Perry trustees to let voters decide on gas plan

PERRY TWP. – Trustees said they’ll leave the question of whether to seek gas aggregation up to the residents.

Public meetings to discuss the issue are scheduled at 6 p.m. June 23 and July 14, then the trustees will have to vote on whether to place the issue on the November ballot based on what they learn from residents at the meetings.

Trustee Chairman Cliff Mix had been approached about gas aggregation and provided packets of information to fellow trustees at the last meeting. With aggregation, everybody in the township would be pooled together so gas suppliers could buy cheaper and customers would see a discount on their bills based on the gas being purchased cheaper, Mix explained.

In order to get aggregation, two public meetings are required before placing the issue before voters.

“I think we ought to let the people decide,” Trustee Don Rudibaugh said, with Trustee Don Kendrick agreeing.

Rudibaugh asked when the savings would start showing up on people’s bills. Mix said it was his understanding that the savings won’t come until the second year in aggregation.

In other business, Mix reminded township residents about a joint venture with the city of Salem for a large item drop-off event from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The event is funded through CCH Environmental, formerly known as the Carroll Columbiana Harrison Solid Waste District, but is restricted to just city and Perry Township residents.

Two 40-yard dumpsters are being provided by CCH. The only cost to the city and the township will be labor to man the event. Large items, such as large appliances, furniture and scrap metal, will be accepted, but no electronics will be accepted. That means no televisions or computers or other electronics.

City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst said previously that large appliances, including those with freon, such as refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners, can be dropped off. He also said Monday that once the two dumpsters are filled, they’ll have to shut down.

City Councilman Clyde Brown, who is council’s liaison with the township, attended the trustee meeting, noting that he’s always thought of the city and township as one unit. He said the two need to work together if they’re going to have economic development and urged them to talk with Mayor John Berlin. He noted that the safety forces for the two entities already work well together.

Salem residents Scott and Lisa Cahill, part of Save Downtown Salem and a proposal to revitalize the downtown, introduced themselves, but said they were just there to listen.

Kendrick said there were 15 zoning permits issued so far this year, with two in the month of May. He reminded residents to secure a permit for any type of construction.

Fiscal Officer Susan Johnston announced the Board of Zoning Appeals will meet at 5:30 p.m. May 28 regarding an appeal filed by a neighbor regarding a permit issued for a garage on Newgarden Avenue in the township.

No meeting will be held on May 26, which is Memorial Day, so the next trustee meeting will be 6:30 p.m. June 9.