Nelson Twp. – Township officials present at the first Nelson Township trustee meeting, held Wednesday, September 2nd, were Fiscal Officer John David Finney; Trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota; Anne Mae VanDerHoeven, Chuck Vanek, and Michelle Cmunt.

After the meeting was called to order Finney presented the trustees with a number of items to be signed, among the items were the minutes from the August 19th meeting., a current fund status report, and a payment listing totaling $27,785.73 (warrant numbers 22941–22967). The previous meeting’s minutes were accepted as presented in a motion made by Matota, seconded by Leonard and approved by all. The bill and wages were paid in a motion made by Elias, and seconded by Leonard.

With the exception of informing the trustees that she had provided them with her zoning report, VanDerHoevan did not have any new information to present at the meeting.

Vanek reported that the Fuel Tank Project at Pixley Park is now at a point where they are ready to pour concrete. He also informed the trustees that he has heard nothing from the contractor whose bid was accepted for chip and seal work. Corrective work at the Community House is expected to begin once the Fuel Tank Project is complete. Matota and Vanek have come up with a solution to the moisture problem in the basement. In related news, the water meter installed in the Community House has logged about 440 gallons of water usage since it was installed on June 11. Logging the water usage at the Community House is the first step in determining what can be done about the septic system in the future.

Leonard informed the other trustees that he had been in contact with Maj. Kelly of the Portage County Sheriff’s Department about the SR 305/88 intersection. Kelly informed Leonard that they will make an effort to increase their presence at the intersection and advise if an ongoing presence is needed. There is concern about the safety of the intersection not just amongst the residents of the township, but also the trustees given the number of accidents that occur there every year.

In talking with the sheriff’s office Leonard also asked about the success of the Portage County Drug Task Force’s activity during the weekend of August 14th — which coincided with the Willie Nelson concert held at the Nelson Ledges Quarry Park on Friday, August 14th.

During this time period, it was reported that ten arrests were made resulting in 22 felony charges and five misdemeanor charges.  Confiscated during this period were 12 guns, $6,051 in cash, as well as drugs ranging from an entire methamphetamine lab, to heroin, cocaine, methadone, psylicibin mushrooms, DMT, marijuana and butane honey oil.

It should be noted that the arrests and items confiscated were from people allegedly heading to or from the Nelson Ledges Quarry Park  — not in the Quarry Park proper.

Following Leonard’s presentation of the statistics he had received from the Task Force the trustees returned to the subject of OTARMA’s Risk Consulting report. Discussion on the topic had been tabled at the last meeting so that the trustees could review the document prepared by KLA Risk Consulting. The report ultimately boiled down to three key requests.

1)  Documentation of the visual condition of each township road sign

2)  Pre-trip inspections to be conducted for township equipment/vehicles

3) Establishment of driving record acceptability standards

It was decided that the trustees would notify OTARMA that they are already in compliance with items 2 and 3, and that Vanek has instituted a spreadsheet of road signs that will be inspected each month.

After the trustees opened the floor to comments and questions, Tom and Brenda Cole inquired about having their new culvert installed. Vanek will be getting in touch with them to set something up.

After signing checks the trustees entered into Executive Session — after which the meeting was adjourned.

The Nelson Township trustees meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7 p.m. in the Nelson Community House. Attend a meeting and learn more about your community.