Nelson Twp.  – Officials present at the January 15th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the January 8th meeting for approval with the addition of Jacob Seinc’s last name. Elias made a motion to accept the minutes as presented with the addition of Seinc’s last name; Matota seconded the motion. With a 3:0 vote to approve, the motion carried.

Finney presented the trustees with a fund status report, which is a total of all township funds. As of January 15th the township funds totaled $304,507.54, giving the township “a pretty good start” for the year according to Finney. He then presented the trustees with the bills and wages to be paid. Elias made a motion to pay the bills and wages, which was seconded by Leonard. All trustees voted to approve. Finney presented the trustees with a mileage report from the Portage County Engineer detailing the township’s calculated road mileage (25.412 mi). The trustees voted to accept the mileage as calculated. The trustees were also presented with Dan Dolan’s letter of resignation from the Zoning Commission. Matota, Elias and Leonard thanked Dolan for his contribution and service to the community.

Chris Sanchez, chief of Community EMS presented the trustees with the 2013 review of the EMS District. In 2013 the department responded to 853 alarms (down from 890 in 2012). Of those 853 calls, 515 resulted in transportation to a hospital (down from 569 in 2012). Currently the top two hospitals of choice for medical transport are Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, or University Hospitals: Geauga in Chardon. The average response time in the EMS district—comprised of Garrettsville, Freedom, and Nelson—in 2013 was six minutes and two seconds. The trustees commended Sanchez for the great job the EMS personnel do every year. Sanchez also assured those present that University Hospitals’ acquisition of Robinson Memorial Hospital would not change anything for Community EMS at this time.

Cmunt asked Finney if he had heard anything from North Coast. Finney had not, however the applications were submitted.

VanDerHoeven reported that she has been trying to get in touch with township legal counsel Chris Meduri, but has been unsuccessful at reaching him. She has been trying to follow up on the search warrants for the seven Move Ohio Forward projects currently being undertaken by the township. Finney reported that Meduri had sent him a note before the holidays that it would be best to wait until after the holidays to obtain the search warrants, as they must be executed within 5 business days of approval.

Vanek reported that there has been trouble-receiving salt from the township’s vendor. Of the three loads Vanek has ordered in the past couple of weeks, it has taken multiple calls to the vendor to get them to even deliver one. The quality of the product delivered has also been less than ideal, with clumps of salt as large as footballs being delivered. Matota pointed out that the agreement with the vendor specified that orders would be completed within seven days, but that it doesn’t appear that they are able to stick to that. Matota made a motion to allow Vanek to purchase approximately 50-tons of salt from the County Engineer on an as-needed basis as a stopgap measure if the township’s vendor is unable to provide salt at a given time. The motion carried with a vote of 3:0.

Vanek also informed the trustees that he has been trying to break up ice in ditches to help get the water flowing and drained a little.

Rodger Petit reported that the Veteran’s Memorial Committee will have information to present in February.

The contractor for the salt barn project was present to discuss the status of the project. Essentially, there was an unforeseen additional expense in using ten-foot high walls, versus a standard eight. After discussion of expenses, the trustees decided to revise the project to utilize eight-foot high walls. The salt barn will also be repositioned on the Pixley Park property in an area that will be less obtrusive than the previous plan.

The trustees will be performing an inventory of all township resources on Saturday the 25th at the Community House beginning at 8:00am. The public is welcome to stop in to assist in the inventory.

Matota reported that he received confirmation that the problem with the Ohio Edison pole was not the township’s  problem, and it has been passed on to the appropriate person. He also asked that the township marquees be updated to add Elias’ name.

Matota remarked on the durability of the existing veteran’s memorial in front of the Community House. Aside from some cosmetic wear and tear it is in pretty good shape. He also proposed having the trustee meetings professionally recorded and stored as part of the official record. Elias also believes that it is something that should be looked into. Finney asked if it could be tied in with the sound system that the trustees are researching. Matota made a motion to look into the recording of trustee meetings and Elias seconded the motion. All trustees voted to approve the motion.

Elias reported that a representative of Frontier will attend a future meeting to explain coverage for internet, phone, and cable and how it is assigned. Elias would also like to see representatives from Time Warner, and SuddenLink attend a meeting.

In regards to the insurance compensation received by township employees, Leonard made a proposal that would save an estimated $38-39,000 per year. Trustees Elias and Matota have opted-out of the township health insurance plan, while Leonard, Finney, and all township employees receiving insurance will contribute 15% towards their insurance premiums (Finney and Leonard will be doing so voluntarily). Leonard made a motion to proceed with the new plan as of March 1st, 2014. The 15% contribution would be made via a payroll deduction. Elias seconded the motion. All trustees voted in favor of the motion.

Leonard also presented  a status update on the fuel tank project—awaiting drawings, and the locks for the Pixley Park building—meeting with vendors to see what solutions exist. Leonard would also like to look into purchasing playground equipment for Pixley Park.

The meeting was adjourned after the trustees reviewed and signed the checks presented by fiscal officer Dave Finney.