Nelson Twp – Residents of Nelson Township gathered at the Community House on June 19th for the second trustee meeting of June. Present were Fiscal Officer David Finney, and Township Trustees Tom Matota, and Joe Leonard. Jim Turos was unable to attend the meeting due to the National International Harvester Collector event.
After calling the meeting to order, the Trustees heard from Scout Jacob Seink of Troop 65, who was on hand to deliver a proposal to refurbish a substantial stretch of the Pixley Park nature trail. After reviewing the materials prepared by Seink and ensuring that they understood the scope of the project, the trustees present voted to approve the project which includes: removal of overgrowth encroaching on  the trail; placement of landscaping fabric and wood chips; and the construction of a set of stairs for easier entry at the trailhead.  Seink hopes to begin work along the trail, and fundraising drives for supplies in the weeks ahead.
Matota then presented Finney and Leonard with copies of a letter from the Portage County Engineer who is seeking to enter into a Road Use Maintenance Agreement for Norton Road, north of State Route 88. Mountaineer Keystone LLC, operator of several area deep-well/horizontal-fracturing (fracking) sites, is planning the installation of yet another—the latest one slated to be located 1300 feet off of SR 88, on land previously utilized by the turkey farm and US Liquids. Prior to the approval of the County Engineer’s proposal, questions and concerns about the intended use of the land circulated amongst those in attendance. Neither the land owner nor a representative of Keystone Energy were on-hand to address such concerns, and Matota reassured those present at the meeting that approval of the agreement being discussed at the meeting only dealt with ensuring that damage to the road could be “addressed from the top down, rather than the bottom up”, potentially heading off Mountaineer Keystone, LLC’s ability to deny responsibility for road damage caused by their equipment’s ingress/egress from the planned site. The agreement executed at the meeting by Leonard and Matota does not imply township support for fracking or other drilling operations on the property.
While paying bills, Leonard sought to address an issue he noticed in regards to the logging of refueling township equipment and machinery. Approximately $4,000 in fuel is unaccounted for (at least on paper). Leonard “had talked to Chuck [Vanek] about logbooks for the trucks, and was told nobody gave him any”. Leonard was under the impression that logbooks were something that should have been in place a long time ago, and he would like to see accurate logbooks of some sort placed in all equipment to log fuel purchases going forward. Matota stated that he thought “there were books for repair of each piece of equipment” and that he “was sure that if we really wanted to find out where the fuel went, each one of the trucks probably has the ticket that was used to fill it”. Matota agreed that an accurate log was needed, but that a logbook would just be a generic notebook that would get fuel spilled on it. This topic will be discussed further at a future meeting when Vanek can be present.
Matota and Leonard voted to renew their membership in the Frank Gates group to represent the township in Bureau of Workers Compensation cases.
Finney, Matota and Leonard proceeded to review some of the  township finances in preparation for budgeting for the next fiscal year.
The Nelson Trustees meet every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 7:30 pm in the Nelson Community House. Residents are encouraged to attend meetings and get involved.