Nelson Twp. – The mid-month meeting of the Nelson Township Trustees took place on Wednesday February 15 at 7pm. It was brought to my attention that I referred to the township as a village in a previous article. I apologize for the miscommunication and hope no residents were offended. I will try not to make the same mistake again.

There were a number of residents in attendance and a couple of them seemed to be recording the meeting. Everyone stood and joined with the trustees in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Then minutes from previous minutes were accepted and bills were paid.

The trustees then renewed the township’s insurance policy. They were informed about a grant program that awards $500 to be used for safety equipment. They will look into how to best use the money for this year.

Two representatives from the Portage Development Board were in attendance. The trustees and residents were informed about tax abatement programs and options available for Nelson Township. These programs are known as Community Reinvestment Programs (CRP).

One CRP has been in place since 1984 for a specified area in Nelson Township. Two options were presented and discussed. One option would be to amend the existing area to increase its size. The second option would be to create a new area. This would involve reviewing the area under consideration and applying to the state with Portage County’s approval.
The abatement would be an incentive for new businesses seeking to locate and invest in Nelson. It is hoped that it would encourage economic development within Nelson Township. This would also have an effect on residents within the abatement area because it would give them options to consider if they remodeled or built new construction on their property.
There was a lot of discussion between trustees, residents, and representatives from Portage Development Board and Ross Developments. At times the discussion got a little heated but, overall it was a good learning experience for all in attendance.

The trustees have a lot to consider before making a decision about whether or not to pursue a new tax abatement or amend the current one in place. There will be more discussion before a decision is made. Regardless of where anyone stands on the issue now there are important decisions facing Nelson Township as it moves into the future.
The meeting then moved to other business.

A motion was made and approved to purchase a new Ford F-450. Then a motion was made and approved to finance it. A new welder will be purchased as well. These will be an improvement to the maintenance department and help them accomplish their work.

There was discussion about building a new website for the township. One resident in attendance had a good idea of asking the high school if any class would take it on as a project under the guidance of a teacher.

A decision was made to have a tree cut down near the Community House. This will make room for the proposed Veteran’s Memorial. The area in front of the Community House will be surveyed to determine right of way.

The trustees are looking into purchasing oxygen sensors for employees that are working near the fuel tanks, the options were discussed.
Then there was a discussion about zoning regulations and complaints and how they are handled. Residents and trustees interacted with one another over regulations, laws, signs and freedom of speech issues.

The meeting closed after a discussion about the trustees’ compensation for serving the township. Some residents in attendance do not feel that the trustees should utilize the health insurance benefits that are offered to them. In addition to a monthly stipend, elected officials — the fiscal officer and township trustees — are eligible to receive health care coverage through the township.

The next regularly scheduled meeting is Wednesday March 1 at 7pm.