Trustee Meeting – February 13, 2023
The Board of Deerfield Township Trustees met in regular session on Monday, February 13, 2023 at 6:00pm, with Trustees Ed Dean, Mark Bann and Tiffany Havens present. Chairman Dean opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. Mark moved to dispense with the reading of the minutes from the organizational meeting held January 9, 2023 and approve them as written. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous. Tiffany moved to dispense with the reading of the minutes from the special meeting held January 15, 2023 and approve them as written. Ed second- ed the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Mark moved to approve the January financials as presented. Tiffany seconded the mo- tion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Portage County Health District sent a save the date for the Portage County District Advisory Council Meeting coming up on March 22, 2023 at the Ravenna Elks where a new health board member will be elected to replace Bob Howard.
Fire Department: Chief Vaughn Sutcliffe provided a verbal report for the fire department on activity since the last meeting. The fire department is up to approximately 51 runs for the year, with 43 ran since the last meeting, which includes 26 EMS calls, 2 fires, 5 motor vehicle accidents, 6 mutual aids, 1 public assist, 1 road hazard, 1 CO alarm and 1 smoke fire investigation.
Unit #1411, the ambulance is waiting on a new engine.
Chief Vaughn Sutcliffe stated he received an estimate on the tanker from Fire Vac at a cost of $3,000 to replace the sticking valves, but the repairs would have to be done in Apple Creek.
For building maintenance, Vaughn and some members have been working on a design for an addition to the back station that will house a meeting room, Chief’s office, bunk rooms and restrooms. They have come up with a cost effective plan design & a good time to move forward since we have a plan in place for the septic and no current outstanding loans. The current building has been paid in full. Vaughn has made a call to the Ohio Fire Marshalls to inquire about financing. Applications open in the Spring.
Mitchell Graf would like to attend a Paramedic Class at UH at a cost of $6,500. He asked that we would pay 1/3 or approximately $2,166.67 since he works for two other departments (Berlin & Palmyra) that are willing to pay the other 2/3. Vaughn recommends that we move forward and pay for this course since Mitch is a top responder and works at least two (2) shifts weekly.
Vaughn is currently working on a policy for training over and above the required training to require employees to work off the money by duty shifts and/or volunteer responses. Mitchell Graf is willing to sign the policy once in place. Ed made a motion to pay for Mitchell Graf to attend this course at a cost of $2,166.67 at UH. Mark seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Chief Vaughn Sutcliffe and Assistant Chiefs Scott Simmons and Nick Lam have been working on cutting unnecessary expenses out of the budget and going over all the finances of the department. They are working closer with the cost recovery corp to get motor vehicle accident bills paid quicker. Currently, the Department has an outstanding balance of approximately $4,000 due to them.
The SCBA training has begun and the breathing apparatus will be put into service by March 1, 2023 once more training has been completed and masks assigned.
The Deerfield Fire Department has been awarded the Ohio Division of Forestry Grant at a cost of $10,000 to purchase a utv with firefighting equipment including a pump and tank for grass fires. The total cost of the UTV is $21,384. The department is currently using a 4 wheeler that is over 25 years old. Mark made a motion to accept the grant in the amount of $10,000 & pay the balance of $11,834. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
The SCBA filling station has not been serviced for two (2) years. Vaughn would like to get scheduled this March at a cost of $895.60 through Breathing Air Systems. Mark made a motion to pay Breathing Air Systems $895.60 to maintenance. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Ed made a motion to purchase an adaptor for our new SCBA tanks to match our old breathing fill station at a cost of approximately $525. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
A Boaters Safety Class will be at the Deerfield Fire Station on March 11, 2023 from 9:00am to 5:00pm presented by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Lunch will be provided. Any individual born after 1982 is required to take this course if operating a water vehicle. The course is designed for kids 12 years and older. Anyone interested should call 330-584-2515 to register. The max will be approximately 25 people.
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny will be held at the Deerfield Town Hall on Saturday, March 25, 2023 starting at 8am. Basket raffles will take place. The proceeds will go towards the jaws of life purchase.
Scott Simmons interviewed Essence Hall and submitted an application to become a member for the Deerfield Fire Department. She is a resident of Alliance, enrolled in Fire Fighter school and currently works for a private ambulance company. Vaughn made a recommendation to accept her application on a probationary basis. She made the commitment to be available for a minimum of two shifts per month. Ed made a motion to accept Essence Hall application for a probationary period of one (1) year. Mark seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Ed indicated he felt that they needed to focus on hiring a new part time chief first, prior to moving forward on plans for a new building to include the individual hired. The Trustees intend to advertise for this position in the newspaper, the local hospitals and local social networking sites. The Trustees put together an employment ad with essential job functions and basic job requirements. This position will be part time. Ed made a motion to post in the newspaper there will be a packet available by email or pick-up and to accept applications through March 4, 2023 at 5:00pm. Mark seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous. The Trustees agreed to hold a special meeting on March 8, 2023 at 5:00pm to conduct interviews.
Road Department: The Road Department has not had a lot of snow or ice removal this year. They have been working on additional road repairs and down to seven (7) tons of cold patch.
There is an 18” culvert separating on Wagner Road 800’ west of Bandy Road.
Signs purchased through the grant have been getting installed as they have time to put in. All signs will be removed per the agreement and replaced. There will be additional signs in places signs were not in previously.
The inside tank of the roller was rotted and repaired.
Road patch is at $150/ton & approximately 15 loads will be needed.
The Road Department has gotten quotes for gravel for the cemeteries. Approximately 200# of white limestone will be needed and could cost up to $6,000.
Buildings & Grounds:
A motor vehicle accident on February 2, 2023 at the Deerfield Circle took out the 1812 Revolutionary War Plaque. Quotes are in process to redo the electrical and ground work repairs. The monument company indicated this monument is not repairable. OTARMA will pay once estimates are received to replace this monument and will then go after the motor vehicle owner insurance company. Ohio Edison needs the claim number in order to replace the light head.
Ed spoke to Todd Pietz with Portage County Regional Planning about what the process was to get the Deerfield Township Old Town Hall listed on the national or state historic registry. By having this listed, more grant opportunities will be available to us.
Ed has been talking to business owners about flowers around the circle. The baskets will be up there to get prepped by March 1st. Three (3) people offered to purchase new baskets and Ed ordered one additional in hopes to get a 4th donor so there will be twelve (12) baskets total. The cost for a new basket is $150 and to refill is $80. More color will be put into the baskets this year. All monies will be turned into the Deerfield Civic Association. Deerfield Resident Kay Anderson volunteered to donate the $150 for the final basket.
New Business: The Deerfield Historical Society members attended the meeting to discuss the rental fee of $50 to host their dances at the Deerfield Town Hall. One member indicated the group has donated $970 over the years for the usage of the Deerfield Town Hall. Starting September 2022, dances restarted and have incurred a balance due of $50/month or $250 for five (5) months of dances held one time per month. Ed indicated the Deerfield Historical Society has used the Old Town Hall, property of Deerfield Township for 20 years including expenses incurred for gravel, repairs, electric, new roof, etc. Heat was provided by Deerfield Township up until three (3) years ago. The Deerfield Historical Society is not a 501(3)(c), but rather a private organization to preserve historical homes in Deerfield Township. Dances have been held for approximately 14 years twice a month until September 2022 when the dances resumed at only one (1) dance per month. Meetings are held at the Deerfield Town Hall at no charge. After a short discussion between the Trustees and the Deerfield Historical Society, Tiffany made a motion to forgive the 2022 rental fees at a total cost of $200 and starting January 2023 charge $50 rental fee per dance. Mark seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
The contract with the softball association is pending and are willing to coordinate with the soccer club.
The following bills were presented for Trustees’ inspection and approval: See Payment Register attached.
Ed made a motion to pay these bills and adjourn the meeting. Mark seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Meeting adjourned at 7:05pm.
______________________________ Fiscal Officer