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Granger trustees express disapproval of new EPA proposal

6/26/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Scott Kriska

At the June 23 meeting, the Granger Board of Trustees discussed a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would affect ditching in Granger.

Trustee Richard Pace said the EPA proposal, which was made April 21, regards the definition of a waterway and would allow for ditches to be covered under a federal Section 404 permit process. Currently, Pace said, the township holds responsibility for keeping ditches clean, but should this proposal go through, a permit would be required to do any work on township ditches.

Pace said the National Association of Counties has said it wants more time to study the new proposal, but more time is not available. He said the Medina County commissioners sent a letter of disapproval to the EPA regarding the proposed permit process and recommended the board do the same. With that suggestion made, the board agreed to send the EPA a message expressing its disapproval of the proposal.

In other business:

  • Pace discussed the 2014 Community Block Grant Program, explaining Granger had not been selected for awards of any funds for the program, including demolition requests for properties on Beach and Ledge roads. He pointed out Medina County only had $176,000 to cover the grant program.
  • Service Director Mark Novak reported he ordered a berming machine to assist in repairing road damage caused by recent flooding. He said the machine should arrive in four to six weeks.
    Novak also said the pump for the Service Department’s mower had broken and was repaired at a cost of $699.
    Novak reported upcoming projects he will be working on include ditching on Reid Hill, Beach and Wilbur roads, road marking and striping, and chipping and sealing on Remsen Road, then marking if necessary.
  • Zoning Inspector Annie George said in reviewing the regulations of other townships, the only nearby township she found that has regulations on wood-burning furnaces is Homer Township.
  • Trustee John Ginley addressed an issue with a barbed wire fence installed by a resident of Medina Line Road. Ginley said he was told by Medina County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Richter this fence is not a partitioned fence and Richter wanted George’s opinion on whether or not the installation of the fence is hazardous.
    George said the barbed wire fence is hazardous, but the resident can put up another fence, as long as it is not hazardous and follows zoning guidelines.
    Ginley said he will write a letter to the property owner stating these requirements.
  • Trustee Teri Berry reported Zoning Commission member Carol Kraus retired from the commission effective immediately. Berry said she will talk with Zoning Commission member Stephen Hummel about taking Kraus’ position.
  • Sexton Rita Feess reported she sold two cemetery lots so far this month.
  • Fire Chief Jim Paulett reported the Granger Fire Department’s Engine 71-1 won a first-place trophy at the Wadsworth Blue Tip Parade. He also reported the American Red Cross blood drive at the fire station was very successful and they may request to use the building again.
    Paulett also said the Highland Local Schools’ Safety Week, which consisted of the Granger Fire Department working in conjunction with the Sharon Fire Department, the Hinckley Fire Department and the Medina County Sheriff’s Office, was a success and thanked those who participated.
    Paulett also requested approval to purchase a weed eater and safety equipment, as the Fire Department received a request from a resident relating concern about access to the fire hydrant on his street.
    Novak said the Fire Department can borrow such equipment from the Service Department.
    Also regarding the fire department, Ginley said the door openers at the fire station are defective and he was looking into purchasing new ones. He said he’ll have the exact price of a new one to share at the next board meeting.
    Ginley also said he left two messages for a new representative at Best Buy regarding the replacement of the fire department’s audio-visual equipment and has not yet gotten a response back.
    Berry recommended Ginley have Richter contact Best Buy on the matter.
  • Fiscal Officer Donald Baker reported a grant to purchase a Stryker load cot for the Fire Department was filed with positive feedback. He said the department should receive the new equipment in August.
  • The board approved: a general snow removal bid from #1 Landscaping, of Granger, for a two-year term; and Burnham and Flower Insurance Group’s expense of $4,533 for a fire department accidental insurance policy.

After a short recess, the board discussed and approved estimated budget figures for early 2015, which are subject to substantial change before the final 2015 budget is adopted, according to Baker. He added road and ditching expenses are approximately $290,000, snow removal and salting expenses are about $110,000, fire and EMS expenses are approximately $724,000 and additional policing expenses are about $39,000. Baker said after consulting with the Medina County Auditor’s Office, most revenue funds were kept constant from the final 2014 budget. He added that local government funds are anticipated to continue to decline based on actions by Gov. John Kasich and the State Legislature.

The next Granger trustees’ meeting is scheduled for July 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Granger Township Administration Building, 3717 Ridge Road.

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