Home Community News Nelson Township

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Nelson Twp. – Currently, more than 140 families in the Garrettsville area rely on the Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard (NGCC) for supplemental groceries.  In the one year that they have been open, NGCC has distributed over 34,000 food items to those in need.  “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support we have received from the community during our first year in operation” states Michelle Elias, one of the founders of NGCC. 

Photo courtesy of Rich Teresi

Photo courtesy of Rich Teresi

The Garrettsville-Freedom-Nelson Joint Fire District recently played host to area police canine units, holding a joint continuing education class. Firefighters and EMS providers were instructed on working at multi-disciplinary scenes involving canine units, how to operate around them, and how to help them in an emergency. Many thanks go to the canine officers, their partners, and Dr Kartley, DVM for their time in presenting this class.

Pictured from left to right (partially obscured is Ptl Jamie Price (Recon’s partner) from Windham Police, Lt. Timothy Christopher (with his partner Taz), Ptl Keith Whan, and Dr Jennifer Kartley, DVM. Also present but not pictured were Lt. Kenneth Justus of the Mantua Police Department and his partner Vader.

Literary Music Club held their meeting on January 9th. This was the meeting to install new officers. We need more members to attend the meetings, so the same people do not have to serve over and over. Margaret Lappert will be the new president, vice president is Jeannette Hall, treasurer is Margarite Strawman, and secretary is Billie English. Alma Jones presented scented candles and a white carnation to each outgoing officer. The tables were blue and white with interesting snowmen.

We say our prayers for those who are having health issues. We had a white elephant sale, members brought their cast-a-ways and bought new ones to take home. It was fun and everyone had a good time.

Next meeting will be February 13. Bring your Valentine smiles.

Our little corner of Northeast Ohio is experiencing a new wave of oil and gas exploration, as new drilling and production technologies make extraction of oil and gas from the shale deposits deep beneath the land more accessible. Over the past 18 – 24 months, energy company “landmen” and leasing agents have been talking to area residents, offering landowners leases for what seems like good money, when compared to the twenty-dollar-an-acre leases of several decades ago. But the reality is that your mineral rights can be worth much more than what many of these leases will offer. And the environmental concerns resulting from potential drilling is often not addressed. To further complicate the issue, some of the companies that approach you may actually be contracted by a large energy company. Others may hope to shop your lease to the highest bidder at a later date, and at a much higher price than what was paid to you. So where can a homeowner turn for help?

Nelson Twp. – January is traditionally a time to make resolutions, with eating healthy, spending more time with family & friends, and helping others topping the list. If you’re looking for some motivation for your own resolutions, or would like to hear about some local folks who’ve managed to be successful at all three for the last 20 years, you need to meet the women at The Nelson United Methodist Church (NUMC). Ruth Randlett, Alma Jones, Arlene Novotny, Mary Thompson, Barb Baer, Jean Doraski and Mary Jane Orr have been providing a free, healthy meal and a sense of community to area residents through a monthly program at NUMC called ‘God Provides a Meal.’ 

Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting last Wednesday with all trustees and the fiscal officer in attendance. Chairman Jim Turos called the meeting to order.  Fiscal officer J. David Finney presented the expenditures including wages totaling $4606.91, minutes from the previous meeting, notice of a zoning court date, the final figures for the handicap ramp and information on the Ohio Township Association Winter Conference. The Trustees approved the minutes and the expenditures.   Finney stated that the handicap ramp cost was $14,000 with half of the original cost ($13,249.29) coming from a grant.  Trustee Tom Matota questioned the cost difference, Finney said the hand rail measurements were off and it required an additional section of railing not calculated in the original drawings.  Finney reported that he completed the training for the new software for the up coming year. He stated that there will be some adjustments to the way they have conducted their finances as the new software will be more restrictive than the other one.

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Nelson Twp. – Pixley Park Development Committee held their Annual Harvest Moon Pig Roast Pot Luck Dinner at the community house last Saturday. The dinner was a fundraising event for the development of Pixley Park in Nelson Township. The idea behind the dinner was to bring the community together to get to know their neighbors while raising funds to continue the development Pixley Park. The dinner was a free to those who brought a dish to pass those who chose not to cook paid $5 to join in the fun.

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting last week with all trustees and fiscal officer present. The minutes from the last regular meeting and special meeting were presented to the trustees and approved as presented with a vote of 2-1, one trustee objected to the minutes not being read. There were no copies of the minutes available for the public, but one trustee offered his copy for folks to read.  

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Nelson Twp – The blue skies, seasonal temperatures, and low humidity made Sunday the perfect day for a bicycle ride through the hills and dales of Northeast Portage County, Southern Geauga County and Western Trumbull counties. The Out-Spokin’ Wheelmen Bicycle Club from Youngstown thought so too, as they held their 39th Annual North East Ohio Century (NEOC) often referred to as the North East Ohio “Cookie” ride as they usually have fresh homemade cookies for the riders as they ride through the rolling hills of the region.

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Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting recently with all trustees and fiscal officer in attendance. The fiscal officer presented the minutes from the previous meeting and the trustees approved them as presented.
Chairman Jim Turos turned the meeting over to Tom Matota who invited Jim De Lucas from  Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority (OTARMA) and Chris Meduri, Assistant Portage County Prosecutor to the meeting to re-affirm the township’s liability for volunteers who work at Pixley Park. After the discussion, it was determined that even though the park committee has an insurance policy to cover any accidents while people are working on the park, the township could still be sued if someone got hurt while volunteering to work at the park. Both the township and park committee have liability insurance on Pixley Park. It was suggested that the park committee check into Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) insurance for coverage when they have people volunteer time  to do labor at the park. It was also suggested that the township and the park committee have something in writing that states the park committee assumes all the risk and the township be held harmless for any accidents/injuries to the volunteers who are doing work at the park as part of  their insurance policy. Terry Allen, member of the Pixley Park Restoration Committee, will look into the requests the township, De Lucas and Meduri recommended.
The Pierce Road Project still is not completed to the satisfaction of the Nelson Township Trustees. The cost for the project was $95,473.69 with $90, 694.74 of it paid out. The trustees are holding the last amount until the project is completed to their satisfaction. After a long discussion on how to resolve the issue, Joe Leonard offered to set up a meeting with the contractor and the trustees at the construction site. Trustee Jim Turos still maintains the Pierce Road Project was the biggest waste of township money he has ever seen in the thirteen years of serving the township.
Jim Turos read a letter from the Portage County Health Department stating that the lawsuit over the health infractions on the former U.S. Liquids property have been dismissed due to the building being brought into compliance with current health codes.
The township inquired about the removal of one of the two propane tanks on the Community House property that are owned by Amerigas and going to a one tank system. The estimates for removal of the one tank was more than the trustees wanted to pay so, Chuck Vanek will look into other propane suppliers to see what they would charge for a one-tank system rather than a two-tank system. He will also shop around for propane pricing as well.
Joe Leonard reported that there was a gas leak in the commercial stove at the Community House. Currently the stove has a safety lock on the gas and can not be used. Michelle Cmunt who handles the rental of the community house inquired when it would be fixed, as it is rented for the weekend. Leonard will check with repair person to see if it is possible to have it fixed by the weekend.
The Handicap assessable ramp is completed, however they need to have the railing completed before the Portage County Board of Elections will approve the site for voting.  The railing is expected to be completed by the weekend.
A very heated discussion between Jim Turos and resident Mike Elias took place over the Community House rental to a bike club. In July, Elias stated he had received an email from Jerry King stating that the intended bike ride for September 16, 2012 through Nelson Township was cancelled, prompting Cmunt, who is in charge of renting the Community House, to cancel the date and rent the facility to someone else. As it turned out the event wasn’t cancelled, according to another member of the club who contacted Turos. Turos questioned Elias as to why he had the authority to cancel the event; Elias stated he had received an email that said it was cancelled. (Leonard confirmed that he had seen the email) Turos then told Elias he had no business interfering in township affairs.  Elias disagrees that he had interfered. Elias stated that he was handling the food for the event and was the contact person for the food so when he received the email that the bike ride was cancelled, he just passed on the information.
During this very heated exchange trustee Turos rose from his seat until encourages by trustees Matato and Leonard to be seated and to calm down. Mr. Turos was seated but rose once again, repeating his accusations of interference in township business against Elias. At this point, long-time Nelson resident, Roger Petit stood up and told trustee Turos to “sit down and be quiet.” Trustee Turos did sit down and revealed that he had been able to resolve the issue by offering Pixley Park as a replaacement venue for the bike club, rather than the Community House.
Residents questioned why the township would rent a facility without having a written contract and a deposit. Turos replied that there had never been a problem before, such arrangements being done informally, with a handshake. A resident questioned that format, seeing that earlier in the meeting one of the other trustees had stated that, “the days of the good old boy handshake agreements are gone.” The resident urged the trustees to consider a more formal agreement procedure for renting any facilities, which would avoid confusion over cancellations.
Resident Roger Pettit stated safety concerns over Pierce Road. He said the township  should at least put up signs that there is a bump there to warn folks who do not regularly travel the road. Pettit is concerned about someone losing control over the bump and getting hurt or killed. The trustees took the suggestion under advisement.
The meeting was adjourned.
The next regular trustee meeting is scheduled for September 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm at the community house. Residents are encouraged to attend the meetings,  voice their concerns and see their elected officials at work.

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regular scheduled meeting last week with all trustees, fiscal officer and twelve guests in attendance. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Jim Turos.  Fiscal Officer, David Finney presented the minutes from the last two meetings which were approved as presented. Mr. Finney also presented the proposed 2013 operating budget, after some discussion, the trustees approved the budget. Discussions were held on the Pierce Road Project. The road is now open but last weeks heavy rain has caused some erosion problems.  The trustees agreed that Snavely Excavating will need to come back and fix the erosion issue. In the meantime, the trustees voted (Jim Turos no, Joe Leonard and Tom Matota, yes) to retain 4% of contracted monies owed to Snavely Excavating until they are satisfied that they have met the contract’s requirements. Snavely sub-contracted out the paving to Ronyak paving who will also have to come back and fix a few things.  

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Nelson Twp – Local movie producer Tyler Davidson and crew were in Nelson Ledges this week filming scenes for his new coming of age movie “Toy’s House”.  The comedy centers around three teenage boys who head to the wilderness to escape conflict with their parents.  They attempt to build a makeshift house and live off the land, then mayhem ensues.  

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Nelson Twp. – On Wednesday, June 6th the Nelson Township trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all trustees and the fiscal officer in attendance. Prior to the business portion of the meeting, chairman Turos recognized that evening’s guests, including Richard Bonner, Ohio EPA’s Bill Zawiski, Bill Steiner of Portage County Solid Waste District and Health Commissioner DuWayne Porter. 

Nelson Twp. – The Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting last week with Chairman Jim Turos, Tom Matota, Joe Leonard, and Fiscal Officer J. David Finney in attendance. There were also 15 others in attendance. The meeting was called to order by Chairman Jim Turos at 7:30 pm. Fiscal Officer presented for signature two cemetery deeds,the bank reconciliation and bills and wages totaling $35,082.12. The board approved the bank reconciliation and signed cemetery deeds. Finney also presented a letter on whether they wanted to continue to fertilize the trees on Nelson circle. The board agreed to continue fertilizing the trees. Matota asked the board to formalize a procedure on the end of the year/ new year transition. After some discussion he proposed that the board meet as close to 12/31 as possible to complete the current year’s business and on the first regularly scheduled meeting of the year, open the new year’s business. The EPA has offered municipalities a grant to replace older diesel vehicles with newer ones through an 80/20 matching grant. Matota announced that they decided to apply for the grant and take advantage of the county’s offer to use their grant writer. A resident questioned when they decided to do this? The resident stated that they were in violation of the Sunshine Laws if they made a decision without having a formal meeting. Matota replied with, “I may have used the wrong word. We didn’t decide on anything, we just moved forward with the grant application and will decide later if we get the grant on whether we purchase a truck or not.” Another resident asked whether the township could afford the truck and questioned where the money would come from, Matota replied with “How can we not afford it with an 80/20 matching grant?” He said the money would probably come from the road and bridge fund. The trustees are still waiting on approval for Pierce Road Project. Leonard asked the board if they would still supply the porta- johns for the park this summer the porta-johns will be $70/ month and they will be at the park from May until October. Leonard stated that the board received a letter regarding the US Liquids property. Portage County Health Department has cited the owners for health violations. Leonard also said that he heard back from the EPA and they said the raceways and holding tanks contain nasty stuff. They never used the word toxic so the trustees still do not know what they are dealing with. Turos reported that a company hired by the bank estimated the cost of the clean-up of the U.S Liquids property will be nearly $500,000 leaving the bank which has the receivership of the property responsible for the costs. Once the estimate was received, the bank has decided that it will not pay $500,000 for the clean-up but would spend about $50,000, causing the company to withdraw its offer. The situation is in the hands of the Portage County Health Department. The trustee said the mess inside the building resembles a garbage dump and is loaded with rats. Road supervisor reported that the water well was serviced, the pressure tank and bladder were replaced and the water was tested. Right now they are waiting on the results. The drawings for the handicap ramp are finished and Chuck Vanek will get material costs together for the project. Matota raised questions on the ramp and will meet with Vanek over the specifics. A discussion was held when a resident questioned the logs in the ditch at the corner of Knowlton Road and Shanks-Down Road that are causing flooding. The logs are on the east side of the road and are in the Nelson road right-of-way. Matota said they would do nothing with them. The resident said that Southington said they wouldn’t move them either. After a long discussion with the road supervisor on the location of this issue, Matota said he would have to go out there and look at the situation and he will address the issue with the landowner. Vanek stated that they needed to order new flags for the telephone poles for this summer. He said they would run nearly $900 for the flags; trustees approved the measure. Vanek wanted permission to trim/cut trees and branches back on Pierce Road while the road is closed. Matota said they needed the county engineer to come out and stake where the right-of-way is prior to cutting/trimming any trees. Matota brought up the township installing new or replacing driveway culverts on township roads issue again and said he would write up a proposal that would address the issue and present it to the board next month. Nearly two hours into the meeting, the board introduced guest Mark Russell from Ellerhorst Insurance Company. Mark presented them with the new insurance policy for buildings, equipment, and vehicles. The policy as it is currently written will run $11,872/ year. Russell recommended that because of the way the laws have changed they might want to consider carrying police liability insurance that is about $200 more a year. The coverage would protect the township when any law enforcement agency works in the township and may cause an issue for someone to sue the law enforcement agency and hold the township responsible for the law enforcement agency’s actions; the township would be covered. After some disagreement on the issue (Leonard thought they should purchase it and Turos and Matota said they shouldn’t) the board declined police liability coverage. There were many issues on the policy that the trustees wanted to possibly amend so Finney will pay the premium listed and the township will be billed for the amendments. Mark Russell will look at costs for possible amendments. Trustees agreed to waive the fee for the Community House rental for the Amish school auction and the after-prom committee pancake breakfast. The trustees announced the open house for the food bank would be held March 10, 2012 2pm -4pm; the annual Easter egg hunt for children 3 years old to 10 will be held March 31, 2012 2pm at Pixley Park; if it is raining, they will move it to the Community House. The board approved the payment of the bills and wages then opened the floor for questions. A resident questioned the not-for-profit use of the community house. The resident wanted to know who has the authority to waive the fee. They thought it had to be a trustee. What criteria do they use etc? Which resulted in Turos taking offense with folks questioning the caretaker’s integrity on the issue. He made a phone call to Michelle Cmunt who is responsible for renting the Community House. She said in the past that this group had a tax-exempt number and the board had waived the fee previously; the group will present the tax exempt number to her. This brought up a question from Jim Turos on why a certain group only pays $20 / month to use the facility every week. Which led to Matota questioning why they had rules for the facility if they were not going to follow them? Matota was addressing the situation where they opened the Community House for a meeting on a legal holiday. These questions and discussions dragged the meeting out to nearly three hours. Finally the meeting was adjourned. The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the community house. More township information can be found at www.nelsontownshipohio.org

Volunteer Sandy Callaway and township trustee Joe Leonard are pictured at the newly opened food cupboard.

Nelson Twp. – The Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard NGCC opened its doors on February 27, 2012 and are preparing for their Grand Opening Celebration on Saturday, March 10th at the Cupboard from 2:00-4:00pm. All  are invited to join them for some light refreshments and a tour of the facility. The board will be on hand to answer any questions folks may have about using the cupboard or becoming a volunteer for the cupboard.

Many may wonder how the food bank came to be. It was developed after Trustee Joe Leonard and township resident Mike Elias saw many families struggling to put food on the table. The two set out to see how they could meet the need. After doing research and getting a sponsor they began to lay the groundwork for the facility. They secured the back section of the Isaac Mills building for the food cupboard and the Nelson United Methodist Church agreed to be the sponsor.   The next thing they needed to do was renovate the back room to house the food cupboard. The Boy Scouts, Amish community, retirees and others came out to help get the facility ready. It  began to take shape and was soon ready to receive food.

The food cupboard is a joint venture with the Akron-Canton Food Bank and will be open on Mondays from 4pm -7pm and on Wednesdays from 9am – noon. The cupboard will be closed any day school is not in session, either for inclement weather or holiday. They will be open during the summer and holiday breaks that are not the actual holiday.

When coming to the food bank folks will need to bring a photo ID and proof of residence in the school district. A current utility bill that has one’s name and address on it will suffice for the proof of address. They will also need the names and birthdates of each person living in the household. Families and individuals are eligible to receive food once every 30 days.

NGCC is open to residents of James A. Garfield School District who meet income guidelines. Residents can register through the county’s “211 First Call” or come in and they will help you register with”211 First Call.”  One can expect the registration to take about 5 minutes and be out the door in about 10 minutes. A family member comes in; fills out the registration form and a shopping list from the items available. Then the volunteers will fill the order in a few minutes and get you out the door rather quickly. They will even help you get it to your car if needed.

The food cupboard not only gives out they food, it  also accepts donations of cash and or food. However, they are not permitted to accept home-canned items or bakery. Fresh produce is always welcome.  In fact, the cupboard is promoting “Plant a row for the hungry campaign”. If you’re a gardener consider planting a row in your garden and donate it to the cupboard. The cupboard will have starter kits for “Plant a row for the hungry” available at the open House. Anyone wanting to make a cash donation can do so by  dropping it off at the cupboard or the church, or mailing it to NGCC Food Cupboard, PO Box 210 Garrettsville, Oh. 44231.  The food cupboard is operating as a 501© 3 charity, therefore all donations are tax deductible and one will be given a receipt for their donation. Any questions about the food cupboard can be emailed to ngcc305@gmail.com.

The cupboard relies on donations from the community in order to be successful.  Some of the items they are looking for are peanut butter and jelly, pasta sauce, toiletries, baking supplies, boxed side dishes, macaroni and cheese etc. So take a look in your pantry and see if you can contribute to shutting the door on hunger in your community.

The cupboard would like to thank  all the volunteers, the Amish Community, local Boy Scouts, United Methodist Church, Carter Lumber and area retirees who worked hard or donated goods to the project.

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting with trustees Joe Leonard, Tom Matota, and Jim Turos and Fiscal Officer J. David Finney in attendance. Mr. Finney presented the minutes from the January 4th, 11th, and 18th meetings and they were approved as presented. The minutes from the meeting on February 1, 2012 were read and also approved.

Mr. Turos presented his expenses from the winter conference and the board approved the expenses. He also presented the signature cards from The Middlefield Banking Company that needed to be signed.

The fiscal officer presented the expenditures, and the bank reconciliation along with the purchase orders and blanket certificate. The board examined the paperwork and approved each of the measures.

Road Supervisor Chuck Vanek reported that he researched the options for repairing the cracked windshield in the plow truck and got the best rate through Safe Lite Auto Glass and will have the glass repaired. He also reported that he was working with Parkman Township to coordinate ditch work on Reynolds Road. Discussions were raised again about installing culverts for free for township residents that live on township roads. Leonard said it really was unfair to use township monies to benefit a few residents since those that live on county or state routes would have to pay the county or state to install culverts for driveways. No decision was made on the issue as they research the issue further.

Vanek reported that the well at the township garage failed the well test that Portage County Health Department (PCHD) administered and the department suggested they consider replacing the bladder in the pressure tank. They seem to think it is harboring bacteria. Once the bladder is replaced they will have to chlorinate the well and have PCHD return to retest the well.  The board approved this action.

The rough draft for the ramp plans for the community house will need to be converted into scale drawings by an architect before they can apply for the building permit for the structure. After some discussion, the board will contact Frank Pavella to do the drawings.

Mr. Matota questioned the caretaker of the Community House on who is responsible for updating the bulletin boards at the Community House and township garage. Michelle Cmunt replied she really didn’t know but if she had the keys to the locked boards and the letters, she would not have a problem updating them. A question was also raised about township keys; Mr. Leonard said he would collect them from the former trustee.

Boy Scout Cody Petrie presented his drawings for a sign he plans to make for the township. The sign will be his Eagle Scout project. Petrie asked for some assistance on funding and the trustee asked him to do some fundraising first and before they would help out financially with the project. Part of the Eagle Scout project requirement is for the scout to raise the funds for the project.

Leonard asked that the zoning seminar scheduled for March 31, 2012 be open to the public. This raised questions from Matota on whether these seminars were helpful and why they would want it opened to the public. Leonard said a few residents have asked to attend to learn more about zoning. A member of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) stated that the last seminar was quite helpful and they have used the material they learned from the last one on several zoning issues. After some discussion the board was leaning toward keeping the seminar as a workshop for trustees and those involved with the zoning commission and the BZA.

The Pierce Road Project is slowly moving forward. The trustees signed the papers and will send them to Public Works Commission and hopefully they can bid out the project soon.

Matota was able to help the zoning inspector with the process of obtaining current maps from the county’s web site to help with variance issues. Matota also talked with Mr. Steiner of the Portage County Solid Waste District and they will supply one dumpster for tires for the cleanup day set for May 5& 6th. The township will be responsible for any overages. The closed section of Shanks-Down Road issue presented at the last meeting resulted in advice sought from the prosecutor and neighboring townships that the road borders on who advised the trustees to do nothing and the road will be considered abandoned in a few years.

Discussions were raised regarding  folks who have items in the road right-of-way the township will consider enforcing this issue.

Guest Kristina Port who is running for Stare Representative in the newly-formed 76th district introduced herself and presented her political views.

Chairman Turos opened the meeting up to the public for input and many questions were raised on various topics such as zoning, food cupboard, the U.S Liquids issue, Pierce Road Project. After an hour of questions and answers, the board adjourned to executive session to discuss litigations on a court case, along with personnel issues. With there being no further business the board adjourned after they completed the executive session.

Nelson trustees meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 7:30 pm at the Community House. The public is encouraged to attend. More Nelson news and information can be found at www.nelsontownshipohio.org

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Nelson Twp. – The first day of operation will be Monday, February 27th for the newly-formed Nelson Garrettsville Community Cupboard.

The cupboard is located at  on the northeast corner of Nelson Circle (9415 St. Rt. 305)behind Isaac Mills Bakery. The hours of operation will be Monday 4:00pm to 7:00pm and Wednesday 9:00am to 12:00pm. The cupboard will be closed on federal holidays and when J.A. Garfield  schools are closed due to incliment weather.

Residents who live in the J.A. Garfield Local School district and meet income guidelines for federal and state food programs are eligible to receive assistance from the food cupboard. Registration is done by household; please have a photo ID, proof of residency (current utility bill or other piece of mail with your name and address on it), and the names and birth dates of all household members.

A Grand Opening Celebration has been planned  for Saturday, March 10th at the Cupboard from 2:00-4:00pm.  Everyone is invited  to come and tour the facility and join us for refreshments.  The board will be on hand to  answer any questions folks may have about using the cupboard or becoming a volunteer.

In addition, they are  planning a “Plant A Row for the Hungry” campaign where gardening enthusiasts are asked to plant an extra row and donate the produce to the Cupboard.  Starter kits will be available at the Grand Opening.

Nelson Twp – The Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last week with trustees Jim Turos, Tom Matota, and Joe Leonard present. Fiscal officer Dave Finney was unavailable; however Brianne Finney took the minutes for the meeting.  Brianne presented the wages and the trustees approved the payment of them, but not before Leonard stated that the prosecutor recommended that they include in the motion that they will pay the bills when the fiscal officer is available. By adding the bills to the motion they will not have to hold a special meeting to pay the bills.

Nelson Twp. – Eviction orders were served on U.S. Liquids, Inc. on December 30, 2011, closing a long and troubled chapter for Nelson Township residents since the liquids recycling center opened for business in April 2008.

Nelson Township Trustee Joe Leonard said, “The big question now is what to do with all the junk piled up on the property and the remaining waste products in the liquids left behind. The liquid left in four big holding tanks and raceways is still a mystery. We’re concerned about that.”

Leonard was with fellow trustees and a representative from the receivership company (which protects the property and reports to the bank) to inspect the aftermath a week later on January 6. What they found “was a humungous mess — worse than anything I had imagined,” Leonard said. “It’s a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling indoor dump, and every room has a different stench. We’re easily looking at a million-dollar cleanup.”

Leonard has called upon the Portage County Health Department to test neighboring well water, and the Ohio EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to test the water in lagoons, holding tanks, pond and raceways on the industrial property for levels of contaminants, including metals, chemicals and bacteria.

When entrepreneur Mark Fuerst founded U.S. Liquids at the former Bil-Mar Turkey Farm along State Route 88, he promised to bring jobs, ‘green’ technology and positive economic growth to the area by processing beverage liquids including soda, syrup, juice, beer, wine and similar sugar-based products. Instead, surrounding residents complained of stench in the air, fouled waterways and unscrupulous business practices.

Township trustees, the zoning inspector, the health department, prosecutor, Ohio EPA and other watchdog entities were called upon to intervene, with only temporary results. Reports of increased rat and mosquito infestations were among the complaints. Several miles of Camp Creek turned green in March 2009 due to the fact that wastewater had overflowed from U.S. Liquids’ treatment system; fishkill was confirmed by the EPA. In April 2009, the EPA spill hotline received an alert that the creekwater had turned brown. This time, EPA determined the cause was that U.S. Liquids had pumped raw wastewater from a private pond into Camp Creek.

Public complaints continued. Some measures were taken by U.S. Liquids to comply and relieve public alarm, including a plan to sell liquid waste as livestock feed and as a source for ethanol producers, according to EPA records. Later, Fuerst reported to the EPA’s Twinsburg office  that he was planning to expand operations to include raising as many as 2,400 pigs at the facility and to gain licensing as a Class III Compost Facility.

Finally by the end of 2011, U.S. Liquids went bankrupt, the industrial property was foreclosed upon, and the company was evicted by Old National Bank. Approximately 10 people lost their jobs  as a result, Leonard estimated.

“Hopefully, our nightmare is over,” said Leonard. “Next time someone shows interest in this property, we need to do our research, do our homework, and conduct background checks. If we had done that in the first place, prior lawsuits and other problems on public record would have set red flags waving when he first came here.”

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Columbus—State Representative Kathleen Clyde announced that the state will help resolve flooding issues on Pierce Road in Nelson Township. The Ohio Public Works Commission has awarded an emergency $76,326 grant to the township.
“These funds will purchase a road culvert for a crucial roadway in Nelson Township,” Rep. Clyde said. “The new culvert will alleviate the flooding problems due to extremely heavy rains this year. It will restore the road’s safety for emergency transportation and for local residents that travel the road every day.”
Pierce Road in Nelson Township was recently subject to a critical structural failure when severe floods washed away a significant portion of the road. As a result, a segment of the road was deemed impassible and was closed. Many residents were forced to reroute around the closed area. And the damage caused significant safety implications, as emergency vehicles had to do time-consuming preplanning prior to any dispatch, lengthening critical response times.
The Ohio Public Works Commission awards emergency funding for municipalities facing issues that cause an immediate threat to the health and safety of local residents. Over $2.5 million is allotted each year for natural disaster-related, unforeseen projects. Rep. Clyde received a call from Bill Wilson, former trustee in Nelson Township, and was able to assist the township in applying for and receiving these important funds.

NOTE: Athough the township has been awarded a grant for the work, they need to be compliant with the laws which require them to obtain various permits, including one from the Army Corps of Engineers. The trustees have begun the process to obtain the permits and when the permits are granted, the actual bids for the job will go out so the work can begin. An estimated work timeframe for the job is currently unavailable.

Nelson Twp. – Nelson-Garrettsville Community Cupboard (NGCC) will soon take over the food operations of The People Tree, effective in February. The cupboard is an outreach of the United Methodist Church working in conjunction with The People Tree. They are neighbors helping neighbors to shut the door on hunger in their community.

Earlier this year Mike Elias and trustee Joe Leonard thought the community needed a food bank and pursued the issue. The Nelson United Methodist Church jumped on board with Elias and Leonard and soon the food cupboard idea was starting to take shape.

The group worked at finding a place to house the cupboard and after researching the idea, Rafael Rodriguez offered them a room at Isaac Mills on the circle in Nelson.

The group enlisted the help of the local Boy Scout troop and their families as they began to clean out a room to house the food cupboard. The room was cleaned and still needs shelving before it will become the home of the cupboard, but it is well on its way.

NGCC is partnering with the Akron-Canton Food Bank and will work through the 211 First Call for Help. The First Call for Help will assist folks with getting assistance. Folks will need to call the 211 First Call prior to coming to the food cupboard. All residents who live in the James A. Garfield School system are eligible for services. Those in need will need to provide proof of residency.

The food cupboard will provide food on an emergency basis to eligible families in our community. The NGCC is a member of the Akron-Canton Food Bank which can help coordinate with other social agencies which are designed to meet more long term needs. NGCC is not a federally funded agency. They operate solely on contributions received from the community. The cupboard relies on the generosity and kindness of neighbors for donations of food or money. They are always looking for volunteers as well.

The community needs to be assured that although they have partnered with the People Tree, this holiday season’s distributions through the People Tree will go on as usual. The NGCC Food Cupboard will not take over the food operations  of the People Tree until February. The People Tree isn’t going anywhere, they are just shifting the food distribution to the NGCC Food Cupboard. The other services that The People Tree offers will continue as they have  in the past. Again, I reiterate that The People Tree will run as it has through this holiday season.

The items the food cupboard is looking for are: all canned goods especially tuna, stews, soups; they also need pasta, pasta sauces, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, juices, paper towels, facial tissue, toilet paper, laundry soap, dish detergent, body soap, garbage bags postage stamps and empty cardboard boxes and plastic grocery bags. If you can help them they would appreciate it. It will take the entire community working together to make this venture a success.

The food cupboard is planning an all-you-can-eat  spaghetti dinner on December 30, 2011 from 4pm – 7pm at the community house in Nelson. All proceeds will benefit the food cupboard.

Information about the food cupboard can be directed to Mike Elias 330 527-9930. Monetary donations can be sent to P.O. Box 210 Garrettsville, Oh 44231. Make checks payable to NGCC. All donations are tax deductible.

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last week with all board members present. The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and the reading of the minutes from the August 17th meeting. The minutes were approved as read as well as the bank reconciliation and expenditures.
The trustees opened sealed bids for chip-n-sealing of Pritchard, Paul, Sofia, and Bancroft Roads along with the service garage entrance. The township had received two bids one from Hughes Contracting and one from H Luli Contracting. After a discussion on the bids the trustees awarded the contract to H.Luli Contracting for $47,413.40 to do all the roads and service garage entrance. The contract was awarded to the lowest bidder.
The board received two applications for open positions, one on the Zoning Commission and one on the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). Trustees Bill Wilson and Joe Leonard were unfamiliar with one candidate and would like to meet him prior to appointing him to the BZA. The other candidate, Mr. Monroe Kuhns, was very familiar to the board and was appointed to serve on the zoning commission. Mr. Kuhns is the first Amish man to serve in a political position in the area.
Road supervisor Chuck Vanek said the 2003 plow truck needed some body work and they would do it in-house. He originally stated that they would spot sand the bed, but after some discussion the trustees agreed to have the entire bed sandblasted along with doing the grease fittings, brakes and other mechanical work before winter hits.
He also requested 60 ton of asphalt to be used to repair roads. The trustees approved his request.
It was noted that they were unable to get the Community House in compliance with the American Disabilities Act (ADA) in time for elections so the voting will remain at the service garage at Pixley Park.
Pixley Park has a new sign installed and some playground equipment installed as well. Thanks to the Tabor Family for donating the playground equipment to the park. The work continues on the dugouts and the 16’x 16’ storage building and will be finished soon. The Pixley Park Development Committee has set October 1, 2011 as the date for the Harvest Moon Festival and Pig Roast at the Community House.
The trustee agreed to purchase one new computer to be used by the zoning inspector and township garage. The computer and proper software is not to exceed $600.
The trustees agreed to contact J.C Electric and see about getting the heating and cooling electrical service ready for the new system. The deadline with the grant to get the entire project finished is approaching and they need to get the work done soon.
Leonard stated that a concerned citizen asked if the township would hold a meet the candidate night at the Community House. the township will not host the event but the citizen may organize one and use the Community House.
One resident inquired about using his camper to stay on his property over the weekend while he is clearing the land and getting it ready for a permanent dwelling. Trustee Leonard had previously been contacted about the issue and had sought out legal counsel from the prosecutor on the issue. Since zoning doesn’t directly address the issue, it is illegal to do so according to assistant prosecutor Chris Meduri. Leonard addressed the zoning commission and thought this was another area that they needed to update in their zoning code. It was suggested that they have written in the code various uses provisions for conditional permits for various reasons. The commission will look at this issue, but for now he can not use a camper as a temporary unit while working his land.
The board meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the Community House. More township news can be found at www.nelsontownshipohio.org.

Nelson Twp. – The Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the Community House with all members and fiscal officer present. The first item on the agenda was to hold a public meeting on the zoning amendments concerning  storage of vehicles on vacant lots. After some discussion on what exactly the amendment was proposing, the trustees decided to send amendments back to the zoning commission for clarification before making any decisions on them.
The fiscal officer presented the bills and wages, and a resolution to renew their membership with the Bureau of Workers Compensation. The board approved these measures.
Trustee Jim Turos suggested changes to the bleacher plan for Pixley Park. He suggested using gravel in front of the stands rather than grass. Turos claims the grass will not tolerate the traffic as well as gravel and he feels they will have to dig it out and replace the grass with gravel at some time in the future. He said gravel would be easier to maintain and it would be easier to dig out the sod now for the gravel rather than have someone have to do it later when they discover the grass was not a good idea. After some discussion the trustees decided to leave the bleacher plan as is with the grass in front of them so small kids can play while others are watching the game. Work on the bleachers will begin soon.
Trustee Joe Leonard stated that the electric violations were just about corrected with a few minor details to be finished up this week. The corrections will bring the Community House up to the current code.
He also stated that they had received an application for a conditional use permit for Isaac Mills to house the food bank. The food bank committee asked if the trustees would waive the $75 fee for the permit as it will be an ongoing community service project. After some discussion the trustees agreed to waive the permit fee. A public hearing on the conditional use permit is scheduled for August 10, 2011 at 7pm at Pixley Park.
Lastly, the trustees announced that the new water well at the maintenance building will be drilled soon. The current well had water quality issues that could not be corrected, so a new well is being drilled.
The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday at 7:30 pm at the Community House. More information on what is happening in Nelson can be found on their web site www.nelsontownshipohio.org.

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Nelson Twp. - Prior to their regularly scheduled July 6th meeting, the Nelson Township Trustees reviewed and passed the 2012 budget that had been presented by Dave Finney at the June 15th meeting. After a review of the prior meeting minutes, Dave Finney presented the June bank reconcilliation and warrants 20630 – 20654 for review and payment. Due to an increase of 33-1/2% for the township’s medical  insurance premiums a special meeting with Ellerhorst Insurance and a representative from the insurance carrier will be held on July 19th at 1 p.m.  The purpose of this meeting will be to review the  current policy and discuss at options to help with cost containment.  This meeting will be held at the Community House. There will be a public hearing prior to the regularly scheduled July 20th trustee meeting regarding a proposed amendment to zoning laws pertaining to the storage of motor vehicles on vacant land.  Road supervisor Chuck Vanek reported that they will begin mowing along the township roads and the hot patching will begin on Monday. After some discussion pertaining to the bids received for the chip-and-sealing of several township roads and the service garage driveway, it was decided to put the project back out for bid and to include the grooming of the roads in the bid.The trustees voted to accept the bid from Ace’s Well Service for the drilling of a new well at the service building.  Mike’s Electric was awarded the contract to bring the Community House up to code.  After a recent fire inspection it was noted that there are several items in the building which need to be repaired to bring the building up to code.  Trustee Leonard brought the  Nelson Food Bank topic to the table.  It was proposed that the food collected be stored in the upper level of the community house.  Both Turos and Wilson voiced their concerns – both were against using the community house for the storage and distribution of the food items.   At this point the group of people working to establish the food bank will continue to look for other options.  The trustees will be reviewing the current regulations pertaining to the use and rental of the Community House.   With the increasing number of requests to utitlize the facility, they want to be sure that all of the critera and fees are in alignment. Scout Josh Seink from Troop 65 presented his Eagle Scout service project proposal to the trustees.  Seink provided his plans, including financial information, to the trustees for approval.  Seink would like build a picnic table and two benches for the Pixley Park pavilion.  After some discussion about building the items from treated lumber or TREX material, and the cost related to both, the trustees approved a motion to accept Seink’s proposal and to provide the treated lumber for the project.  The ball field at Pixley Park   is booked four nights a week.  Plans for an outbuilding to store equipment and dugouts are currently underway. The next meeting will be held on July 20th at 7:30 p.m. in the Community House.   All are invited to attend and get involved.

The James A Garfield Class of “1961” celebrated their 50th class reunion at Roby Lee’s Restaurant in Newton Falls on Saturday June 18th. There were 63 in attendance, 38 of those being classmates.

Each classmate received a certificate of congratulation from the Superintendent, Charles Klamer and the Board of Education, an engraved “class of 1961 50th ” key ring, a pink rose (the class flower) and a children’s book authored by classmate Mary Jo (Minnick) Stiffler.

The evening began with the invocation and welcome given by classmate Regina (Lejsek) Kochar of Kowloon, Hong Kong. A delicious buffet dinner and the sharing of many photos and memories followed.

Classmates attended from Florida, Missouri, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Hong Kong,
All those in attendance had a very enjoyable evening. The celebration continued Sunday, June 19 with a picnic at the Freedom Town Hall and pavilion.

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Nelson Township – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the Community House with all trustees and fiscal officer present. Chairman Joe Leonard led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and brought the meeting to order. Fiscal officer Dave Finney presented the minutes, current funds status, bills and wages, purchase agreement with the state for salt purchase and  letters from various groups. The board approved the minutes, payment of bills and wages, and the contract to purchase salt through the state purchasing group. By purchasing salt through the state, the township is able to save a substantial amount of money. Chuck Vanek, road supervisor, reported that the heavy rains have been hard on the roads with several roads having washout problems. He also stated that the county will help them flush out the culvert on Pritchard Road and the township road crew will continue repairing the washouts.  Mr. Vanek also reported that due to the weather they had not been able to get the cemeteries taken care of as they ordinarily do but, he plans to have work done in the cemetery and also get veteran grave markers and flags out by the end of the week. Vanek said he and Jim Turos have been working on getting a new sign for Pixley Park and should have prices by the next meeting. Trustee Bill Wilson presented his findings on dumpster costs from Sunburst Disposal. After some discussion the board approved to changing garbage service from Universal Disposal to Sunburst at a savings of nearly $20 a month. Wilson also requested that the zoning inspector be accompanied by the sheriff and/or other outside individuals to re-inspect the raceways and the facilities (hold ponds, etc) at U.S. Liquids since there have been several complaints about the smell issue again.  Wilson stated that he is afraid if they don’t keep on the company about the issue it will get pushed to the back burner and go unresolved.  A letter was sent to trustee Wilson from the Garrettsville Police Department requesting permission to use and/or close township roads for a 5K race held during SummerFest. The trustees will issue a letter granting the request. Memorial Day Services are scheduled at Nelson Circle Monday, May 30, 2011 at 10:00 am, however if it is wet it will be held at the Veterans’ Memorial near the Community House. Joe Leonard stated that he has the revised blueprints for the electric at the Community House ready and they will need to apply for the electrical permit for proceeding. This led to a discussion on the electrical service needs. One contractor thought they would need to upgrade their electric to a 400 amp service while another thought the 200 amp service they have is plenty. Wilson believes the 200 amp service they have is enough as well. Leonard will look further into the matter before proceeding with the project. Leonard said some of the local Amish men are working to fix the blown-over dug out at Pixley Park. He also said Brugmann Sand and Gravel will donate 80 tons of sand to the park to help with the drainage problem. The township will be responsible for the cost of transporting the sand. After some discussion, the township determined that it would be more economical to out-source the transportation of the sand rather than do it themselves.Discussions were held on the park committee and trustees’ squabbles, Community House upstairs  use, and  road   maintenance. The trustees decided to let the Park Committee handle the park issues, with trustee Leonard acting as a liaison between the park committee and the board of trustees. This would free up the trustees so they can focus on keeping the townships roads maintained. A resident questioned the use of the upstairs because they thought at one time it was condemned by the fire department. Dave Finney will research this before any use of the upstairs will be permitted.The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday each month at 7pm at the Community House, however the June 1, 2011 meeting will be held at 6 pm with the all -boards meeting following it. The all-board meeting is a public meeting for residents to ask zoning questions. The zoning commission, zoning board of appeals and the assistant county prosecutor will be on hand to answer any questions one might have. For more Nelson news visit their website at www.nelsontownshipohio.org

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Nelson Twp – Spring has returned. We made it through another winter. As you drive around Nelson Township, you can once again see the green grass and flowers blooming everywhere. To keep Nelson looking great, remember to start collecting all the things in your yard that you no longer want. The Community Clean-Up is April 30the and May 1st this year. Let’s keep Nelson beautiful.

To keep your yard beautiful, The Nelson Grassroots Garden Club will be holding their annual Plant Sale May 13th and 14th at the Community House. As always, there will be a wide variety of perennials for sale.

Now for the house. As you begin your spring-cleaning, please keep in mind that the Pixley Park Development Committee is looking for donations of any items you no longer use or need. You can drop off any items at L&P Machine, 8488 Route 305 or at the Salvage Pantry, 11462 Nicholson Rd. Their annual Yard Sale will be held Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-30th at the home of Linda and Terry Allen, 8488 Route 305. All proceeds benefit the park. The ball diamond is now complete, with bleachers coming soon. The committee is hoping this years’s yard sale will help fund the building of a pavilion at the park. Please be generous and help out if you can.

Ok, your  yard is now a showplace, your flowers are blooming and your house is in order. After all that work, you deserve a break. Mark October 1st on your calendar for the Harvest Moon Pot Luck and Pig Roast. This popular event will be held, as always, at the Community House. The food is out of this world and the fun never stops when the Chinese Auction gets started. While you are there, check out the new windows at the Community House, they look fantastic. The new doors will be coming soon.

Nelson Township offers a plethora of activities for its citizens. Come out for any and all of these events and support the greatest community around.

 

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Nelson Twp. -  Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting at the community house with trustees Joe Leonard, Bill Wilson and Jim Turos and fiscal officer J. David Finney present. Fire Chief Dave Friess was in attendance to request permission to use the parking lot at Pixley Park for a vehicle extrication and burning practice. After some discussion the trustees said they would have to co-ordinate time and dates with the ball fields schedule, but as long as that is done then they saw no problem with the fire department using the parking lot. The chief said he would coordinate the dates and times once they receive the permit to burn.

Questions were raised about scheduling the use of the ball field at Pixley Park. After some discussion the trustees agreed to have Michelle Cmunt, who already does the scheduling for the Community House, do the ball fields as well and be compensated $25 extra a month from May thru October. Mrs. Cmunt will be responsible for keeping an updated schedule posted at the park as well.

Trustee Wilson presented estimates for the cemetery road paving. After further discussion they have decided to put the paving on hold for now due to budget constraints.

Mr. Turos brought up the water problem on the ball field at Pixley Park and demonstrated what is wrong with it and what should be done to fix it. Turos claim that the drain tile is too deep and they used the wrong type of tile. He stated that it would cost some where near $8,000 to repair. Mr. Terry Allen, a member of the Pixley Park Committee, disagrees with Mr. Turos’ findings, Allen said they followed the specs given to them by the Department of Water and Soil and claims the drainage problem is the sand. Allen claims the sand sold to them had too much clay in it, preventing the water from draining properly. Allen said he was told that if they added more sand to the mix the field would be fine. Turos and Allen disagreed on how to solve the problem and since neither party has the funds to redo the drainage system the park committee said they would try the sand additive first.

In other business Turos wants to make it clear that the trustees have to approve any improvements done at Pixley Park including design, specs etc. The park committee agreed with him and stated that they had turned in plans for the ball field which the trustees had approved prior to the installation of the field.

Joe Leonard stated that they started examining the items that have been stored upstairs of the Community House and believe much of it could be donated to the Pixley Park Annual Garage Sale held Memorial Day weekend. He said before they start giving the items to the committee they need to go through them to make sure they are not giving away part of Nelson’s history.

A discussion was held on the legality of having an all-boards meeting with the trustees. The all-boards meeting would be the zoning commission and the board of zoning appeals and the trustees.  Leonard will check with the prosecutor to see if it is permissible.

Leonard contacted Captain Ricky Neal from the sheriff’s office about using the prisoners to help clean-up the sides of the roads in the township. The township would be expected to provide drinks and lunch for the crew. The trustees agreed to the stipulation of providing lunch and beverages for the prisoners who do the work.

The food bank plan is moving forward. The township needs to find a sponsor who holds a 501C3 non-profit status before they can develop a business plan for the food bank. When the business plan is developed they will present it to the trustees.

Chairman Leonard said Cook Heating and Cooling had presented the revised drawings for the heating and cooling system for the Community House. The changes in the updated drawings are going from a two-unit heating and cooling system to one furnace and air conditioner rather than the (2) two unit systems. The local contractor says this would be sufficient for the townships needs. The new system is being paid for out of the NOPEC Grant the township received.

In other business, questions were brought to the board on how the clerk was to determine pay times for employees now that they have a time clock, does the township need an email address and who would be responsible for answering questions on the web site. After some discussion the board agreed to determine pay by the quarter hour rather than the tenth of an hour. The trustees will have Mr. Elias look into an email address for the township and responses to questions will be handled by Mr. Finney. Mr. Finney will confer with trustees before answering questions folks present when the email system is up and running.

The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesdays at 7:30 pm with meetings currently being held at the Community House until June.

More Nelson news, including minutes of their meetings, and government information can be found on their website www.nelsontownshipohio.org

 

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Nelson Township – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting recently with all trustees and  the fiscal officer present. The fiscal officer presented bills and wages; he also gave a funds status report along with real estate tax money from the estate of Robert W Norris.  The trustees approved the expenditures and the minutes from the last meeting.
Trustee Jim Turos reported that the gas well was cleaned and up-and-running with heat in the maintenance building; however they are still unsure of the cost of the repair since they have yet to receive a final bill. Turos asked the trustees to consider a blanket certificate for employee Chuck Vanek so  he  could purchase needed supplies in case he was unable to contact two of the three trustees as required. He stated that recently they had a situation where the employees had to wait 45 minutes to get needed supplies to finish a job. Both Trustees Wilson and Leonard were hesitant of doing a blanket certificate because of their very tight finances.  After further discussion the trustees approved two emergency blanket certificates one for supplies and one for materials for up to a $1000 each expiring on December 31, 2011.  These are emergency measures only to be used when Vanek is unable to reach two of the trustees to approve a purchase.

In other news, discussions were held on whether they should consider purchasing or renting a rubber tire roller for the summer chip and seal projects, and color for the new doors on the community house. Turos stated that he knew where they could possibly purchase one or rent a rubber tire roller for the summer. They agreed not to make a decision at this time due to tight finances. Trustee Leonard stated that the new doors should be installed within the next few weeks and suggested a neutral color on the doors. The rest of the trustees agreed with the neutral color. The doors are being replaced with the NOPEC grant. Leonard also stated that Mike Elias is working with Halle Higgins and the Akron Food Bank to get a food pantry started in Nelson.

Mr. Turos requested an executive session to discuss personnel issues. The board returned from executive session and approved the promotion of Chuck Vanek to the position of Road Supervisor/Sexton and Steve Galayde from part-time status to full-time status including full benefits. The promotions are effective on April 1, 2011.
In other Nelson news, the Pixley Park Committee is collecting donations for their annual garage sale held over Memorial Day Weekend. Donations can be dropped of at L&P Machine on State Route 305 or the Salvage Pantry on Nicholson Road.
Nelson Township Trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. The meetings will be held at the community house until May 31, 2011.

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Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with about ten residents in attendance. Fiscal officer Mr. Finney presented bills and wages to the trustees; after reviewing them they approved the affidavits. The trustees noted that the windows at the community house were installed and the doors should be in by the end of March.
Mr. Turos gave an overview of the state township meetings that the trustees attended. Items they discussed were cyber liability, snow removal liability, roads, and bridge liability. Mr. Turos also stated that he had the opportunity to share with other townships the legal situation Nelson is in with U.S Liquids. He said he found many were interested in the situation because they were also approached by a “green” company that was interested in establishing a product recycling center in their township.
Trustee Wilson stated that they had received an offer to have the gas well swabbed out this week and this would be cheaper than previously thought. Before the well could be swabbed, they need to prove who is the owner of the wells and pump. Once that is determined, the wells will be swabbed and they will be able to start using the fuel from them in the maintenance building. For the last few months they had been heating the building with portable units.
Trustee Leonard stated that he is still investigating the fuel tank situation and it appears they can do most of the work themselves saving the township money.  New EPA mandates are the reason Nelson has to replace their current tanks with double-walled tanks. Trustee Leonard also stated that the Block Watch Program conducted by Sheriff Doak was attended by 30 residents. The program lasted an hour and everyone seemed interested in seeing this instituted.
Leonard also reported that the web site was up and running. After some investigating and checking with the prosecutor, it was recommended that they not do a blog on the website.
Fiscal officer Finney reported that the general fund of the budget was very tight and he wasn’t sure where else he could cut. This brought up a discussion on the rising insurance cost for township employees and elected officials. Mr. Turos stated that “The insurance cost are a cancer that is eating away our funds”. He also stated that, “It is the trustees responsibility to take care of the roads and cemeteries and the funds are just being eaten up by insurance costs and it has to stop.” The trustees agreed they would have to do something with the insurance costs and would look into it in the near future. Finney stated that the other designated funds were good it was just the general fund that was running very lean.
Mr. Leonard re-introduced Boy Scout Josh Gula from Mantua who is a member of the Nelson troop. Mr. Gula brought drawings for the trustees to check out for the two signs he will build for the township. The signs are Gula’s Eagle Scout project. One will be located at the new baseball field at Pixley Park and the other at the Community House.
The trustees decided to move the township meeting to the Community House until May, that way there will be no confusion over the meeting place while they solve the heat dilemma at the maintenance garage. The trustees meet at 7:30 on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

Nelson Township – The Nelson Township trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with the fiscal officer and two of the three trustees present. Trustee Bill Wilson was unavailable. Fiscal officer Dave Finney presented bills and wages to be approved. Finney also stated that the first electronic IRS payment for withholdings had been sent and that because of his disability he has been given the approval to use a facsimile signature rather than a handwritten one. He stated that under the Ohio revised Code ORC elected officials are permitted to use a facsimile signature on checks and reports. Mr. Finney also presented an affidavit from Davey Tree for $149 to fertilize trees on the circle. After some discussion the trustees agreed to approve this expenditure because it would help keep the trees healthy.

Trustee Joe Leonard announced that after months of hard work the new township web site is up and running. The website has a brief history of the township along with pictures from various activities, meeting times and dates, local attractions, zoning information and more. One can checkout the website at www.nelsontownshipohio.org.

The township received a letter from the prosecutor that stated they had not proved their case against a property owner over junk vehicles. It stated that since the vehicles had engines, transmissions and it appeared that he wasn’t using his property for commercial use they ruled in favor of the property owner.

A&M Doors was able to amend and revise their door bid by offering the township an alternative door solution. The doors they propose will save the township about $1782.55 and were a better quality door than the original specs called for. The township approved the amended proposal for doors from A&M Doors and they should be installed by the end of February.

Trustee Joe Leonard stated that he had been working with Ravenna Oil to solve the fuel tank issue. It appears that the township legally can not purchase fuel from the school, so they need to get their fuel tanks updated. Ravenna Oil has made a proposal that the township could rent to own a 520 gallon tank and pay $90 a month for 5 years then it would become property of the township. The tank carries a 30 year warranty. Mr. Leonard stated that he will contact other oil companies to see what plans they offer. The fiscal officer explained that when they moved to Pixley Park all their fuel tanks were in compliance with the laws at that time, however the laws have changed and the township needs to get it’s fuel system in compliance with the new laws before they start issuing heavy fines.

In other business the board approved the appointment of Chris Conkol to the zoning board of appeals (ZBA). Mr. Turos stated that after interviewing the two candidates that they feel they chose the best one for the position. He stated that both candidates were qualified and encouraged the other one to re-apply for a position on the board that that will be open next year.
The Nelson township trustees meet on the first and second Wednesday of each month.

Nelson Township – The regularly scheduled Nelson Township Trustees meeting was moved to the community house due to no heat at the maintenance building and the meeting room. The meeting was called to order with all trustees and fiscal officer present. The minutes from the January 5, 2011 were approved as read. Fiscal officer Dave Finney presented the bills and wages and they were approved to be paid. Mr. Finney presented the 2011 revised budget; the board revised the NOPEC Fund 2901 due to the fact that they had not used all the funds.

The gutters that were torn down by the wind last month have been replaced.  The cost of the repair was $700; the township turned the bill into their insurance company. The township paid the $500 deductible then the insurance company paid the difference.

At  the previous trustee meeting there was a discussion on whether the trustees should establish policy on whether they would reimburse elected officials and employees for spousal coverage on Medicare insurance payments. Mr. Leonard contacted Assistant Prosecutor Chris Meduri for a ruling. Meduri recommended that they limit the reimbursements to the elected officials and full time employees even though there hasn’t been a ruling made on the issue by the Attorney General. After some discussion, the trustees chose to take the assistant prosecutors recommendation and not reimburse elected officials or full time employees for spousal Medicare payments.

They tabled the appointments to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) until the next meeting. The trustees want to conduct short interviews with each candidate before appointing ZBA representatives. Interviews are scheduled to take place prior to the next trustee meeting.

Mr. Turos explained the heat problem at the maintenance garage and meeting room. Late last fall they realized that their gas well lines had waxed up, leaving them without natural gas until the lines from the tank could be swabbed. The call to the company has been made and they will be out as soon as they can to open up the lines. In the mean time the garage will be using space heaters to keep the water lines from freezing. This is a common problem that is being solved by establishing routine maintenance on the well.

The actual figure for the window bid is a little higher than quoted due to the fact they have discovered two more windows that were not counted in the original quote. The added expense will be $861.30. The board expects to have the new doors and windows at the Community house installed by the end of February. AM Doors and Supply will be replacing the doors and Hershberger Roofing and Siding will replace the windows. Both contracts will be paid for by the NOPEC Grant.

Chairman Joe Leonard stated that the next meeting scheduled for February 3, 2011 will be held at the Community House at 7:30. They will be joined by Hiram Township Trustees and Sheriff Doak. The sheriff will present a block watch program to both Hiram and Nelson Trustees and talk about the recent rise in car thefts and break-ins.

Finally, the trustees announced that they are missing a new, large coffee pot from the community house. Will the party that borrowed it please return it.

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Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all the trustees and fiscal officer present. Items on the agenda were: approve bids for doors and windows at the community house, fill zoning and zoning appeals positions, select fire department representative and community ambulance representative, set mileage reimbursement rates, and approve repairs for the truck.

The board reviewed the bids for new doors at the community house and after some discussion they agreed to reject the lowest bid due to its being out of the normal range and incompletely bid. The bid from AMM Doors & Supply for $12,087 was accepted. They accepted the bid for windows from Hershberger Windows for about $10,200 and decided to go with vinyl windows instead of aluminum.

The trustees voted to re-appoint Sam Vanderhoeven to the Zoning Commission Board and also decided to table a decision on the zoning appeals positions until the next meeting so they will have a chance to interview the candidates. The next item on the agenda was to choose representatives to the Garrettsville-Freedom- Nelson Fire District G.F.N.F.D. and to Community Ambulance Board. After some discussion the trustees re-elected Jim Turos to the G.F.N.F.D. and Bill Wilson to the ambulance board. The trustees decided to go with the IRS standard $.50 a mile for mileage reimbursement for travel when conducting township business or attending various meetings and or seminars.

In other business they approved the repair of the clutch on the small truck, and set spring clean-up date for April 30 & May 1, 2011.  Insurance discussion was brought up by Trustee Jim Turos on whether they should set a policy on reimbursements for spouses for their social security payment reductions when they are using Medicare insurance as their primary insurance rather than the townships insurance for their primary insurance. The question was brought up because the trustees voted at a previous meeting to reimburse a trustee for the difference in his losses in his social security payments because of his expenses on his Medicare premium. After some discussion they agreed to table this until they could check into the laws on this issue prior to establishing a policy. The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 at Pixley Park.

Commissioner Marsilio being sworn in by her mother, Sandy Pelphrey.

Garrettsville – On Tuesday, December 28, 2010, amid  Portage County political figures, law officers, friends and family, Tommie Jo Marsilio was sworn into office as Portage County Commissioner. The ceremony took place in the Iva L. Walker Auditorium, a fitting location for this James A Garfield alum  who credits former Social Studies teacher, Iva Walker, for her desire to get involved in government.

Assistant County Prosecutor David Brode led the proceedings.  Members of Garrettsville Girl Scout Troop 632 opened the ceremony with the Pledge of Allegiance and Pastor Gray of the First Baptist Church in Garrettsville offered the Blessing.

Commissioner Marsilio was sworn in by her mother, Sandy Pelphrey.

Tommie Jo Marsilio offered her thanks to those who supported her during her campaign and for their continued support. She vowed to do her very best in holding government officials accountable for their actions and to bring government back to where it truly represents the people.

Everyone who attended was offered refreshments of cake and punch in the Commons area following the ceremony.

January 3rd was Tommie Jo’s first official day in office.

Portage County – Snow days are every school kid’s fantasy come true… until it’s time to make up for lost instructional time. Most area school districts have already exhausted their allowable cancellation days due to two major snow storms in early December. Now districts are on borrowed time as actual winter weather kicks into typical gear, with drifting snow, ice, below-zero wind chills and slick roadways posing hazards for the next three or four months.
Due to a change in state law intended to increase instructional time for students, the number of calamity days for public schools has been reduced in 2010-2011 from five to three. Many administrators and students are hopeful that Ohio Governor-Elect John Kasich will repeal this new law set in motion by outgoing Governor Ted Strickland.
But until then, schools’ first line of defense against inclement weather will likely be two-hour delays rather than cancellations. Late-start days still count as instructional days to the Ohio Board of Education, so the hope is that they will buy districts the time needed to brighten and clear roadways, mitigating the risk of potential accidents.
“Typically, we see three to five weather cancellation days per year,” says James A. Garfield Schools Superintendent Charles Klamer. Considering that three school days were already cancelled by mid-December, it’s likely that the district will double that number before the spring thaw arrives.
Safety for students and bus drivers is a superintendent’s top priority, even with pressure mounting to keep school doors open as scheduled rather than extend the school year with added make-up days. “We drive district roads in the early morning hours, consult with our transportation and maintenance supervisor, other neighboring school districts, road crews and weather forecasts before making any decisions,” says Klamer. “It’s not easy making a decision in the dark. The worst thing to happen is to have a school bus accident on our hands.”
With that in mind, both Garfield and Crestwood school districts will implement two-hour delays when possible, if weather forecasts and local road departments indicate that roads can be adequately cleared in time, and weather conditions are likely to improve throughout the remainder of the day.
Currently, the JAG school year has set June 8, 2011 as the last student day (graduation is June 5). With every school day cancelled hereafter, the school year is another day longer. If 10 cancellation days accumulate, Klamer’s understanding is that the state requires other measures for making up lost instructional time, such as extended school days or Saturday school.
The JAG School Board will finalize its calamity day procedures for the remainder of the school year by December 27, and will post it for parents on the district website: www.garfield.sparcc.org. As always, notification of delays and cancellations will be made available on major radio stations, Fox 8 News and Channel 5 TV weather alerts.
When Crestwood called a snow cancellation on December 14, it became the district’s fourth calamity day this school year, exceeding the state allowance of three. Consequently, Crestwood will be extending the school year an extra day through June 8, 2011… until further notice.
According to Crestwood Superintendent Joe Iacano, Crestwood tries to alert parents of delays or closures by 5:45 -6:15 a.m. that morning. Periodically, forecasts are definitive enough that school can be called off in time for the nightly news the prior evening. The announcement of a closing or two-hour delay will be broadcast on Cleveland television and radio stations and via Crestwood’s Alert Now telephone system. Those who have not signed up for the Alert Now system should contact their child’s principal for details. Parents should avoid calling schools or stations since incoming calls tie up phones and delay notification.
If a Crestwood parent believes it is safer to keep their child home all day due to localized conditions, even after schools re-open, they should send a written excuse the next day and students will be excused and allowed to make up any missed work for credit. (See www.crestwood.sparcc.org for full details.)
Crestwood is the only Portage County district to have surpassed the three-day limit so far. In addition to JAG, five other Portage districts — Rootstown, Ravenna, Aurora, Streetsboro, and Windham — have depleted their three-day allowance. Remaining Portage school districts — Waterloo, Field, Kent, Mogadore and Southeast — have used two snow days and have one bonus day remaining.
…And winter has only just begun.

Nelson Township – The Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last Wednesday with all trustees and fiscal officer in attendance.  The meeting was moved to the community house due to lack of heat at the maintenance building. The trustees stated that the fuel line that runs from the tank to the maintenance building was plugged with salt and need to be flushed out. Until it was completed, they were unable to use the heating system at the maintenance building. Currently, they were using an alternative heat source to keep the pipes from freezing.
The first item on the agenda was to open the sealed bids for replacement doors and windows at the community house.  The window bids ranged from $12,940 – $22,515 and door bids ranged from $5,980-$ 13,900. After some discussion the trustees decided they would table a decision on the bids until they discussed bids with their architect. This decision was based on the fact that the bids were as one trustees stated “All over the place.”
The trustees then discussed the option of possibility renting fuel tanks from Western Reserve. The fuel tanks woulc be  to replace the ones the township uses now to refuel equipment. The current ones are not compliant with the new codes and the cost to upgrade the old ones is out of reach for the township right now. The agreement with Western Reserve would include tank maintenance, changing filters and nozzles. They decided to postpone any decision on this matter until next month, due to a very tight budget.
Speaking of money, Trustee Leonard said he is looking into refinancing the mortgage or trying to prepay the loan on the township garage. After further investigation he discovered that there is a possibility of refinancing or paying down the current mortgage without penalties.  Currently, the township loan is structured so that out of the $21,626 paid annually  $8,000 is applied to the principal and while also paying $13,626 in interest. Leonard was sure he could find a method that would save the township money. Trustee Turos stated that they didn’t have extra money to pay down the loan and when they looked at this issue before, the local banks would only go 15 years, they would need 30 years like the current loan. Turos also stated there was a concern that doing this would bring the township funds too low. The fiscal officer stated that they have $1000 in the debt reduction fund that could be used toward prepaying the mortgage. Trustee Leonard said he will keep looking into the issue to see if he can find a way to save the township money. In other cost-cutting measures, Trustee Wilson has elected to take Medicare Part B rather than the township’s medical insurance. The township will pay Wilson $150 per month to cover his $150 reduction in Social Security benefits each month. This is expected to save the township approximately $12,000 a year. Since there was no other business to discuss the trustees closed out the 2010 year.
They opened the 2011 organizational meeting and on the agenda was choosing a chairman of the board, establishing a meeting date, employee evaluations and making  temporary appropriations.  The board voted Joe Leonard to serve as chairman of the board. They also set the meeting dates as the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the maintenance building. The trustees went into executive session to discuss employee evaluations, salaries and benefit packages.  The trustees returned from executive session and, there being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Nelson Township – The Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly-scheduled meeting last Wednesday with all trustees and fiscal officer in attendance.  The meeting was moved to the community house due to lack of heat at the maintenance building. The trustees stated that the fuel line that runs from the tank to the maintenance building was plugged with salt and need to be flushed out. Until it was completed, they were unable to use the heating system at the maintenance building. Currently, they were using an alternative heat source to keep the pipes from freezing. The first item on the agenda was to open the sealed bids for replacement doors and windows at the community house.  The window bids ranged from $12,940 – $22,515 and door bids ranged from $5,980-$ 13,900. After some discussion the trustees decided they would table a decision on the bids until they discussed bids with their architect. This decision was based on the fact that the bids were as one trustees stated “All over the place.”  The trustees then discussed the option of possibility renting fuel tanks from Western Reserve. The fuel tanks woulc be  to replace the ones the township uses now to refuel equipment. The current ones are not compliant with the new codes and the cost to upgrade the old ones is out of reach for the township right now. The agreement with Western Reserve would include tank maintenance, changing filters and nozzles. They decided to postpone any decision on this matter until next month, due to a very tight budget. Speaking of money, Trustee Leonard said he is looking into refinancing the mortgage or trying to prepay the loan on the township garage. After further investigation he discovered that there is a possibility of refinancing or paying down the current mortgage without penalties.  Currently, the township loan is structured so that out of the $21,626 paid annually  $8,000 is applied to the principal and while also paying $13,626 in interest. Leonard was sure he could find a method that would save the township money. Trustee Turos stated that they didn’t have extra money to pay down the loan and when they looked at this issue before, the local banks would only go 15 years, they would need 30 years like the current loan. Turos also stated there was a concern that doing this would bring the township funds too low. The fiscal officer stated that they have $1000 in the debt reduction fund that could be used toward prepaying the mortgage. Trustee Leonard said he will keep looking into the issue to see if he can find a way to save the township money. In other cost-cutting measures, Trustee Wilson has elected to take Medicare Part B rather than the township’s medical insurance. The township will pay Wilson $150 per month to cover his $150 reduction in Social Security benefits each month. This is expected to save the township approximately $12,000 a year. Since there was no other business to discuss the trustees closed out the 2010 year. They opened the 2011 organizational meeting and on the agenda was choosing a chairman of the board, establishing a meeting date, employee evaluations and making  temporary appropriations.  The board voted Joe Leonard to serve as chairman of the board. They also set the meeting dates as the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the maintenance building. The trustees went into executive session to discuss employee evaluations, salaries and benefit packages.  The trustees returned from executive session and, there being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

On  December 8, the Literary Musical Club held their monthly meeting, Betty Hamilton and Sally Kittle were hostesses. The food was good and tasty. Snowmen and shiny red apples decorated the tables.
The only business was the report on the cookie sales. We sold coffee and cookies on the Christmas walk.
Margaret Lappert is a new member for us. We are pleased she has decided to join our membership.
The weather was bad but we had the usual turn-out. Ann Spolarich had homemade nut rolls for everyone. Cathy Spolarich had gifts for the 80-year-olds. We had a fun gift exchange and two birthdays, Billy English and Alma Jones. We had Christmas carols with Pat Amor. We look forward to her music each year.
Everyone left in a holiday mood and looking forward to seeing all the members next year.

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Nelson Twp. - The Pixley Park Committee graciously accepted a $3000 donation from Suzanne Wensel for bleachers at the ball fields in Pixley Park. The money donated by Mrs. Suzanne Wensel was in memory of her late husband Byron. Mrs. Wensel stated that family, friends, and former players donated to the memorial fund she had set up at the bank back in 2002 when the land was first donated to the township. She created the fund to honor  the memory of Nelson’s first Hot Stove baseball coach, her late husband, Bryon.

She said her husband, Byron had always dreamed of having a Nelson Hot Stove Baseball Team. He was passionate about baseball and his community, so at 17 years old he started a Hot Stove Baseball Team in Nelson. The township didn’t have a field until Mr. Ross Feller created  a make-shift field on his land for them to use. The field that he created sat in front of where the township garage and Pixley Park are now situated.  The team played a few years in Nelson but due to lack of a quality field they united with the Garrettsville’s Hot Stove team and relocated to the village. When the team relocated Mr. Wensel continued his commitment to baseball by coaching in Garrettsville.

The bleachers for the ball fields will be constructed in the spring with a memorial plaque installed commemorating Mr. Wensel.

The park committee wishes to thank the Wensel Family for their donation. Donations for the park can be made anytime at Middlefield Bank where they have an established Pixley Park account.

Nelson Twp. – The Literary Musical Club of Nelson held the November 10th meeting at the Nelson Community Center. There were ten in attendance and one visitor, Margaret Lapport. This meeting was hosted by Anne Spolarich who put on a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and lots of desserts. Thanks Anne, you always outdo yourself. We were entertained with music and singing and clog dancing by a group of young girls’ calls “Pam’s Kids” from Massillon, Ohio. They were wonderful. We collected some canned food for the People Tree.

Margaret Clapp, our long time friend and club member is not feeling well so we want to say “Get Better,” we missed you. A motion was made and seconded to have a group of three for Vice President next year, Margaret Clapp, Alicia Jones and Margaret Paul.

The coffee and cookies sales were a little slow the first weekend of the Christmas Walk. A motion was made and seconded to sell the cookies at the craft show in December sponsored by the Curtains Up Theater at the High School.
Our Christmas meeting will be December 8th at Nelson Community Center. There will be a five-dollar gift exchange. Our hostesses will be Betty Hamilton and Sally Kittle. Pat Amor will provide the holiday music. For those who haven’t been attending, please try to come in December. It’s the members who make the club. We miss you.