Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting recently with all trustees and fiscal officer in attendance. The fiscal officer presented the minutes from the previous meeting and the trustees approved them as presented.
Chairman Jim Turos turned the meeting over to Tom Matota who invited Jim De Lucas from  Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority (OTARMA) and Chris Meduri, Assistant Portage County Prosecutor to the meeting to re-affirm the township’s liability for volunteers who work at Pixley Park. After the discussion, it was determined that even though the park committee has an insurance policy to cover any accidents while people are working on the park, the township could still be sued if someone got hurt while volunteering to work at the park. Both the township and park committee have liability insurance on Pixley Park. It was suggested that the park committee check into Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) insurance for coverage when they have people volunteer time  to do labor at the park. It was also suggested that the township and the park committee have something in writing that states the park committee assumes all the risk and the township be held harmless for any accidents/injuries to the volunteers who are doing work at the park as part of  their insurance policy. Terry Allen, member of the Pixley Park Restoration Committee, will look into the requests the township, De Lucas and Meduri recommended.
The Pierce Road Project still is not completed to the satisfaction of the Nelson Township Trustees. The cost for the project was $95,473.69 with $90, 694.74 of it paid out. The trustees are holding the last amount until the project is completed to their satisfaction. After a long discussion on how to resolve the issue, Joe Leonard offered to set up a meeting with the contractor and the trustees at the construction site. Trustee Jim Turos still maintains the Pierce Road Project was the biggest waste of township money he has ever seen in the thirteen years of serving the township.
Jim Turos read a letter from the Portage County Health Department stating that the lawsuit over the health infractions on the former U.S. Liquids property have been dismissed due to the building being brought into compliance with current health codes.
The township inquired about the removal of one of the two propane tanks on the Community House property that are owned by Amerigas and going to a one tank system. The estimates for removal of the one tank was more than the trustees wanted to pay so, Chuck Vanek will look into other propane suppliers to see what they would charge for a one-tank system rather than a two-tank system. He will also shop around for propane pricing as well.
Joe Leonard reported that there was a gas leak in the commercial stove at the Community House. Currently the stove has a safety lock on the gas and can not be used. Michelle Cmunt who handles the rental of the community house inquired when it would be fixed, as it is rented for the weekend. Leonard will check with repair person to see if it is possible to have it fixed by the weekend.
The Handicap assessable ramp is completed, however they need to have the railing completed before the Portage County Board of Elections will approve the site for voting.  The railing is expected to be completed by the weekend.
A very heated discussion between Jim Turos and resident Mike Elias took place over the Community House rental to a bike club. In July, Elias stated he had received an email from Jerry King stating that the intended bike ride for September 16, 2012 through Nelson Township was cancelled, prompting Cmunt, who is in charge of renting the Community House, to cancel the date and rent the facility to someone else. As it turned out the event wasn’t cancelled, according to another member of the club who contacted Turos. Turos questioned Elias as to why he had the authority to cancel the event; Elias stated he had received an email that said it was cancelled. (Leonard confirmed that he had seen the email) Turos then told Elias he had no business interfering in township affairs.  Elias disagrees that he had interfered. Elias stated that he was handling the food for the event and was the contact person for the food so when he received the email that the bike ride was cancelled, he just passed on the information.
During this very heated exchange trustee Turos rose from his seat until encourages by trustees Matato and Leonard to be seated and to calm down. Mr. Turos was seated but rose once again, repeating his accusations of interference in township business against Elias. At this point, long-time Nelson resident, Roger Petit stood up and told trustee Turos to “sit down and be quiet.” Trustee Turos did sit down and revealed that he had been able to resolve the issue by offering Pixley Park as a replaacement venue for the bike club, rather than the Community House.
Residents questioned why the township would rent a facility without having a written contract and a deposit. Turos replied that there had never been a problem before, such arrangements being done informally, with a handshake. A resident questioned that format, seeing that earlier in the meeting one of the other trustees had stated that, “the days of the good old boy handshake agreements are gone.” The resident urged the trustees to consider a more formal agreement procedure for renting any facilities, which would avoid confusion over cancellations.
Resident Roger Pettit stated safety concerns over Pierce Road. He said the township  should at least put up signs that there is a bump there to warn folks who do not regularly travel the road. Pettit is concerned about someone losing control over the bump and getting hurt or killed. The trustees took the suggestion under advisement.
The meeting was adjourned.
The next regular trustee meeting is scheduled for September 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm at the community house. Residents are encouraged to attend the meetings,  voice their concerns and see their elected officials at work.