Hiram Township – At the last meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees, Trustee Kathy Schulda reported that the Ohio State Patrol has been stopping trucks on Township roads near the storage well on Allyn Road. When stopped, drivers were issued a warning to produce an applicable permit within a set time period. Failure to comply resulted in ticketing. Soon after this exercise began, Portage County Engineer Mickey Marozzi stopped the officer from issuing warnings and citations by presenting a bond, courtesy of Portage County Commissioners.

According to the Portage County Commissioners, the weight limits currently posted on Township roads is not accurate. Trustee Jack Groselle noted that the County is responsible for posting such information on the roads in question. Mr. Groselle requested that a letter be sent to the Portage County Commissioners asking what the County will to post the appropriate weight limits, and when this will be completed. According to Mr. Groselle, “It is the responsibility of the Commissioners to get it right. Hiram Township Trustees are requesting that all posted road weight limits be brought up to the correct standard.” Once this issue has been resolved, the Township will request that the State Highway Patrol return to enforce the updated weight limits on Township roads.

Until this issue is resolved, heavy trucks can continue to use Township roads, regardless of previously posted weight limits until January 12, 2016, with the exception of a Road Use Maintenance Agreement (RUMA) requirement that restricts truck traffic during school bus hours. Township Council Chris Meduri advised Trustees that the Ohio State Patrol can resume citations beginning January 13, 2016.

In similar news, Ms. Schulda questioned whether tanker trucks were permitted to unload waste at the storage wells without a trained attendant on hand to ensure proper precautions were followed. She learned that according to Steven Erwin from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources who regulates these wells, an attendant does not need to be present while trucks are discharging waste.

According to Mr. Groselle, the Portage County Commissioners have requested that the Trustees host a meeting for Hiram Township residents impacted by these issues, giving the community the opportunity to ask questions of Commissioners about the RUMA. The Trustees are not inclined to set up such a meeting unless Commissioners insure that a representative from Heckmann Water, the owners of the well, is in attendance. The Trustees have also communicated to County Commissioners that Trustees would like to resume the previous RUMA that Trustees participated in drafting.

Furthermore, Mr. Groselle remarked that the Portage County Commissioners knowingly signed the new agreement without receiving the required signatures from Hiram Township Trustees. Legal counsel representing the Portage County Commissioners acknowledged that the Trustees should have been able to participate in negotiating the current RUMA and signing the agreement before the Commissioners signed the agreement. According to Township Trustees, they were not given the opportunity to do so. In other news, the Portage County Engineers Office notified Trustees that Norton Road will be closed indefinitely, pending bridge replacement in 2016.

Ms. Schulda reported that at Trustees request, Township Council Chris Meduri sent a letter to Mike Maschek and Ed Wurm requesting a response regarding payment for the emergency siren near the Village Gate development, per the Memo of Understanding between Hiram Township Trustees and the builders. Ms. Schulda requested that since the Township has yet to receive a response to this letter, Zoning Inspector Rich Gano should refrain from issuing Township zoning permits to Maschek or Wurm until the matter is resolved. She directed Mr. Gano to forward any questions on the matter to Mr. Meduri.

Mr. Groselle shared that Jim Zella has propsed creation a Land Development Plan for the Township’s property on State Route 82 at half his estimated cost, at a value not to exceed $1,200.00. Mr. Zella met with Regional Planning Commission Director Todd Peetz, as well as the Township’s Community Evaluations and Accomplishments Committee (CEAC) members Tim Kasper and Tom Franek.  They determined that Mr. Peetz will assist the team in the grant application process for the project.

In his Road Report, Tom Matota updated Trustees on the new truck purchase, letting them know that the truck is currently at Gledhill to have a special tailgate and front bumper installed. The old truck will be sold through an auction service once the new truck is in service.

Lastly, Fiscal Officer Diane Rodhe shared that the Township had received a check for $1,650.76 for its share of the Rock Salt Antitrust Litigation Settlement Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees will take place on Tuesday, November 3rd at 7 pm in the Township Hall.