The Suffield Township Board of Trustees met twice on Tuesday July 10th. First they met and considered a preliminary 2019 budget presented by the Fiscal Officer Lori L. Calcei. This budget forecasts receiving approximately $2,391,586 in revenues and projected spending of $2,128,646. The budget needed to be approved by the trustees so that the Fiscal Officer could present it to the County Budget Commission by July 20th. For the first time in several years, the township appears to be in good financial order. Trustee Chairman Tom Calcei said that the township can finally look to getting some much needed infrastructure, such as a new roof on the Road Department building, a much needed salt barn, and a new electronic sign in front of the Town Hall that has been discussed and pushed forward for the past several years. It should be noted that at least three local service organizations have pledged money toward this sign project.
After the budget hearing was adjourned, the trustees opened again. Trustee Jeff Eldreth said that the township had advertised in the Record-Courier and, of course, on the township website for a new "seasonal" worker. As a result, Eldreth asked that the trustees hire Jeff Brown to fill the position. As a part time employee, he will be able to work up 1,500 hours per year. Eldreth noted that the Field School System is in desperate need of school bus drivers and that Brown hopes to work as a driver and a township road worker. Brown is currently retired, is experienced in road work, has a CDL and has all the necessary training needed to perform duties as needed in Suffield. Brown will start on Monday July 16.
Fire Chief Bob Rasnick was on hand to give his report on the Fire Department. June was a busy month with 72 calls for service. There were five staff continuing education classes. Rasnick said that he had applied for a grant of $17,250 from the Georgia-Pacific Company to finish replacement of firefighter's "turnout gear". He feels the chances are good for getting the grant. He also mentioned that the Fire Department's Explorers had a car wash this past weekend and they raised about $500. They are hoping to raise about $2,000 so that the entire group and its advisers can attend a conference next April in Indianapolis. Trustee Jeff Eldreth felt this was a worthy project and asked Rasnick to keep the trustees posted on fundraising goals.
Trustee Jared Phillip said that the new signage for the township municipal campus is currently being assembled and should be installed by August 1st. Tom Calcei talked about the township cemeteries. After some discussion, the trustees passed a resolution formally closing all three township cemeteries to any further burials. The resolution included verbiage pointing out that there have been no burials in the past fifty years, and that records and plot maps are missing.
The issue of mowing made another appearance at the trustee's meeting. However, on this occasion the trustees adopted a new policy regarding how the township looks at mowing and what the township is willing to do about it. Tom Calcei has long stated that he doesn't want the township to be in the mowing business. In the past, after a complaint of excessively long grass was received, the township would mail out a letter warning the property owner to keep their property in compliance with Ohio Revised Code section 505.87. The letter also informed the property owner that if they failed to come into compliance after ten days, the township would have the property mowed and add the expenses to the property's tax duplicate. Calcei said that county prosecutor Chris Meduri had pointed out that the township could not charge more than the normal reasonable fee for such work. Calcei said that the township does not have the manpower or resources to be in the mowing business.
The trustees learned that former trustee David Vartenuk incurred some medical expenses before his leaving office. They voted to reimburse Vartenuk $2,085.52. Resident Sally Knepp spoke to the trustees about massage parlors. She hoped the trustees would help in the adoption of rules for operating such facilities in the township. Tom Calcei asked Zoning Commission Chairman John C. Yeargin to have the commission consider this.
Adam Bey said that the "Big Red Community Foundation" is going to publish a Field community calendar for 2019. Input for the calendar, such as meetings, birthdays and other events, plus advertising is currently being sought and accepted. The calendars are on pre-sale for $16.00. To learn more, click here for a link to the "Big Red Community Foundation". It has been approximately ten years since such a calendar was published.
The Trustees next meet on Tuesday July 24th at 7:00 AM. The Zoning Commission meets Wednesday July 11th at 7:00 PM, and the Board of Zoning Appeals has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday July 17th at 8:00 PM. All meetings are in the Suffield Community Room at 1256 Waterloo Road. The St. Joseph Parish Festival is this weekend, July 13th, 14th & 15th. The Suffield Music Festival is also rapidly approaching. It will be held at Wingfoot Lake State Park on August 10th & 11th.