Township Meeting - 1/21/2003

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Township Trustees, Newbury Township was called to order on January 21, 2003 at 7:30 p.m., with Mr. Majeski, Mr. Fioritto and Mr. Quigley present.  Mr. Majeski made a motion to appoint Marge Hrabak as secretary pro tem. Mr. Quigley seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote.  Minutes of the previous meetings including the organization meeting, zoning amendments and regular meeting were approved as read.

Mr. Majeski announced that the first order of business would be the signing of the 2003 Fire Department Contract. The "2003 AGREEMENT" was reviewed with minor wording and spelling changes noted. Mr. Fagan was asked to appoint an alternate should the necessity arise. Mr. Majeski moved and Mr. Fioritto seconded the motion to approve the contract. The motion passed by unanimous vote. The contract was then signed and witnessed by Township Trustees and NVFD Trustees. The trustees retain the original with copies to the NVFD.

Mr. Fagan will have the Fire Department yearend report available for the next Trustees meeting.  The NVFD representatives left the meeting to attend a previously scheduled training session.

Police Chief Charvat presented a verbal report for November and December.  Yearend incident reports for March through December (Jan. & Feb. had computer glitch) will be presented at next meeting.  January 2003 includes 44 incidents to date.  Mr. Majeski asked that Chief Charvat review the State web site for available vehicles for replacement and report at the next meeting.

Mr. Majeski inquired about the missing Welcome to Newbury sign on Music St. Mr. Hollis explained that the vandalized sign was taken down to repair the bent hinges.  Dave Brent has agreed to repair and reinstall the sign at no charge.  Mr. Hollis presented his verbal report on replacing signs, plowing/cindering and problems on Auburn Rd south of Bell St. which is a county road responsibility.

Mr. Hollis said that grant money was available for township road striping, edge lines and centerlines. The grant monies are not available for subdivision or chip and seal roads. He urged the township to apply suggesting Stone Rd., Portlew Rd. and Music St. from Munn Rd. to Rt.44. as first priorities.  He suggested the application could list half of the township roads for each of two years to spread the grant dollars. Mr. Hollis will supply the road listings to the trustees. He should ask Mike Stone if the list is realistic with recommendations for specific roads.

Mr. Hollis supplied each trustee with a 2003 Equipment Inventory and the Township Road Condition and Improvements for 2002. Insurance inspectors advise a quarterly sign inspection to be noted in the yearly inventory table, signed and kept in township files.  Mr. Fioritto asked Mr. Hollis to sign with his title on the last page of the sign inventory and file the report for more than one year. Mr. Fioritto noted that street signs are most important for safety forces to locate addresses in emergencies.

Mr. Majeski moved to accept the Newbury Township Equipment Inventory dated 1-1-03 as presented.  Mr. Quigley seconded the motion that passed by unanimous vote. All trustees signed the Equipment Inventory.  The trustees should send a signed copy of the Equipment Inventory to the county engineers' office.  Mr. Majeski and Mr. Hollis conferred on the restructuring of the road department facilities including costs to replace four doors on the back garage.  Door relocation in the main building may depend on the recycled container locations and the increased side door traffic for Newbury Hardware.

The board discussed the problems with both number and location of the recycled containers.  Mr. Quigley said the recycle company should provide better service by emptying the full containers promptly thus eliminating the extra containers we have now.
Mr. Majeski asked about changes to the employee manual. Mr. Quigley has reviewed our policies and compared them with the ORC regulations.  Some changes should be adopted in regards to incorporated sick leave, vacations, terminations and retirement. Mr. Quigley will have copies for the board at the January 27 meeting for further discussion.

It was noted that winter road conditions are an ongoing problem.  Water collects at Stone & Portlew roads and turns into an ice hazard. Mr. Hollis stated that the intersection needs pavement grind-out to install a drain to Rt. 87. He says this is his first priority as weather allows.

Mr. Fioritto had residents complain that Auburn Rd is not adequately plowed, salted or cindered south of Bell St. to the Auburn Township line leaving the Newbury side slick and dangerous. The county has responsibility for plowing Auburn Rd. Mr. Hollis suggested the trustees write a letter to the County Engineers office to establish priorities for plowing and salting schedules to insure road safety and avoid liability problems.

Mr. Quigley moved to pass the Adoption of Resolution for the Real Estate Advance for the first half collection.  Mr. Fioritto seconded the motion that passed by unanimous vote.

The Ranking of County and Township roads in Newbury was discussed.  Mr. Majeski expressed concerns that the township should not give up any township roads nor take on any county roads; he was happy with the present road rankings. Further discussion was tabled for the next meeting.

Mr. Quigley presented the Urban Design center plans showing the streetscape program for Rt. 87 done by Kent State and reviewed by the Planning Commission. He circulated the plat plan for the township buildings and the hardware store area. On the plan front parking areas had been removed for green space.  Native plants and trees would be used for the proposed front plantings. No provisions were made for the recycling station, which is an issue that must be resolved first.  Mr. Quigley said the Urban Design Center project is now considered closed. The township needs unspecified dollars to implement any plan.  No earthen mounds are shown; the lay of the land is ok.  He will investigate whether any grant money or ODOT funds are available.

Mr. Hollis reported that he couldn’t use his skidsteer to dig the free trees offered to the township.  He would need a quote from a contractor for a rental of a tree spade.

Mr. Yeacker asked about vacating property lines for twp property; this has been done for the township building lots but not for the adjacent house.

Mr. Fioritto reported on the Kiwanis Lake water testing activities. A combined meeting with Manfredi Motor Transit and state and county health department officials outlined the plans to search for buried tankers. If any are found, they should be removed as soon as possible in the spring. They will use a ground radar unit to search for the location based on the pond map. Manfredi will develop health and safety plans to monitor wells to put an end to contamination questions.  The company has invited Mr. Weisdak and Mr. Fioritto to accompany the radar search team.

Mr. Bill Skronsky of the Ohio EPA still maintains he will monitor for total chrome; if too high then an additional test for hexavalent chrome would be done.  Mr. Fioritto says the initial test should be a complete study for total chrome and hexavalent chrome with the same sampling.  He stressed safety concerns for Kiwanis Lake, wells in the adjacent ground water areas and the school wetlands laboratory.

The question still revolves about who will pay for these combined chrome tests.  At first the state EPA was to absorb the costs, but later reported there were no funds for outside lab testing.  Would the county and township share the additional $10,000 cost?  Newbury Township had previously appropriated $2,000 for chemical scan tests of 20 wells at an estimated $100 per well.  Additional cost to test for hexavalent chrome is estimated to be $10 for the same sample that has only a 24-hour viability.

Ms. Angie Grysho reported that new test results issued last Monday showed hexchrome in previous Middlefield samples taken in '84.  She verified that state and county health departments took samples of 24 Kiwanis Lake wells on Jan 14, 2003.  Test results on these samples are due in March.  Ms. Grysho further explained that Ohio Health Dept. reports statistics only for the immediate Kiwanis Lake area.  Including individuals outside this area or those who have moved away now represent a total of 163 cancer victims.  Tracking must be done individually by names and locations to provide accurate results.

Mr. Fioritto recommended independent testing as soon as possible. The township should hire a certified lab to duplicate 3 to 5 health department samples to verify accuracy.  He advises the testing should be congruent with the state and county testing. He urged tests on wells on Pekin and Auburn Roads in addition to Kiwanis Lake wells to compare results on down-stream flow to assure all residents of the water safety.  Ms. Grysho expressed appreciation that the township has supported the Kiwanis Lake residents and said her group has offered to supply 10 checks for $100 each to supplement the township funds appropriated for the independent well testing.

Mr. Quigley moved and Mr. Fioritto seconded the motion to appropriate $2000 for well testing.  The motion passed with a unanimous vote. Mr. Fioritto and Ms. Grysho will compile the test criteria and submit the list to Mr. Quigley.  Mr. Fioritto reminded everyone that the sample holding time for hexchome testing is only 24 hours.

The cutoff date for submitting applications for positions on the Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals was Jan. 13, 2003.  The board reviewed applications for two positions on the Board of Zoning Appeals, now held by Margaret Avalon and Paul Mansfield and one position on the Zoning Commission now held by Jerry Hudak. The terms for these positions expired Jan 1, 2003.

Mr. William Skomrock Sr. asked to speak on behalf of the Board of Zoning Appeals. He applauded all current BZA members for their attendance, diligence, and diversity of opinion and recommended that all three current BZA and Zoning Commission members be retained. Mr. Ray Fidel, Mr. Dean Eppley and Mr. Bill Skomrock Jr. all voiced their agreement.

Mr. Quigley moved to reappoint Jerry Hudak to the Zoning Commission. The motion died for lack of a second.

Mr. Majeski moved to appoint Annie Newpher to the Zoning Commission. He said he was impressed with her at the asphalt hearings and felt she would bring new ideas, enthusiasm and would be a plus for Zoning Commission. Mr. Fioritto seconded the motion.  Mr. Majeski and Mr. Fioritto voted "yes", Mr. Quigley voted "no".

Mr. Majeski moved to retain Paul Mansfield as the BZA alternate; Mr. Fioritto seconded the motion that passed with a unanimous vote.
Mr. Majeski moved to appoint Colleen Curran to the Board of Zoning Appeals, Mr. Fioritto seconded the motion.  Mr. Majeski and Mr. Fioritto voted "yes", Mr. Quigley voted "no".

Ms. Curran's move to the BZA would leave a vacancy on the Zoning Commission.  Mr. Majeski requested an ad be posted for a new Zoning Commission member with the application deadline of January 27, 2003.  All currently received applications will be considered at the next meeting.

Mr. Bill Skomrock, Jr. asked to speak from the audience.  He strongly objected to the method of choosing and/or reappointing the zoning members.  It appears to him and others involved with zoning, that there is obvious collusion by Mr. Majeski and Mr. Fioritto who vote alike on pre-chosen candidates without regard to the experience, diligence or dedication of long serving current members.  *** added to amend minutes, 2/3/2003 – He (Bill Skomrock, Jr.) stated that what I am trying to say is, you better watch your back.***

Ms. Avalon asked if the trustees questioned her reappointment, why they did not contact her.  Ms. Brezina expressed her concern over Ms. Avalon's reappointment to Mr. Tremsyn. He advised against contacting the trustees and she said she was sorry now that she didn't speak to the trustees on Ms. Avalon's behalf.  Ms. Brezina said she thinks the current BZA members worked well together and advised,  "Keep a good thing going".  She felt that an attorney is worst possible choice for BZA; members need common sense to resolve issues that come before the BZA.

It was reported that the Newbury VFW volunteered to pay for flags *** added 2/3/2003 – at Munn Cemetery *** representing the various armed force services in a semi-circular display. Mr. Majeski offered to confer with the VFW board members to erect the flags. All trustees voiced their approval.

Mr. Majeski brought up the need for a Mission Statement for the newly formed Land Use Committee. Further discussion will continue at the January 27 meeting. Mr. Majeski described how a similar Concord Township committee lost one years work because they did not follow sunshine laws by holding meetings that were not publicly advertised.  Mr. Fioritto talked with Dr. Randy Continenza to request a quote for a process facilitator. He suggested the use of an internal facilitator to supply information and maps to acquaint the members prior to any advertised meetings. Mr. Quigley suggested that one trustee sit in on all Land Use meetings to represent the trustee's personal stake in the community.

Correspondence received since the last meeting was reviewed. On the request to establish 8 litter clean-up sites within the district, it was noted that Newbury Township already owns a litter cleanup site so there is no need for another unit.

Mr. David Lair was requested to add the Geauga County Board of Elections map showing polling places to the Newbury Township website.

Adelphia informed the township that additional channels are added to their packet. A letter from bankruptcy court was received regarding Classic Communications.

Mr. Quigley noted that the manual requires changes to reflect that food can now be served in the town hall. He said the employee manual should be reviewed jointly by the trustees and township employees. He urged changing some cemetery regulation wording and reviewing fee schedules.
Mr. Quigley read the Newbury Township letter urging Bell St. residents to forward the letter to the County Engineer’s office to protect and save the roadside trees from the current road widening plans.

This meeting was adjourned at 10:55 p.m., upon a motion by Mr. Majeski, a second by Mr. Quigley, and a unanimous affirmative vote.

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William Majeski – Chairman                Robert Fioritto – Vice Chairman

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Glen Quigley                        David Lair – Township Clerk