Perry Township trustees work to improve operations
PERRY TWP. – Trustees took action Monday to make more improvements to township operations, including the purchase of a generator to keep emergency services up and running during a power outage.
Trustees voted to purchase a generator for the north station/administrative building for $11,750 from Colian Electric, with Trustee Chair Steve Bailey saying the generator will back up everything running for police and fire, including the furnace.
“I definitely think that we need it,” he said.
Fiscal Officer John Volio said they might be able to use CARES Act money related to the coronavirus for the purchase, but if they can’t, he said the township is doing fine and they’ll have the money to cover the cost, which can be split between the departments and township.
“We can’t be operating emergency services when there’s an emergency with no electric,” he said.
Trustees also agreed to the purchase and installation of new man doors at both the south and north stations with Stitle Construction doing the work. The cost will be $4,095 for three doors at the south station on Depot Road which are in need of replacing and $825 for a door at the north station that’s an issue. The cost will be split between the road department and fire department.
Bailey advised fellow trustees that a look at the phone and Internet bills revealed neither had been updated for many years and were costing the township $620 a month. By switching everything to Spectrum, the Internet will be 10 times faster and the phone will have free long distance, caller ID and other improved services, plus they can install a separate line for the fiscal officer’s office on the premises, all at a savings of $200 per month. The cost will be reduced to $420 per month.
Volio said there are a lot of vendors out there who have purchasing agreements with the state that could help the township save money in other ways, too.
Police Chief Mike Emigh reported receiving a $1,700 donation from a group of military veterans who get together every year for a reunion on the Slanker farm. He and the trustees offered their thanks to the group for thinking of the police department.
In other business, trustees appointed Glen Leininger to fill an unexpired term on the township zoning board and held a work session after the meeting to talk about zoning procedures, much like they had done with the police, fire and road departments.
Zoning Officer Allan Wolfgang reported during the trustees’ meeting that he issued 10 permits in July and six so far in August. He also updated trustees on a few zoning situations that may need their attention in the future.
He said a resident who’s operating a business on Beechwood in a residential area and was told to stop is still operating and even advertising. Trustee Don Rudibaugh asked what they need to do and Wolfgang said it’s up to the trustees but he supposed a nuisance notice would have to be sent. He also said the Ohio Revised Code allows for a fine set by trustees. Wolfgang repeated that the resident was told he can’t run a business there and he’s still doing it and advertising it.
“There has to be some incentive for him to change his ways,” Wolfgang said.
He also reported that the boat a resident claims is a planter remains in a front yard on Lake Avenue, but the resident has until the end of the month to do something.
He reported receiving two complaints about people running dog kennels in areas where they’re prohibited, with one on Jennings and one on Depot Road. A letter was sent to him anonymously and to the property owner on Jennings about the issue there. The woman called Wolfgang and he explained she can’t run a kennel business there and he also told her she can’t have a chicken coop unless the property is over 5 acres.
As for the Depot Road property, he reminded trustees that the property owner had inquired about wanting to install a dog kennel and was told it would not be permitted. A caller claimed the residents are keeping dogs for people and when Wolfgang googled dog boarding in the area, their name came up. He said they can’t run a kennel or have a business in the residential zone.
In other matters, Trustee Jim Armeni reported the chip and seal project was done. He also said the township crew used 50 tons of blacktop patch throughout the township where needed. He also said workers did a lot of work on the north building on Ellsworth and tore down an old shed.
Armeni commented about the change in how the township is being run, saying the residents should be pleased. Both Rudibaugh and Bailey agreed. Bailey said they won’t have as much to do next year with all they’re accomplishing this year.
Armeni also made some comments about the recent revelation concerning the loss in state Local Government Funds due to a clause that punishes an entire county if communities within the county have traffic cameras. He criticized comments made by Prosecutor Robert Herron during the recent Columbiana County Budget Commission meeting, saying he should have shown courtesy to state Rep. Tim Ginter, R-Salem, and called him regarding the situation, not come out with a personal political attack.
Armeni went on to say the township should reevaluate the backhoe situation when the township ended up paying the storage fees for a stolen backhoe that had been towed, saying they may have had some legal options.
He said the LGF situation will probably get fixed now that the legislators realize what happened.
The next meeting will be 4 p.m. Aug. 24 at the administration building on North Ellsworth Avenue.