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.
Chairman Jim Turos questioned trustee Joe Leonard about his frequent communications with the assistant prosecutor, Chris Meduri, and why the results of these communications are not shared with other trustees until a meeting is held. (Chris Meduri is the township’s legal representative) Joe responded “I called him because Finney asked me to check on the protocol on how to pay the bills when Finney is unavailable.”
Trustee Turos stated that he should have been informed prior to the meeting and the request for information should have gone through the chairman of the board of trustees. Trustee Leonard indicated that he was unaware that each contact with the prosecutor had to be reported. Turos strongly suggested to the trustees that they communicate better with each other prior to meeting so there are no surprises at the meeting.
Leonard reported that Nelson will host a zoning seminar with Mark Finamore on Saturday, March 31st at 9am -1pm at the Community House. They have invited Windham, Hiram and Freedom trustees and folks who are involved with zoning issues. The townships will share the cost of the seminar.
The wheelchair ramp rough draft is complete and they are hoping the Secretary of State will help them obtain “Matching Funds” for the installation. The township will be allowed to use labor costs for the matching funds. Trustee Matota questioned road supervisor Chuck Vanek on the design and on whether it will meet the American with Disability Act requirements and Vanek said it exceeded their requirements. Once estimates are obtained, they will pursue the matching funds and get a final draft of the ramp.
Trustee Leonard also reported that the food bank would like to use the Community House for an appreciation dinner for those who worked on the food bank. Leonard was asking if the trustees would waive the fee for use of the community house. The trustees voted to waive the fee, but not before Turos made it clear that the food bank was a wonderful thing but it is not Nelson business.
In roads, Vanek asked if there was any way that when permits were issued for new houses or for new driveways on township roads that the township be notified to ensure the culvert is installed properly. He also asked if they could make it a requirement that the township install the resident’s purchased culvert  at no charge. This raised questions from residents who didn’t live on township roads on why the township would use public monies for that when all residents didn’t benefit from it. Trustees replied that the township has no jurisdiction over the state routes or county roads, but it is more cost effective to install the culvert themselves than have a contractor do it incorrectly. Often culverts are improperly done, interrupting the water flow, causing flooding on adjacent property, becoming a township responisbility. Rather than have flooding issues from improperly-installed culverts, they would rather do it themselves. After some discussion, Matota said he would research it and put together a resolution for the issue. In other road news, the workers have been busy chipping brush, and cleaning ditches. The road supervisor will check with  the insurance company about repairing a cracked windshield on the plow truck.
The trustees addressed Michelle Cmunt, the caretaker for the Community House. Michelle stated that the community house is booked completely on Saturdays for the month of March but there are some Sundays still available.  The trustees asked about the status of cleaning supplies, paper towels toilet paper, etc. Michelle stated they are staring to run low on paper products. After some discussion the trustees voted to allow her to purchase needed supplies at Garrettsville Hardware.
Fran Teresi from the Garrettsville Board of Public Affairs explained how the new Garrettsville Water Monitoring Program would work and how Nelson could help the village with the program. The Board of Public Affairs is looking for a few strategically-placed water wells to be used as test wells. The test wells should be already-working water wells that the Board of Public Affairs will have tested quarterly to start with. Then they will test annually to monitor the wells for contamination. The board is looking to find homeowners who will allow them to test the wells periodically, free of charge. They are looking for about 10 wells in  Nelson, Hiram and Windham Townships for the monitoring. The purpose behind the project is to have a baseline of water quality in the aquifer that supplies water to the village before fracking for gas begins.  The group is concerned about possible contamination from gas companies’ fracking in the area. The wells chosen will be tested by the Portage County Health Department and paid for by the Board of Public Affairs. Teresi also gave the trustees information on being notified of when applications for drilling permits have been submitted.
The trustees then opened the floor up for discussion. Questions were asked about having a printed agenda, having zoning permits on the web site, video taped meetings  with feed back on the web page, tax maps for the zoning inspector, vacating a road and more. Matota will check about current tax maps on the web and will look into vacating the unused portion of Shanks-Down Road.
The meeting was adjourned. The next  trustee meeting is scheduled for February 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm at the Community House. More Nelson news is available on the web at