Goshen trustees vote to place gas aggregation on ballot

GOSHEN TWP.- Residents will decide whether to join a natural gas aggregate on the November ballot.

Township trustees Monday night agreed to place before voters the issue of joining an aggregate that will pave the way to join the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC), a non-profit group that 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.

Residents will save money on the supply portion of their bills and be able to opt out or in at anytime at no cost.

Sean Logan, speaking on behalf of NOPEC, told trustees that the group will reimburse the township the cost to place the issue on the ballot. He also said that the county townships that approve the issue will be able to join together to place a representative on the NOPEC board.

In other business, a state Route 165 farmer voiced concerns about a recent string of vehicle thefts at the property.

Police Cpl. John Calko assured the resident that the thefts are being taken seriously and that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation has been called in to help collect evidence.

Calko noted that vehicle thefts are difficult to investigate since the vehicles basically have to be found or the culprit confess. He added that the department has narrowed its search and identified a person of interest.

The farmer said that seven vehicles have been stolen from the property located less than half a mile from the police department, including one for which the culprit had to enter the house to get the keys.

Calko said that the vehicle thefts are concentrated on the farm in question, with no other vehicle thefts in the department’s jurisdiction during the same time frame.

Also at the meeting the trustees authorized Roads Foreman Jim Stryffeler to purchase materials to repair Diagonal Road, damaged less than 24 hours after being chip and sealed between Middletown and Duck Creek roads.

Styffeler estimated that by using township equipment and manpower to repair the roadway, the cost will be between $800 and $1,000. The trustees agreed to discuss the payment with the motorist who damaged the road.

The chip and seal was completed last week, according to Stryffeler, and resurfacing the road over the past two years, including drainage and patching, has cost the township approximately $114,000.

The trustees also accepted a bid of $21,150 from Brian Horst for the old road department truck and approved on the recommendation of the prosecutor’s office an amendment to the wording, but not the fees, of a resolution establishing a video provider’s fee.

Additionally Trustee Todd Beeson spoke regarding the proposed Mahoning County sales tax, the renewal of which voters rejected in May. He said that according to information he gathered, money generated by the tax will go to the sheriff’s office, freeing up other funds currently being used for that purpose. He also noted that although residents are upset about the condition of roadways, the sales tax will not affect the engineer’s office, which maintains the roadways and is funded through other fees and taxes.

The next regular trustees meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 11 at the administration building.