Township Meeting - 5/21/2003

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Township Trustees, Newbury Township was called to order at 7:30 p.m., on May 21, 2003, with all members present.  Minutes of the previous meeting were approved with corrections.

Mr. Majeski recognized the new Kiwanis Lake Community board members.  Group spokesman Cindy Chambers asked for the trustees’ assistance and support in their efforts to improve conditions in the Kiwanis Lake community.  The trustees pledged their help in supporting application for Block Grant monies and other forms of assistance to the community.

Police activity reported by Chief Charvat for the month of May to-date included 49 incidents.  In response to a question from Mr. Quigley regarding the need for retaining the oldest police vehicle, Mr. Fioritto replied that the intent was to minimize mileage on the new vehicle until disposal of the oldest vehicle later in the year.  Mr. Quigley expressed his concern about the condition of this vehicle and the costs of duplicating equipment on the old cruiser and the new cruiser while they were both in service.  The other trustees agreed with this opinion and the Chief was directed to see if he could stop the order on new equipment for the new vehicle that could instead be taken off the old vehicle if it is to be sold.

Fire activity reported by Chief Fagan included 34 calls month to date, and 179 year to date.

Mr. Quigley provided an update on the recycling center, reporting that problems with cardboard recycling have resulted in the township canceling this portion of the program.  He expressed hope that the Land Use Committee would develop a good long-term solution to permanent location and operation of the recycling center.

Mrs. Endres reported that zoning activity has increased for April and produced $1,945 in receipts.  Problems at Dash Tree are being addressed.  Mr. Majeski noted that after subsequent review of the issue brought up by Mr. Kaufman at the previous meeting, it has been determined that there was no error made by Mrs. Endres in her actions on this situation.  Split zoning issues where a single property is located in two different zoning districts are being addressed.

Mr. Majeski moved that resolutions to order bid preparation for the Chip Seal of Various Roads in the Kiwanis Lake Subdivision, the Asphalt Resurfacing of Whitewood Drive, the Asphalt Resurfacing of Section G of Munn Road, and the Pavement Recycling and Asphalt Resurfacing of Kimmeridge Trail be adopted.  Mr. Quigley seconded this motion, which passed by unanimous vote.  

Mr. Bill Skomrock Sr. reported on planned Memorial Day activities to be held by the American Legion.  

Mr. Majeski noted that since the township has up to 75 days before the November election to make a decision on the NOPEC natural gas opt-out aggregation, to defer that decision until further information is received from the County Prosecutor.

Mr. Majeski read a couple of letters from Newbury Elementary 3rd graders following a visit that he and Mr. Fioritto made to the school.  

Mr. Majeski expressed his appreciation to Chief Charvat for his service to the township, noting his retirement effective at the end of this month.  Mr. Majeski asked the trustees to express their opinions on how to fill the open Chief’s position.  Mr. Quigley stated that he felt that the open position should be advertised; Mr. Majeski agreed.  Mr. Fioritto suggested that Sgt. Battaglia be appointed Acting Chief to hold the position until the Chief’s position is filled.  He said that financial considerations such as the pending Asphalt litigation might impact the resources available to the township in planning for a permanent replacement for Chief Charvat.  Mr. Fioritto moved that Sonny Battaglia be appointed Acting Chief, effective June 1st.  Mr. Majeski seconded this motion.  Mr. Quigley questioned whether Sgt. Battaglia had completed his mandated training; Mr. Fioritto replied that Sgt. Battaglia intends to take this training in the near future.  Mr. Quigley asked about Sgt. Battaglia’s medical condition.  Mr. Fioritto replied that he should be getting arthroscopic surgery on his knee shortly, after delays caused by the Workers Compensation process.

A number of township residents raised objections to the motion before the board, citing Mr. Battaglia's current lack of up-to-date credentials, current medical condition and workers' compensation claim, ownership of a bar, Mr. Battaglia's previous problem as Chief staying within a departmental budget, documentation prepared by Sheriff Simmons alleging improprieties on the part of then-Chief Battaglia, alleged improprieties in Mr. Battaglia's handling of an incident on Music St., alleged falsification of timesheets by Sgt. Battaglia, qualifications of all other members of the Police Department which were current and whether Chief Charvat had been asked his opinion in this matter, whether there was a possible Sunshine Law violation in the trustees coming to this decision, and whether the controversy which this move would create was worth it for this interim appointment.

Former trustees Mr. Bill Skomrock Jr. and Mr. Carl Bush both commented that the previous termination of Mr. Battaglia had been carried out without specified reason because the Police Chief serves at the pleasure of the Board, and that termination without specific cause was intended to keep the process low-key and to save the taxpayers the cost of the longer legal battle that termination for cause would have generated.

In response to questions regarding Mr. Battaglia’s pay status, and the Workers' Compensation issue Mr. Fioritto said that for the present time there would be no change in pay, and that the Workers' Compensation issue involving Mr. Battaglia had been covered in detail at a previous meeting.   A resident gave her opinion that the whole issue of Newbury’s Police Department should be put to a referendum.  Mr. Majeski stated that he felt that a growing community with their own identity trying to attract new businesses should have a police force that would protect both businesses and residents.  In response to a follow-up question, Mr. Fioritto stated that he was not related to Mr. Battaglia.  

In response to a question as to whether if Chief Charvat would consider staying on until a permanent replacement was hired, Mr. Fioritto said that the interim timeframe could stretch out due to financial concerns.  Chief Charvat said he would have to check with his family if the trustees were to ask him to delay his retirement.   Mr. Majeski said that he felt that the chief had made his decision and that the trustees have accepted it.

Mr. Fioritto asked that the vote be taken on the motion before the board; the vote was cast as follows, Mr. Majeski- Yes, Mr. Fioritto - Yes, Mr. Quigley – No.   A resident commented in support of the action taken by the board that she believes in second chances, and that people can learn from their mistakes.  Mr. Fioritto recited Sgt. Battaglia’s experience in police work and police management as the basis for the action taken by the board.  Mr. Majeski ended the discussion of this issue by stating to the audience that the decision had been made.

Mr. Majeski addressed Mr. Ober regarding the lease agreement between the township and Mr. Ober to continue farming activities on the 88 acres.  Mr. Majeski said that he wanted to hold off on providing a final answer on the lease renewal until the Land Use Committee completes their work.   As the current lease agreement is effective until beyond the end of this year, the trustees and Mr. Ober agreed that a decision on this issue could wait until the completion of the Land Use Study.

A $600 (10 hrs@$60/hr) extension on the Land Use Committee Facilitation contract proposed by Dr. Randy Continenza was discussed by the board.  Mr. Majeski moved that this expenditure be approved.  Mr. Quigley seconded this motion, which passed by unanimous vote.  Mr. Judd Douglas expressed his appreciation for the fantastic job that Dr. Continenza was doing.  He said that Dr. Continenza did a great job of keeping the group on task, but Mr. Douglas was unsure that ten hours would be sufficient to complete the group’s work.

Mr. Majeski brought up the issue of Community Days, suggesting that August 9th could be a good date for this event.  He expressed hope that businesses would want to provide financial assistance for this event, and he was looking for volunteers to help make this second Community Day as good as or better than last year’s event.  Mr. Majeski said he would ask Mrs. Nokes to draft a press release to generate publicity.

Mr. Majeski brought up the issue of the Auburn Road property across from the school, saying that the main reason for the township to consider its purchase would be to provide improved access to township property, allowing for installation of a driveway from the Road Department onto Auburn Road.  Dr. Patricia Craddock asked that the board consider re-zoning that property as Professional-Office; Mr. Majeski said that re-zoning would require going before the Zoning Commission to consider that step.

Mr. Quigley said that he felt it would create a traffic congestion issue for the school, and he said he had concerns as to the feasibility of putting a driveway where there is a septic leach field.  He also was concerned about the economic feasibility of taking on both more debt and additional maintenance costs for the building on the property.  Mr. Majeski felt that safety would be enhanced with the additional driveway access.  Mr. Quigley said that consideration of this property as a professional-office site would be a move toward making the township more business-friendly.  Mr. Majeski asked Dr. Craddock if the granting of an easement to the township should she purchase the property would be acceptable; Dr. Craddock indicated that this could be a definite possibility.  Mr. Majeski said that he would investigate this idea with the County Prosecutor’s office.

Mrs. Avalon said she thought the professional office plan was a good idea.  Mr. Douglas said that his concerns about Road Department drive access from working with the Land Use Committee was that the township might consider eventually moving the Road Department from its present location, since the current location might be more valuable used in a different way.

Lou Mucci from Burton Township addressed the trustees regarding two buried tanks on the Haueter property.  Mr. Majeski replied that he had found that while this might be an EPA issue, it was reported by Robert Weisdack that he was fairly certain that there was nothing in those tankers.   Mr. Fioritto said that he would call Mr. Skowronski with the EPA to see if there was any record of this situation.

In response to a question from Mrs. Avalon regarding who was responsible for cutting the soccer field, Mr. Majeski said that he had told Mr. Hollis to cut the field until the Recreation Board bought their own mower.  Mr. Quigley said that with a current $40,000 balance in the Rec Board bank account, they should be able to purchase the mower.  It was decided to continue the current practice of the Road Department cutting the soccer field with the understanding that the Rec Board would be purchasing a new mower in the near future.

In reply to a request that pending zoning changes and hearings be posted to the township website, it was agreed that these notices would be forwarded to Mr. Lair for his uploading to the website.

Ms. Angie Grysho addressed the trustees regarding arsenic levels.  She noted that in 2006 10 ppb will be the new standard for arsenic, and that those wells that test over that level will result in recommendation of treatment of affected water with Reverse Osmosis.

Mr. Lair briefly discussed the fixed asset program and the installation of the DSL connection and local area network connection for the police and road departments.

Mr. Majeski read a letter from the township to the Bureau of Workers Compensation in which the township concurs with the treatment required for Sonny Battaglia’s left knee.

Correspondence received since the last meeting was read by Mr. Majeski.  Mr. Quigley read a citation that he will present in honor of Newbury resident Richard Morris achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.

The trustees reviewed a proposal from Northstar Planning & Design to provide professional planning and meeting facilitation services to the Zoning Commission, at a cost of $500 per meeting.  It was decided that the proposal would be followed up on with further questions to Mr. Majewski of Northstar, and consideration of a process which would narrow down specific outcomes required from any outside planner’s effort, in order to get the most return on the township’s investment.

Mr. Fioritto provided a summary of Current Options for the Asphalt Plant Issue as *** Amended 6/4/2003 provided to received by him by Trustee Mucci of along with Burton Township residents at a special Burton Township meeting. ***

The following purchase orders were approved by signing prior to or at this meeting:
    P. O. #    Payee    Acct    Amount
    3647    QualChoice    01a06    $4,492.87
    3647    QualChoice    04a10    $4,825.68
    3648    CEDE&Co/DeposTrust    15a04b    $927.50
        Total:        $10,246.05
The following warrants were approved by signing prior to or at this meeting:
    Check #    Payee    Acct    Amount
    25426    Linda C.Nokes    01a02a    $712.09
    25427    Jack Lashley    01b01    $165.66
    25428    Jack Lashley    01d01    $641.65
    25429    Karen Endres    01j01    $488.07
    25430    Doug Zimperman    20a01b    $1,050.53
    25431    Geo.Mansfield    20a01b    $1,052.41
    25432    Jas.Rick Phifer    20a01b    $1,278.41
    25433    Randal Hollis    20a01b    $1,531.02
    25434    Randy O.Hollis    20a01b    $891.92
    25435    Tim Mansfield    20a01b    $1,036.80
    25436    ABCO Distr.    01a04    $153.16
    25437    Qual Choice Inc.    01a06    $4,492.87
    25437    Qual Choice Inc.    04a10    $4,825.68
    25438    Delta Dental    01a06    $321.90
    25438    Delta Dental    04a10    $240.52
    25439    Alltel    01b04    $244.76
    25439    Alltel    01k09    $160.05
    25439    Alltel    04a09    $33.11
    25440    East Ohio Gas    01b04    $64.59
    25441    News Herald    01a26    $17.85
    25441    News Herald    01j03    $64.05
    25442    Lawyers Title    01a26    $10.00
    25443    Haeuter Constr.    01d06    $98.07
    25444    Ill.Co.    01e01    $1,359.37
    25445    Newbury Pharm.    01g04     $71.16
    25446    CED    03a08    $32.26
    25447    David Lair    01g04     $49.99
    25447    David Lair    01j02    $109.00
    25448    Ohio Def.Comp.    01j01    $200.00
    25448    Ohio Def.Comp.    20a01b    $235.00
    25449    Chandler Tree    02c03    $750.00
    25450    CCPP Inds.    03a05    $33.39
    25451    Active Plumbing    03a08    $92.24
    25452    Liberty Fabric.    03a08    $584.68
    25453    Carter Lumber    03a08    $42.76
    25454    HiLite Maint.    05a05    $1,434.60
    25455    Flag Store    05a05    $2,256.00
    25456    CEDE & Co.    15a04b    $927.50
    25457    Scape-Abilities    20a08a    $400.00
    25458    David Lair    01b04    $105.00
    25459    Glen Quigley    01b04    $105.00
    25460    Wm. Majeski    01b04    $88.96
    25461    Karen Endres    01j03    $105.00
    25462    Doug Zimperman    04a09    $30.00
        Total:        $28,587.08

This meeting was adjourned at 11:22 p.m. with a motion by Mr. Majeski, seconded by Mr. Fioritto and passed with a unanimous affirmative vote.

____________________________  __________________________________     
  William Majeski – Chairman        Robert Fioritto– Vice Chairman       

____________________________  ___________________________________
 Glen Quigley                         David Lair – Township Clerk