MADISON TOWNSHIP – Trustee Ken Gauntner’s efforts to get something going to remedy the problem of the nearby abandoned gas station have been thwarted again, he reported at the March 28 Board of Trustees meeting.
He completed an Ohio EPA Brownfield Grant, but it still needed the Lake County auditor’s signature since they have not been able to locate a property owner.
“The EPA would actually go in and do phase 1, phase 2 assessments of the abandoned gas station at Hubbard and Chapel roads which we’ve been trying to get something done with for years now,” he said.
The property went up for sheriff’s sale last year, but no one bid on it because of the underground gas tanks on the property, which would need to be removed.
Gauntner has spoken with John Rogers, the director of the Lake County Land Reutilization Corporation (Land Bank) about the property. He is interested in the property, but only if the EPA handles the phase 1 and 2 assessments. Those need to be done so the Land Bank would know just what it was dealing with.
Unfortunately, Lake County Prosecutor Charles Coulson will not allow Lake County Auditor Ed Zupancic to sign the needed document because he fears the county would be held responsible for cleaning up the property.
“I’m supposed to be getting a letter from Mr. Zupancic, drafted by Mr. Coulson, on what he thinks we should do,” Gauntner said.
His understanding is they need to put the property in the state’s name so the county cannot be held responsible for cleanup costs. However, the property is supposed to go up for sheriff’s sale one or two more times.
Solicitor Gary Pasqualone stated he thinks the process might be further complicated because the property might need to go through the foreclosure process again.
They will know more when they receive the letter from Zupancic.
“It’s extremely frustrating because people think we aren’t doing anything and I’ve been working on this since 2014 when I took office, and three years later we are no farther ahead than we were in 2014,” Gauntner said.
The property has been abandoned since 2003, but they will keep trying, he said.
In other business:
• Trustees passed the following resolutions:
To promote Patrolman Jason R. Clark to the full-time position of sergeant;
To promote Sgt. Elizabeth A. Rousch to the full-time position of lieutenant;
Addressing the compensation and benefits to Lt. Elizabeth Rousch;
Accepting the resignation of Thomas R. Dillon Jr. as a full-time patrolman; and
Accepting the resignation of Kimberly Perkins as a part-time dispatcher.
Clark and Rousch were sworn in to their new positions.
• Trustees passed a resolution declaring April 2017 as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
• Police Chief Matt Byers stated he had received the 2016 annual report from Painesville Municipal Court.
“In 2016, MTPD processed 100 felony cases, 687 misdemeanor cases, and 843 traffic cases through Painesville Municipal Court,” he said.
There were 23 fewer felony cases than in 2015; 69 fewer traffic cases and 245 more misdemeanor cases. The misdemeanor cases were all actual criminal offenses, not traffic-related.
The total criminal cases went from 1,477 to 1,630 in 2016.
“Our agency again compared very favorably to the two larger departments using the court,” Byers said. “Our ‘per officer’ arrest numbers are again the highest in the court.
“So, saying that each one of our officers, on average, handled more criminal cases than any other officer using Painesville Municipal Court is certainly saying something. I’m very proud of our officers and what they continue to accomplish with less.”
It was noted the figures do not include youthful offenders, only adults.
• Trustees passed a resolution accepting funds from OTARMA for participation in the 2017 More Grant Program towards the purchase of a fireproof cabinet in the amount of $500.
• A motion was passed to approve the transfer of Ptl. Michael Miller’s accrued sick time from the Geneva Police Department to Madison Township Police Department in accordance with Ohio law.
• Fiscal Officer Terry Gerred Ditchcreek reported that part of the real estate taxes they received was almost $1,000 to reimburse cleanup costs the Township paid for previously.
• The trustees passed a resolution to accept costs, as quoted from sealed bids, for various road materials for use by the Madison Township Service Department for 2017.
• A resolution was passed to enter into an agreement to purchase a new KM International 4-ton asphalt hotbox/reclaimer in partnership with Madison Village. The Township is paying $27,950 and the Village is paying $15,000. The cost was divided by expected usage since the Township has more road miles.
• A resolution affirmatively furthering fair housing and declaring April 2017 as Fair Housing Month was passed.
• The trustees adjourned to executive session to discuss pending litigation, personnel BWC compensation and to consider administrative staff appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotions, demotions, or compensation of a public employee.
• The next regular meeting will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 11. It will be preceded by a workshop at 9:30 a.m.
PHOTO COURTESY OF MADISON TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT
Madison Township Police Ptl. Jason Clark, promoted to sergeant, (left) and Sgt. Elizabeth Kirk, promoted to lieutenant, are joined by Police Chief Matt Byers after being sworn in for their new ranks at the March 28 Madison Township Board of Trustees meeting.