Nelson Twp. – Area residents gathered at the Nelson Community House on Wednesday, August 5th for the first trustee meeting of the month. Township officials present were Fiscal Officer John David Finney; Trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota; Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, Chuck Vanek, and Michelle Cmunt.

The meeting opened with light discussion amongst the trustees about the filming of the meetings as part of the public record. Despite approving the purchase of equipment specifically meant for videotaping the meetings, the current board voted unanimously several months ago to discontinue using the equipment to record meetings. The trustees reminded those present that anyone wishing to record the meetings may do so, but must make use of their own equipment.

Finney presented the trustees with a number of items to be signed, among the items were the minutes from the July 15th meeting, and a cemetery deed. The trustees were also provided with a current fund status report, and a report showing the status of the current township appropriations.

An application for the vacant zoning commission  was received from Peggy Chaffins, and was approved unanimously by the trustees. With Chaffin’s appointment the Zoning commission is now operating with a full board. Rafael Rodriguez will serve as an alternate.

VanDerHoeven informed the trustees that she had submitted her Zoning report for July along with paperwork on four parcels of derelict land in Nelson. The four parcels qualify for a new project similar to the Moving Ohio Forward grants. Elias mentioned that a second letter regarding the situation at the racetrack had been sent, and that the trustees have requested the owners spray for mosquitos.

Vanek reported that paving on Pritchard should begin on Monday, August 10th. A small asphalt paver is being brought in to work on the road edges and perform overlay work. Elias made a motion to not perform any chip and seal work in 2015 in favor of possibly doing more work in 2016. Discussion followed and Elias revised his motion to only perform chip and seal work on Pritchard hill. Matota stressed the importance of chip and seal projects, and their role in sealing the overlay work. Vanek also expressed his desire to at least see Pritchard hill done this year. The trustees unanimously voted no on Elias’ motion.

Finney suggested that before any more decision were made that the trustees look at the bids for the chip and seal work. As of the deadline only one bid on the projects was received. The bid was as follows:

Project Part Road Amount Bid
Part 1 Pritchard Road $18,351.16
Part 2 Collins Road $20,189.08
Part 3 Hobart Road $8,032.87
TOTAL BID   $46,573.11


After reading the bid Elias made a motion to proceed only with Part 1 of the bid. Discussion followed, and Leonard stated that he felt it was important to complete all three parts. Finney reminded the trustees that they were entitled to accept all or any parts of the bid. Leonard and Matota agreed that they would be okay with only completing Parts 1 and 2 in 2015. A motion was made to exclude Hobart Road from the chip and seal project saving the Township $8,032.87 — the motion passed unanimously. Later in the evening up to $2,500 was approved to have dust control “prime” applied to 100 yards on Norton Road.

Shifting the topic from roads to the Community House, Leonard asked Vanek if he could put locks on the restroom doors. Matota inquired about the possibility of putting a dehumidifier in the basement as it is very damp and moldy.

Leonard reported that there was a drug bust on Hopkins Road on July 21st that shut down a meth lab. He also mentioned that he met with Senator Eklund on July 24th and had an opportunity to speak with him about the SR 305/88 intersection. The hope is that the senator will be instrumental  in getting through to ODOT the importance of a four-way stop. Leonard also provided information to the residents of Kyle Road that have been experiencing drainage issues with an update. Their concern has been shared with the County Engineer’s office which has referred the matter to the Soil & Water Authority. He also addressed the rumors regarding his purchase of donuts for the senior citizen’s group that uses the Community House. There is no truth to rumors that Finney and Leonard have used township funds for the purchase of donuts. The donuts are purchased out of pocket by Leonard. Finney added that the township’s financials are available for inspection by anyone, just call to schedule an appointment during office hours.

After the trustees opened the floor to comments and questions, Farrell Belknap inquired about the criteria used for maintaining roads in the township. While the trustees do frequently travel Nelson’s roads observing their condition, they rely primarily on Vanek to make recommendations, as that is his job. Belknap followed up on their response by asking if a master plan exists for the township roads. Vanek and the trustees replied that a master plan does not exist because there is no way to forecast five years out. In Nelson Township washouts take precedence, and then roads are prioritized based on their conditions after the winter.

The meeting was adjourned after the signing of checks. The trustees meet on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 7 pm at the Community House.