Trustee Meeting – May 8, 2023
The Board of Deerfield Township Trustees met in regular session on Monday, May 8, 2023, at 6:00pm, with Trustees Tiffany Havens, Ed Dean and Mark Bann present. Chairman Dean opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. Mark moved to dispense with the reading of the minutes from the previous meeting held April 10, 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 previous meeting held April 24, 2023 and approve them as written. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous. Ed moved to approve the April financials as presented. Tiffany seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Fire Department: Scott Dean provided a verbal report for the fire department on activity since the last meeting. The fire department ran 44 calls since the last meeting, which includes 30 medical calls, 13 fires and 1 service call. Mutual aid was given 9 times and was received 12 times.
Mr. Scott Dean requested help from the Deerfield Township Trustees to create a postcard to mail out to Deerfield residents to help encourage new members to join the Fire Department. Ed indicated mailing addresses can be obtained from the Board of Elections. The Trustees are not opposed to the idea. Deerfield Fire Department will discuss at their upcoming meeting.
Berlin Fire Department is currently selling three (3) MARCS radios in good condition for a total of $1,200. They would need to get the radios programmed to their frequency. Tiffany made a motion to purchase these three (3) radios at a cost of $1,200 from Berlin Township. Mark seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Mr. Scott Dean wanted to thank TJ & crew for doing a makeover and making cosmetic changes on the bunkroom and changes that were made. Improvements include repairing a leak in the ceiling, repairing the hole in the wall, etc. Blinds for the windows are different sizes and hard to find.
The mini pumper is currently out of service and they are looking into options to fix.
The squad needs tires balanced. It shakes at 45-50mph. Spray bar bushings need looked at and parking brake cables are both snapped off. Mark made a motion to take to Sebring Tire for repairs mentioned above. Ed seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Derek Day and Scott Dean joined the Mahoning County Chief Association in addition to the Portage County Chief Association, which will help the Department in grants, equipment and keeping up on current issues.
Deerfield Fire Department went to Deerfield Farms and gave an educational program on their AED’s and is going to teach CPR to Deerfield Farms employees sometime in the future.
Mr. Scott Simmons gave an update on grants. The Ohio BWC grant was for the amount of $40,000 for the new cot load system. We have to follow their written specs which includes within 90 days of EFT into Deerfield Township’s account, the cot loading system must be purchased. Within 120 days, Deerfield Township needs to submit proof of spending. Total cost for the cot per the quote that expires April 2, 2023 is $59,486.61. Deerfield Fire portion is $19,486.61 unless it goes up due to the quote expiration.
The SAFER Grant is pretty extensive to talk about in a Trustee Meeting. The big highlights include $10,000 in the first year for remodeling the bunk room, which was turned in with pictures. Therefore, improvements need to be made in the front and not the building in the back. The SAFER Grant includes two (2) contracted positions. The first position is the Certified Grant Administrator, which is designated as Didi at a salary of $17,520 over 4 years, or $4,380 per year. The second position is the Recruitment and Retention Coordinator, which is Scott since he accepted the grant. The salary is $31,000 over 4 years, or $650 per month. Scott has to submit to the Feds. The parameters have to be met. Scott asked to sit down and have an approximate three (3) hour meeting with one of the Trustees to discuss it. Mark recommended one Trustee meet with Scott and record the meeting. The $12,000 stipend for annual reimbursement of expenses increases to $50,000 over the next four (4) years, which saves the Deerfield Fire Department $48,000 over the next four (4) years from their budget. The Grant either gets prorated or goes May to May. Scott is going to get Didi involved to figure out the logistics of it all. Scott will have Kristy make a copy of the SAFER Grant to give to the Trustees. Tiffany indicated her and Scott could set up a meeting in the upcoming week with Scott. Ed’s main question for the prosecutor at the end of this four (4) years, what are our obligations moving forward. Scott said he has explained this to Mark. There are two (2) SAFER Grants, one for volunteer Fire side and one for the Full Time side. This is a non funded by the Township Grant. Ed made a motion to accept the SAFER Grant. Mark seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Kristy read a letter from Vaughn Sutcliffe announcing his retirement as of May 1, 2023. Ed thanked Vaughn and his family for their service. Tiffany suggested hosting an event for Vaughn at the Deerfield Township Town Hall. A date for this event will be approved at the next meeting. Tiffany will coordinate with Vaughn and the Town Hall a tentative date to approve.
Tiffany made a motion to approve Aid Pest Control at a cost of $200 to spray for spiders between meetings at the Deerfield Fire Department. Mark seconded the motion and the roll call vote was unanimous.
Road Department: No repairs need to be made at this time. They are still using the previously approved lawn products.
Buildings & Grounds: Two (2) loads of asphalt grinding have been received from the State and Deerfield expects to receive 6-8 more loads. They have used to expand the parking lot.
Soccer and Softball have been using the fields. No issues.
Cemeteries: Deerfield Cemetery Association sent a memo in regards to Deerfield Township’s request for gravel for the cemetery drive for $3,000 for 200 tons of gravel. It was read aloud by Tiffany Havens. Mr. Suderman and Mr. Leifheit attended their meeting to address their questions and concerns. The Road Department plans to drag/scrape the drives to alleviate some of the potholes and to bring slag back to the edges that may have been scattered due to snow removal and/or general traffic. Deerfield Cemetery Association made a motion, seconded and passed that the Deerfield Cemetery Association will revisit the request when the dragging/scraping is completed and have Timmy and Gary report back with their opinions and take further action at that time.
New Business: Tiffany gave a speech as follows: “I would like to address the community and the fire department regarding the events to our previous meeting two weeks ago. I want to tell you all that I was just as shocked as you all were about the rushed assigning of officers and still do not understand the need to do so as quickly as Chief Dean had done without spending a single day as chief with our department, without meeting or assessing the current staff, or without discussing it with the entire board of trustees. I was under the understanding that a second meeting of the meeting of the month was necessary to address issues with ordering materials for the Road Department. It was arranged to have one of our Commissioners in attendance to swear in the new members that were not yet hired. As of today, the only explanation that I have received came from Chief Dean that he felt he would need immediate reinforcements related to the moral of the fire department staff. It was not a course of action that I supported. I will continue to support our fire department and community and will continue to vote in a way that I feel expresses the wishes and best interest of our community, regardless of if I am a minority of this board. At the November of 2021 election, a majority of you entrusted me to act in the best interest of Deerfield community and that’s what I intend to do while in office and I’m sorry to you all that I can’t do more. I thank you all for your continued support and your kind words.”
The Trustees had a discussion about if any further support was needed for the Memorial Day Parade. The Trustees indicated they would assure the Deerfield Civic Association makes arrangements with Portage County to close the road.
The following revenues and bills were presented for Trustees’ inspection and approval: See Revenue Receipt Register 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 6:30pm.