Friday, February 2, 2018

Township Caucus, Jan. 29, 2018

Call to Order/Welcome/Introductions – Facilitator of the Township Caucus and Perrysburg Township Trustee Robert Mack, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. 

Members in attendance include:
·         Tom Anderson – Trustee, Township of Springfield
·         Jacob Barnes – Planning Director, Township of Springfield
·         Bob Bethel – Trustee, Township of Springfield
·         David Bench – Trustee, Township of Jerusalem
·         Stephen Bettinger – Trustee, Township of Richfield
·         Andrew Bick – Trustee, Township of Richfield
·         Walter Celley – Administrator, Township of Perrysburg
·         Barry Cousino – Fire Chief, Township of Springfield
·         John Crandall – Trustee, Township of Sylvania
·         Kenneth Gilsdorf – Trustee, Township of Lake
·         Michael Hampton – Administrator, Township of Springfield
·         Kelly Hemminger – Zoning Administrator, Township of Perrysburg
·         E. Mark Hummer – Administrator & Police Chief, Township of Lake
·         Robert Mack – Trustee, Township of Perrysburg
·         Al Prieur – Deputy Supervisor, Township of Bedford
·         Donald Sahloff – Trustee, Township of Whiteford
·         Ernie Sasse – Deputy Supervisor, Township of Whiteford
·         Joseph Schaller – Trustee, Township of Perrysburg
·         Eric Wagner – Zoning Administrator, Township of Monclova
·         Brett Warner – Trustee, Township of Waterville
·         Duke Wheeler – Trustee, Township of Waterville

TMACOG support personnel include:
·         William Best, Vice President of Finance and Administration
·         Michael Fuller, Transportation Planner
Election of Representatives to the TMACOG Board of Trustees
Trustees include:
·         Andrew J. Bick – Township of Richfield
·         Penelope S. Getz – Township of Middleton
·         Michael Hampton – Township of Springfield
·         E. Mark Hummer – Township of Lake
·         Donald O. Sahloff – Township of Whiteford
Alternates include:
·         David Bensch – Township of Jerusalem
·         Stephen B. Bettinger – Township of Richfield
·         John Crandall – Township of Sylvania
·         Kenneth L. Gilsdorf – Trustee, Township of Lake
·         Joseph E. Schaller – Township of Perrysburg

Appointment of Township Representative to Transportation Council – John Crandall, trustee for Sylvania Township, volunteered to serve as a member on Transportation Council.

Round Table Discussion & Suggested Topics
·         House Bill 256 related to authority of township police on interstates
Mark Hummer opened the discussion by stating that he gave testimony last year. Progress on the bill has stalled, with the main opposition coming from the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association. It was noted that the Ohio Highway Patrol has not taken a stance on the issue. It was also noted the importance of this issue in light of the opioid epidemic.
·         Culvert Permits
Ken Gilsdorf opened discussion recounting a meeting with the Wood County Engineer regarding culvert permitting. The county engineer has concerns about liability in assisting townships, and thus would prefer to control the entire process or have nothing to do with it, not a middle ground. It was noted that most Lucas County townships do not face this issue, although these townships face challenges with a new bidding process for the stormwater utility.
·         Solar Panels on Farms
Don Sahloff mentioned that farms in Michigan are being approached by solar energy companies to put panels on their farms. These proposals limit the type of livestock and vegetation that can exist on the farm. Townships are concerned with how to zone these properties, and the implications of any zoning changes. It was noted the similarity of this issue to cell phone towers in the late 1990s. Richfield Township asked about the cost and revenue of conditional use permits, but it was noted that such permits would break even, and not generate much revenue.
·         Third Party Engineer Review of Development
A question was raised about how townships review developments, which is pertinent as development has been increasing recently. Most Townships noted that they use the county engineer for their site plan reviews. Whiteford Township has an engineer on staff to review site plans as part of his duties. Perrysburg Township noted issues in the past with some commercial developments.
·         Village Obligations
Richfield Township sought guidance regarding how to assist villages within township boundaries. Villages pay dues to townships, so some level of assistance is expected, but more specific guidance was sought. Waterville Township had some experience with this issue, noting that they negotiate on a case-by-case basis. It was noted that the upcoming Ohio Township Association conference might be a valuable resource.
·         Lucas County License Renewal Fee Increase
Several Townships remarked that the fee was necessary to generate revenue and that the services offered by the county were worth the increase. Discussion briefly centered on alternative funding options, namely, road levies. Several Townships reported having a levy for several years. Whiteford Township has an agreement with a quarry to receive a small fee per ton removed from the quarry. It was noted that villages do not pay the road levy.

·         Regional Water
The impact of the regional water authority on townships was briefly discussed. Perrysburg Township was concerned with sanitary sewer surcharges and equalization of rates.

·         Nuisance Properties
The issue of nuisance properties was raised. Most townships have more issues with their more rural properties, but see better compliance after taking action on a property to set a precedent. Townships also have better compliance when they hold a portion of insurance money from damaged properties in escrow accounts. Several townships also encouraged passing resolutions in support of action taken on the properties.

·         Medical Marijuana
Bedford Township brought up the issue of medical marijuana to contrast the laws in Ohio and Michigan. Bedford expressed concern over a lack of regulation and a lack of revenue because the business is cash based and the market is not very large. The question was raised of how to handle users crossing the state border since the governing laws are different.

·         Cemetery Maintenance
Whiteford Township asked how other townships were paying for cemetery maintenance. Jerusalem Township tried a levy, but it failed. Most other townships use general fund money, but it was noted by all that cemeteries are costing townships money.

·         Land Sale Revenue to General Fund
Waterville Township asked for guidance regarding funds from the sale of a property purchased by the township. The auditors would not let the township put the funds from the sale into their general fund. It was suggested the Township seek guidance from the auditors.

Next Steps – There are no requested action from the Township Caucus at this time.

Adjournment – Mr. Mack thanked the attendees for their participation and adjourned the meeting.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

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