Township trustees considering joining natural gas aggregate

GOSHEN TOWNSHIP- Township trustees will consider joining a natural gas aggregate that will save residents money on the supply portion of their bills.

Sean Logan, speaking on behalf of the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), told trustees that the non-profit group has a six-year cooperative purchasing agreement with NextEra Energy Resources to supply natural gas to customers using 500 cubic feet per year. The company is projecting 75 percent of the supply to be from local Utica gas by the end of the six years, he said.

Participation in the aggregation would have to be approved by voters, similar to the electric aggregate approved a few years ago. Residents will be able to opt out or in at anytime at no cost, Logan said.

Aug. 6 is the deadline for filing issues for the November ballot.

In other business, the trustees approved reappropriations to the township budget due to a shortage in funds in line items including natural gas, life insurance for road department employees and tax processing, according to Fiscal Officer Tom Knoedler. He said that the budget will need re-examined after the second tax collection this year due to other line items running short, also, including the road department and parks.

Also at the meeting, the trustees promoted Nicholas Brent from corporal to lieutenant effective June 15. He will remain the school resource officer at this time. The trustees also hired Ryan Miller as a part-time officer and accepted the resignation of reserve officer Dylan Schaeffer.

Police Chief Steve McDaniel warned residents to make sure they lock their vehicle doors due to recent break ins. He said the drug epidemic in the area has resulted in an increase in vehicle break ins in which the culprits are looking for unlocked doors. Anyone who sees something suspicious should contact the police department, he said.

Trustee Todd Beeson suggested seeking grant funding through the department of agriculture for rural development before investing money in renovating the roof at the administration building. He said that buildings used for administration purposes are a priority for the grants, noting that the administration building also houses the police department and Mahoning County health board programs. The trustees also said the building could be used as an emergency shelter in the future.

The trustees said that some drainage work has alleviated the problem enough to allow them to search for alternative funding for the project.

Additionally Trustee Chair Bob McCracken reported that the two bidders for sections at Ponderosa Park have come to an agreement with the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office and that the transfer of the second section should be complete by the end of the month. The third section, consisting of several smaller parcels, is still three years away from changing hands.

McCracken also reported that the auction of playground equipment at the administration building generated $478 and that the township did not receive any funds through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program for a catch basin replacement project in Damascus this summer.

The next regular trustees meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 14 at the administration building.