Trustees meeting minutes 7-6-2011

The regular meeting of the Board of Township Trustees, Newbury Township was called to order at 7:30 p.m., July 6, 2011, Mr. Snively and Mr. Skomrock present.

The first item on tonight's agenda was recognition of Mr. Tony Weston, who donated his time and materials to fix the slate roof on the Newbury Center Cemetery mausoleum. Mr. Weston was presented with several township shirts in recognition of his work.

The next item on tonight's agenda was to hear resident concerns regarding the proposed transition of the section of Munn Road north of Bell St. to Route 87 from the township to the responsibility of the Geauga County Engineer. Mr. Snively gave a brief overview of the process to date, and said that input was invited from those in attendance. He provided information regarding the County Engineer's rationale in suggesting this change. Mr. Snively expressed his view that the trustees need to review all factors, including financial, safety, and citizen input, prior to making a decision. He said his primary goal at this meeting was to listen to residents’ ideas.

A number of residents expressed concerns about speed along Munn Rd., as well as issues with the volume of truck traffic on that road. Mr. Skomrock said that the trustees would support restriction of truck traffic if it was possible. Mr. Skomrock recited some issues relating to safety that are caused by factors in road design, and stated his opinion that the changes that would be made in Munn Rd. if the county were to assume responsibility for the road would make the road safer. In response to requests from residents for patrols to deter those exceeding the speed limit, Mr. Skomrock said that the Sheriff's Department and the Ohio State Patrol will come out on request, and Mr. Snively said that he will contact the Sheriff tomorrow to ask for them to review the situation on Munn. He also said that the trustees had committed when the police department was disbanded to contracting with the Sheriff’s Department for additional dedicated coverage if it was ever considered necessary. He said however that the statistics show that the number of citations has increased in the township since the police department has been disbanded and the Sheriff's Department took over traffic enforcement.

Mr. Snively stated that in any event, the road will need to be repaved; the question is whether the township would continue to pay for the repaving or whether this cost would be shifted to the responsibility of the County Engineer. It was estimated that for the township to repave its section of Munn Rd. under current standards, the cost would be around $500,000. Questions were asked regarding what the upgrade to county standards would mean, and it was acknowledged that the county would upgrade the road as necessary to meet standards for federal funding, including widening of road shoulders. Residents in attendance generally agreed on an assumption that such an upgrade would encourage higher traffic counts and a higher average speed on this road. It was noted that County Engineer Phillips has stated that he had data on other roads that have been similarly upgraded that shows no significant increase in either traffic count or speed following the upgrade. The trustees agreed that the next step to take in this process would be to meet with the County Engineer and personally view the section of road in question, to more accurately determine what would be affected in terms of roadside trees and adjacent properties should the county assume responsibility for the road and undertake an upgrade involving wider shoulders and greater overall road width. The trustees said that a decision on whether to agree with the County Engineer’s request to assume control of the section of Munn in question would be made after a review of all factors involved.

At 8:37 p.m., the trustees conducted the 2012 Tax Budget Hearing for Newbury Township. Waiving of the reading of the legal notice for this hearing was approved upon a motion by Mr. Skomrock, a second by Mr. Snively, and a unanimous affirmative vote.
Mr. Lair reviewed the Tax Budget form with the trustees, noting that the budget was created using conservative principles, assuming worst-case scenario for revenue receipts and expenditures. It was pointed out that because of significant cuts in state funding, the General Fund will see recurring revenues decline approximately 30% over the next two years, so steps have to be taken to conserve resources in this fund. It was noted that the Estate Tax collections to date for this year were not included in the budget, as these resources have not been officially certified by the Budget Commission; they will comprise part of the year-end unencumbered balance that will be certified in January to enable 2012 Permanent Appropriations to be made. It was also noted that it appears that legislation to phase out the collection of state estate tax has considerable support in the state legislature, which will add to the pressure to be felt on the township General Fund in the very near future. The 2012 Tax Budget Hearing was closed at 8:51 p.m. Mr. Skomrock moved that the 2012 Tax Budget be adopted as presented by the Fiscal Officer; Mr. Snively seconded this motion, which passed by unanimous vote.

Minutes of the meeting of June 15, 2011 were approved upon a motion by Mr. Skomrock, a second by Mr. Snively, and a unanimous affirmative vote.

Road activity reported by Mr. Hollis included a report that Clean-up Day was a big success. The Senior Clean-up Day, held over two days was a success as well. Berm repair and asphalt patching was performed on various roads. Other activity reported by Mr. Hollis included roadside mowing, truck repairs, and installation of new reflective signs.

Zoning activity reported by Ms. Endres included an ongoing safety issue involving two burnt out homes, the Holmes house on Route 44 and the Levert house on Arbor Trail Drive. It was suggested by Ms. Endres that the trustees consider demolition of these properties at township expense, with the costs to be added to the owners' tax duplicate. The trustees asked Ms. Endres to look into the estimated costs for this work, and to start by sending a letter to the property owners stating that demolition by the township may follow if action is not taken.

Ms. Endres reported the offering of an OTA zoning seminar which specializes in township zoning law, to be held in Canton, at a cost of $65 per person; currently four individuals have expressed interest in attending. Ms. Endres also said that she is working with the Burton Postmaster, who has managerial control over the mailbox currently located at the Speedway gas station, and she has suggested that relocation of that mail box to the Panzica development would be desirable in terms of relieving traffic congestion occurring at the Speedway gas station.

Chief Zimperman reported 43 fire department calls for June, including 1 fire at an unoccupied house that originated in the kitchen, apparently due to an electrical heater. He also noted that they are looking to replace the current heavy rescue and a current pumper truck with one vehicle that will handle both duties.

Mr. Mezak brought up several issues regarding Parks. He said that a question was asked by Park Board members regarding if a group could compel the trustees to put a park levy issue on the ballot. Mr. Snively said he would look into this question. Mr. Mezak presented a plaque to Mr. Snively in recognition of his efforts in assisting in the construction of the picnic tables

The month-end Cemetery report was presented by Ms. Wishart. Mr. Lair reported that the June 2011 month-end close and bank reconciliation had been completed, and provided summary financial results for the month. At the request of the Fiscal Officer, Mr. Skomrock moved that the board adopt Resolution 201107061, a transfer of $1650 from 1000-190-599-0000, General-Other, to 1000-1110-230-0000, General, Workers' Compensation. Mr. Snively seconded this motion, which passed by unanimous vote. At the request of the Fiscal Officer, Mr. Skomrock moved that the board adopt Resolution 2011070602, a transfer of $2500 from 2031-330-360-0000, Road and Bridge, Contracted Services, to 2031-330-380-0000, Road and Bridge, Insurance and Bonding. Mr. Snively seconded this motion, which passed by unanimous vote.

Mr. Skomrock moved that Mr. Lair be authorized to execute on behalf of the township the Intergovernmental Contract for the Administration of the Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority, required for continued membership in the township's OTARMA property/casualty/liability insurance program, with a renewal amount of $15,211. Mr. Snively seconded this motion, which passed by unanimous vote.

Blanket Certificates approved by signing prior to or at this meeting:
B.C. # Date Payee Amount
73-2011 6/17/2011 Various Vendors $ 35,000.00
Purchase Orders approved by signing prior to or at this meeting:
P.O. # Date Payee Amount
10-2011 6/17/2011 Newbury Volunteer Fire Department $ 17,500.00
10-2011 6/17/2011 Newbury Volunteer Fire Department $ 57,500.00
11-2011 6/17/2011 Frank Gates Service Co. $ 2,050.00
12-2011 7/2/2011 OTARMA $ 4,344.00
12-2011 7/2/2011 OTARMA $ 9,470.65
12-2011 7/2/2011 OTARMA $ 1,396.35
Total: $ 92,261.00
Warrants approved by signing prior to or at this meeting:
Check # Date Payee Amount
27565 7/6/2011 Geauga County Township Association $ 60.00
27566 7/6/2011 Chagrin Oil & Gas Co. Inc. $ 497.32
27567 7/6/2011 All-Ways Flasher Service Inc. $ 92.06
27568 7/6/2011 ComDoc Inc. $ 650.13
27569 7/6/2011 ScapeAbilities (John Suvak) $ 1,830.00
27570 7/6/2011 Newbury Volunteer Fire Department $ 75,000.00
27571 7/6/2011 Patsy Keyes $ 775.00
27572 7/6/2011 Free Enterprises Inc. $ 763.39
27573 7/6/2011 OHIO CAT 2 $ 566.20
27574 7/6/2011 Radiator Werks $ 1,868.00
27575 7/6/2011 Cleveland Plumbing Supply Co. $ 578.75
27576 7/6/2011 Geauga County Maple Leaf $ 79.95
27577 7/6/2011 United Healthcare Insurance Co. $ 11,740.46
27578 7/6/2011 Delta Dental $ 674.31
27579 7/6/2011 Reliance Standard Life Insurance $ 559.18
27580 7/6/2011 Loftworks $ 165.00
27581 7/6/2011 PNC Bank $ 93.18
27582 7/6/2011 Windstream $ 299.02
27583 7/6/2011 M.T. Business Technologies $ 44.56
27584 7/6/2011 Speedway SuperAmerica $ 669.60
27585 7/6/2011 Kimball-Midwest Inc. $ 531.30
27586 7/6/2011 Dominion East Ohio Gas $ 175.73
27587 7/6/2011 Geauga Concrete Inc. $ 935.00
27588 7/6/2011 J & J Seamless Gutters $ 225.00
27589 7/6/2011 FASTENAL CO. $ 8.64
27590 7/6/2011 Jan Blair $ 210.00
27591 7/6/2011 Frank Gates Service Co. $ 2,050.00
27592 7/6/2011 Active Plumbing Supply Co. $ 19.30
27593 7/6/2011 Ann Wishart $ 30.60
27594 7/6/2011 Kokosing Materials $ 2,312.90
27595 7/6/2011 Tractor Supply Co. $ 141.79
27596 7/2/2011 David J. Lair - DL $ 1,376.58
27597 7/2/2011 John H. Mansfield - JM $ 857.93
27598 7/2/2011 Jas. Rick Phifer - JP $ 1,328.24
27599 7/2/2011 Marge Hrabak - MHR $ 227.34
27600 7/2/2011 Randal R. Hollis - RH $ 1,558.58
27601 7/2/2011 Randal O. Hollis - ROH $ 1,122.82
27602 7/2/2011 Timothy A. Mansfield - TM $ 1,214.30
27603 7/2/2011 William J. Skomrock, Jr. - WS $ 663.80
27604 7/2/2011 Treasurer of State $ 943.11
27605 7/2/2011 Ohio Public Employees Deferred Comp. Pro $ 1,460.00
27606 7/2/2011 Ohio Public Employees Retirement System $ 8,372.01
27607 7/6/2011 OTARMA $ 15,211.00
Total: $ 137,982.08
EFT transactions processed prior to or at this meeting:
Trans# Date Payee Amount
E00535 7/2/2011 Ann A. Wishart $ 576.96
E00536 7/2/2011 David A. Snively $ 712.32
E00537 7/2/2011 Douglas J. Zimperman $ 1,199.56
E00538 7/2/2011 George Mansfield $ 1,196.85
E00539 7/2/2011 Janice M. Blair $ 748.80
E00540 7/2/2011 Karen E. Endres $ 304.51
E00541 7/2/2011 Marcia J. Mansfield $ 32.36
W00054 7/2/2011 Middlefield Bank $ 3,832.11
Total: $ 8,603.47

Mr. Snively brought up the issue raised by a couple of residents as to why the township does not participate in G-TV. It was recognized as it had been in the past that only a relatively low percentage of township residents could receive this public access channel, and it was felt by the trustees that the expense to the township of turning over cable franchise fees to pay G-TV for this service did not justify the benefit to a minority of Newbury residents. Mr. Snively reported on the recent construction of a playground at the GMHA development, a joint project of United Way and other community partners.

Mr. Skomrock provided the June Sheriff's report, which included a total of 195 incidents, 51 of which were traffic stops.

This meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m., upon a motion by Mr. Skomrock, a second by Mr. Snively, and a unanimous affirmative vote.