Disclaimer: Video Links are posted as a courtesy to our residents and are not owned by Deerfield Township. Videos are recorded by a third party. Be advised that the official meeting minutes are recorded by our Fiscal Officer and approved by the Board of Trustees. These minutes are posted below for your convenience or may be obtained by request from our Fiscal Officer.
The Board of Deerfield Township Trustees met in regular session on Monday, December 11, 2023, at 6:00pm, with Trustees Ed Dean and Tiffany Havens present. Chairman Dean opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Tiffany moved to dispense with the reading of the minutes from the previous meeting held November 13, 2023 and approve them as written. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Tiffany moved to dispense with the reading of the minutes from the previous meeting held November 22, 2023 and approve them with one change since it was an emergency meeting as opposed to a special meeting. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Tiffany moved to approve the November financials as presented. Ed seconded the mo- tion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
- Portage County Land Reutilization Corporation sent guidelines and application process for the Brownfield Remediation Program. To submit properties for con- sideration, the information is due to the Land Bank by March 1, 2024 in order to allow time for submittal to the State by their April 1, 2024 deadline. It is ex- pected that additional competitive funding will be available in round 2 of the pro- gram after July 4, 2024.
- NOPEC beginning with the December 2023 CEI, Ohio Edison and AEP Ohio me- ter reads through the May 2024 meter reads, NOPEC’s Standard Program Price will be 6.6 cents/kWh.
- The prosecutor sent Deerfield Township a sample Resolution regarding State Is- sue 2 approved November 7, 2023 by Ohio voters. This is NOT a zoning statute. Even unzoned townships may adopt such a resolution, and any township, whether zoned or unzoned, may adopt the resolution by simple majority vote of the board of township trustees. R.C. 3796.29 authorizes townships (whether zoned or unzoned) to prohibit or limit the number of medical marijuana cultivators, proces- sors, or retail dispensaries licensed under Chapter 3796. This authority is already in effect and has been since the medical marijuana statutes were enacted in 2016. Townships are specifically not authorized under new Chapter 3780 to prohibit or limit home growing of marijuana as authorized by that chapter, or to prohibit or restrict any other activity authorized by that chapter. Tiffany and Ed agreed to ta- ble this and discuss at the next meeting held December 27, 2023.Fire Department:Scott Dean provided a verbal report. Total calls to date are 459 calls. Calls consisted of 15 medical, 4 fire, 1 service, 3 motor vehicle accidents, mutual aid given 11 times and mutual aid received 10 times.
Scott provided addendum policies to Mr. Ed Dean and Mrs. Tiffany Havens that he suggests be approved. He asked the Trustees to look them over and discuss at a future meeting. OTARMA assisted with the creation of these policies.
Fire Chief, Scott Dean thanked the Ravenna Fire Department for the donation of a stair chair for our new squad.
Robert Beech submitted a resignation letter to the Deerfield Fire Department. Tiffany Havens made a motion to accept the resignation. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Mr. Scott Dean asked the Trustees to go into executive session to discuss personnel issues. Tiffany asked the status of background checks. Scott indicated three (3) have been completed and received. Ed made a motion to go into executive session for the reason of appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual unless the employee, official, licensee or regulated individual unless they request a public hearing by Division (G)(1) of Section 121.22 of the Revised Code. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Ed made a motion to exit executive session and enter the public session of the Trustee meeting. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
A complaint has been made by a member of the Deerfield Fire Department. No action will be taken at this time. Ed made a motion to forward this complaint to the prosecutor. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
A Deerfield resident inquired about staffing at the Deerfield Fire Department and the best contact number. The Trustees explained we have mutual aid with Sebring, Berlin Center, Atwater, Palmyra and Edinburg in addition to if Deerfield is not available. As a community, we may need to look into changing the staffing in 2024 to be able to cover appropriately. We may need to look into putting on an additional levy in order to fund this and will have to be a decision from the community. Very few individuals are volunteering at this time, but a local problem in surrounding areas as well, not just in Deerfield Township.
Road Department/Buildings & Grounds/Cemeteries:
Ed made a motion to approve K&D Trucking to repair broken T valve, air leak, antifreeze leak and reservoir behind radiator in an emergency at a cost of approximately $1,000. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Tires were replaced on the side by side and the F450 approved at a previous meeting. There is a vibration in the front tire, which seems to be a balancing job. This truck will be sent back to balance the tires.
Currently, we have Roger as a full-time employee, Gary and Buddy as part time employees and Timmy is still off for his workers comp injury. Due to weather, Tiffany made a motion to cut hours for Buddy and lay him off for the winter and return him in the Spring on an as-needed basis. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
A Deerfield resident inquired if the Trustees intend to purchase a new truck still. The Trustees indicated they are not ready at this time due to money.
A funeral was held on Tuesday. They dug the grave and because of the rain, the grave had to be re-dug multiple times. The Trustees discussed when we measure out headstone and footstone layout costs that are having to be done multiple times due to companies not coming out in a timely manner. We may need to bill additional fees in the future in these circumstances.
Ed made a motion to purchase the paint and materials for the Road Department crew to work on painting the garage when they have slow days and down time. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
A crew has been working at the Old Town Hall installing new ceiling, lights and fans. The crew is currently painting the interior of the building at no cost. Tiffany thanked them for their work and for offering to paint the building. Tiffany indicated that there has been some damage to the building due to temperature changes. The Historical Society has a meeting planned to discuss heating the Old Town Hall. Tiffany made a motion, pending the Historical Society agrees to pay for the propane, to service the furnace currently in place at a cost of $99 plus any repairs needed, which is a 95% efficient furnace through Ravenna Heating and Cooling. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous. Ed inquired why we wouldn’t use Whites Refrigeration who installed the furnace. Ed asked Tiffany when the contractor intends to put in the tongue and groove on the ceiling. Tiffany indicated the tongue and groove materials were no longer available because of the long time period between obtaining the quote and completing the work, a drywall ceiling with beams was installed instead. It was more time and appropriate and stayed in the budget. Ed indicated a motion was made and agreed upon to install a tongue and groove ceiling. Tiffany indicated the change had to be made in order to stay within the budget. Ed said he went in the Old Town Hall today and was surprised to see a drywall ceiling and not tongue and groove. Tiffany indicated she spoke with Ed. Ed said he was under the impression that he had to make a trip to West Virginia to purchase materials to do tongue and groove. Tiffany indicated it was a comparable alternative. Ed said to purchase drywall for 950 sq ft is approximately $3- 400. Tiffany explained that’s why the beams were added. Ed said he can’t in good conscious pay them $1,100-$1,200 per square foot to drywall the ceiling. Ed feels they are overbudget for this alternative and a price compromise needs to be made. He feels there is an appropriate $4,000 difference between tongue and groove and drywall alternative. Tiffany felt it was a comparable change, got the job done in the time period we needed to be done as close as possible. Ed indicated tongue and groove is very time intensive, which is why he agreed on the $12k previously approved. He needs to see aprice reduction to agree to sign the check written to the contractor. The monies will be reimbursed through NOPEC money. Tiffany indicated they will need to come up with a solution. Ed said we didn’t hire a local guy, nor did we get a cost from a Deerfield guy. Had we been doing drywall, we could have opened the quotes further to local companies. To remedy, Ed feels he needs to tongue and groove the ceiling or give Deerfield Township a price reduction. A Deerfield resident asked at what point will the Old Town be ready to begin heating for the Deerfield Historical Society. Ed indicated there should not be a conflict with heat with what is currently going on in there.
Tiffany made a motion to reimburse her $384.03 for lights for the Deerfield Township circle decorations. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
New Business: Tiffany made a motion to approve the Trustees and Fiscal Officers to pay for the travel, hotels and fees to attend the Ohio Township Association Conference held February 6-9, 2024 including one meal per day. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Tiffany asked the status of the retirement party for Mr. Chuck Little from the Fire Association. A short discussion was made, but the Fire Association is having a hard time obtaining a quorum at a meeting to move forward. Tiffany would like this to be discussed at the next meeting.
Ed made a motion to make health insurance available through 2024 to newly elected officials, current elected officials and full time employees. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
The next end of year trustee meeting will be held December 27th at 6pm.
The use of the Chrismas tree at the new town hall was donated by the Reese family. Trustees indicated snowflakes and wreath use was donated by Deerfield Township resident, Denise. She was thanked for her time in putting up the Christmas tree with the road department employees and Tracey Dean and the use of her décor. She would like the wreath, snowflakes and décor back should the Township no longer have a use in the future. The circle has been decorated and thanked for their time as well.
Revenues received: See Revenue Receipt Register attached.
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. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Meeting adjourned at 7:30pm.