Trustees cut own insurance

GREENFORD – Returning from a 17-minute executive session at Tuesday’s meeting, Green Township trustees voted unanimously to eliminate their own health insurance coverage.

The resolution said health insurance will be eliminated for “elected officials” effective Jan. 1, 2014, a move that Fiscal Officer Randy Chismar said will save between $40,000 and $50,000 a year.

Trustee Dave Slagle said with cuts in local government funds (LGF), personal property taxes and estate taxes, the township is losing about a quarter million dollars every year, coupled with money it received from the closed dump site on state Route 165.

Slagle said the township used to collect $180,000 a year from that.

As far as the $52,000 a year in LGF money the township used to receive, that has been carved down to the point Chismar said, “I don’t even budget for it.”

Plus the township was hit with a 22 percent increase in health insurance premiums in 2012 and a 17 percent increase in 2011.

“The premiums are going through the roof,” Slagle said, adding, “our benefits cost more than we’re getting paid.”

In other business, Trustee Chairman Mark Stepuk said he spoke to Chesapeake Energy about raising the guardrail on Egypt Road as part of the road use maintenance agreement (RUMA) the township signed with the company, and was assured it will be “fixed.”

He said Chesapeake advised him it was getting ready to frack the Mangus well soon.

Goshen Township police Corporal Karl Balasz advised trustees that there several burglaries in the Western Reserve Road and Lisbon Road areas, noting police obtained line-up photos for people who have been identified.

He expected information from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

“It looks like we’ll have warrants coming up,” he said.

Fire Chief Todd Baird said he met with the architect regarding the fire station addition and made changes in the windows in the windows and doors.

“We wanted more sunlight,” he said, adding the current fire chief’s office will be converted to a women’s restroom.

Baird said he thought they would have enough office space.

Slagle asked about a shower and ventilation Baird said the architect hasn’t said a thing about either one.

Baird noted the annual income is down $14,000 so two days of staffing were eliminated.

Baird asked trustees what they wanted to do about the excess fire equipment.

“We need to decide what to do,” he said, adding the Mahoning County Career Center would like to have 500 feet of 2.5-inch hose and 400 feet of 1.5-inch hose for training purposes.

Trustees voted to donate it with a written provision advising the school the hose specifications are outdated.

Trustee George Toy said, “I’d just as soon see Mahoning County schools benefit from that.”

Baird said there are light bars, radios, tires, wheels, a cot and hose they want to get rid of and Toy suggested taking it to the Rogers Sale if it was OK with the fire department.

Baird said it was but it would probably take a few trailer loads.

“My guys just want paid for mileage,” Baird said.

Trustees discussed advertising the excess township equipment will be for sale in Rogers, and passed a resolution approving it.

Also, Baird said the fire department will attend a safety day in Washingtonville that coincides with the village picnic in the park.

He said the Leetonia Fire Department plans on bringing two junk cars to demonstrate how fire personnel cut them apart at accident scenes.

Also, Recycling Coordinator Janet Schaffer asked about the oil collection area at the recycling site.

“People are not dumping it into the big tank,” she said, “they just leave the jugs there, they’re not emptying them out.”

She asked if trustees wanted to continue the program and Toy said, “We need to do something … the problem is people have been doing it for so long … they’re used to doing it.”

No action was taken and Toy said he would speak to Ed Schaefer who usually removes the oil.

Also, the Halloween party was set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Space Center and Trick or Treat was set for Oct. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m.