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Freedom Township News


Freedom Township – The Regular Meeting of the Freedom Township Board of Trustees was called to order by Chairman Hammar at 7:30 pm on Thursday, September 15, 2011. Present: Trustees James Hammar, Roy Martin, John Zizka; Rosemary Nicholas, Fiscal Officer; Jeff Derthick, Zoning Inspector, Charles VanSteenberg, Road Supervisor. Also present: Harold Cain and Charles Duffield.
Mr. Hammar led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka to approve the minutes of the August 18, 2011 Regular Meeting as presented. Motion carried.
Mr. Hammar made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, at 7:35 pm to move to Executive Session to discuss pending litigation. At 7:48 p.m. Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, at 7:48 pm to return to Regular Session.
Zoning: Mr. Derthick reported that two nuisance letters were sent out. The Board of Appeals has two hearings scheduled for September 20. He continues to have problems with the zoning office computer and presented the trustees with quotes on a new computer from HardParts Technology Services in Ravenna. After discussion, Mr. Hammar made the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin, to purchase a new HP desktop computer and monitor from HardParts Technology Services in Ravenna for $499.00.Motion carried.
Mr. Derthick will talk with them about transferring the data from the old computer to the new one.
Roads: Mr. VanSteenberg reported that flooding had occurred on Hewins Road again Saturday. Mr. Ruffing wants to know if trustees will put the pipe in for him. He already has the pipe, and he will pay for the stone. The trustees reviewed the current culvert policy. Mr. Zizka made the motion, seconded by Mr. Hammar, to install the pipe for Mr. Ruffing on Hewins Road for a flat fee of $50 for labor; Mr. Ruffing to supply the material. Motion carried.
Mr. VanSteenberg said he’d like to order grits for the roads this winter. Brugmann’s is asking $10 per ton; Ballentine’s price is $6.50 per ton. Mr. Hammar made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, to purchase up to 200 tons of grits from Ballentine’s at a price of $6.50 per ton.  Motion carried.
In other business, Mr. VanSteenberg reported that they have been ditching on Asbury and Hewins. A plugged gutter at the Community Center caused some flooding. The rental house also had some water issues, and they tarred the flashing around the chimney which hopefully will solve that problem. Mr. Martin said he thought we should take out one concrete slab of the walk at the rear of the Community Center and fill it in with gravel, until we can put in a ditch and drain. Mr. Hammar agreed. Mr. VanSteenberg suggested that we have Karen Martin put up new wallpaper at the town hall. There was no objection. Mr. Hammar suggested we get some samples and prices to consider.
Cemetery: The chip and seal work has been postponed because of rain.
Park: We won’t hear anything about the grant until late October.
Fire: Mr. Martin reported on personnel issues and noted that the Chief had applied for a grant for safety equipment.
EMS: Mr. Zizka distributed minutes of the last meeting. A new full-time paramedic has been hired.
They wrote off $1,680 for residents for the month of August. Chief Friess agreed to split the cost of replacing the cutting tools for the Jaws of Life. Lightning struck the phone system and wiped out three computers, base radio, and current breakers for the scrubber.
Regional Planning: Mr. Hammar reported that they granted some extensions and are working on minor zoning changes for Suffield.
Fiscal Officer: The trustees signed the bank reconciliation for the period ending 8/31/11. They also signed a deed for Drakesburg Cemetery, Lot No. 642, Graves A/B (Kaiser). The price of salt for the 2011-12 season is $42.72 per ton (down from $43.20 last year).
Mrs. Nicholas said she continues to work with Burnham & Flower in setting up the Health Reimbursement Account, to be effective October 1, and needed a resolution to set up a special account at Middlefield Bank for this purpose.
Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka to have the HRA bank account established at Middlefield Bank. Motion carried.New Business:
Crown Castle Lease: Mr. Hammar made the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin, to notify Crown Castle that we have no interest at this time in extending our current lease agreement for an additional twenty years. Motion carried.
Nuisance Complaint: Mr. Zizka said a neighbor to property still owned by Lawsons on Slagle Road complained that the grass has not been mowed. His concern was that should the vegetation catch on fire, it could possibly spread to his parcel. Mr. Zizka made the motion, seconded by Mr. Martin, to send a letter to Mr. Lawson asking that he have someone take care of mowing his property on Slagle Road. Motion carried.
Trespassing Complaint: Mr. Zizka said he got a call from the owner of property immediately south of Drakesburg Cemetery who again brought up the matter of trespassing on his property, and the township fence being in need of repair at the back of our property. The property owner also suggested that if we do replace the fence that we put a gate on it so that we could mow outside the fence, on his property.
There is no evidence of anyone going through our cemetery. Mr. Zizka suggested that one solution might be to close the cemetery gates at night, as we used to do. Mr. Hammar agreed this could be done.
Mr. Martin suggested the resident post “no trespassing” signs on his property and call the Sheriff if someone trespasses. It was agreed by the trustees that this is not a township issue, it is a civil matter. Mr. Zizka will convey this to the property owner.
Mr. Zizka has samples of hold harmless clauses (from the OTARMA web site) and will be working on an agreement with adjoining townships. It will be sent to Mr. Meduri for review. Mr. Zizka will contact the townships involved. He also had a hold harmless agreement to be used when community service work is done. This will be provided to Mr. VanSteenberg to have signed in the future.
Mr. Hammar has not had any contact with Attorney Smith regarding the oil well lease issue. He will set up another appointment for the trustees to meet with him.
Regarding electricity for the pavilion, Mr. Hammar will check with Mr. Rothermel to see what his schedule is, whether he has time to do the work, or if he would prefer that we find someone else.
During the meeting, warrants #5737 – 5752 in the amount of $5,845.78 were presented to the Trustees for approval and ordered paid by signature.
There being no further business, Mr. Martin made the motion, seconded by Mr. Zizka, to adjourn the meeting at 9:02 pm. Motion carried.