, and that the room he received approval for is framed in. Vanek then advised the trustees that prices on mowers are expected to rise by 6% this spring.

The township’s salt supply is holding up, and roads are holding up for the most part. Once the weather breaks Vanek plans to use cold patch to repair troubled spots. A discussion amongst the trustees regarding tractor and mower options followed. It was decided that Elias and Finney would work out the details to find the best option for financing any equipment and return and report back at the next meeting.

Leonard reported that the salt barn project is in limbo until the weather breaks.

Elias reported that he had talked to R&I Construction informing them of the $100/mo fee for use of Pixley Park utilities while their construction trailer is parked on township property. Elias reported that R&I Construction was agreeable to the situation. Elias made a motion to charge $100/mo from the time they establish their field office. Matota seconded the motion. All trustees were in agreement. Finney will invoice R&I monthly.

Leonard stated that he had received an offer from Yarnell Tree Service to remove the dead tree located on the site of the Veterans Memorial at no charge. A motion to allow this service to be performed was made, and carried unanimously.

Elias has met with Chris Cavalier who is working on a quote for a complete A/V system for the Community House. Elias made a motion to spend up to $200 on a camera and tripod, which was approved by all Trustees.

Finney read from a thank you card from the Nelson Circle AA group who donated $25 to the township.

Leonard reported that he plans to meet with Stanley Fuel Tanks, and that he has been researching playground equipment for Pixley Park.

Following the signing of checks, the trustees entered into a brief executive session. The meeting was adjourned immediately afterwards.