Chester Trustees Pledge Support for Parkside Park
Chester Township Trustees voted at their April 3 meeting to spend $12,839.59 for H&M Landscaping to provide a spring cleanup and ongoing spring and summer…
Chester Township Trustees voted at their April 3 meeting to spend $12,839.59 for H&M Landscaping to provide a spring cleanup and ongoing spring and summer grass mowing at Parkside Park.
“We will cut a check to the Chester Township Park Board and they will pay the invoices (from H&M Landscaping),”said Trustee Chairman Ken Radtke.
Eight bids were received for the work, with H&M Landscaping coming in with the lowest and best bid, he said.
“We expect all activities to go on as normal,” Trustee Mike Petruziello said in answer to a question about the Chesterland Rotary’s ability to hold its annual Winterfest program this coming winter.
During the meeting, Petruziello read an April 1 letter addressed to and sent to the park board from him on behalf of the trustees.
“In no way, shape or form do we wish to hinder the operations of the park board or your ability to maintain the useage of the park for this season,” he said.
The letter further laid out a procedure for obtaining funding from the township, “In light of the fact that there is a pending investigation being done by the newly-appointed master commissioner by (Geauga County) Probate Judge (Tim) Grendell.”
Grendell appointed Mary Jane Trapp to the master commissioner position, Radtke said during the meeting.
Radtke further said that Grendell ordered a judicial review, not an investigation.
The park board’s funding procedure includes identifying projects and obtaining quotes, then passing along their decision to township trustees to vote on for approval and funding.
Copies of the quoted prices are to be given to the trustees, who will issue a check to the park board, which will pay the invoices using their own checking account.
The letter stipulates all communication between the two boards will transpire between Petruziello and park board member Joe Weiss.
It further states an email from park board member Lance Yandell asking for a meeting between the two boards will be placed on hold until Trapp completes her report by July 30.
Radtke and the other trustees declined to comment and answer any questions about the investigation.
Reached by phone for clarification, Grendell said he ordered the judicial review to examine a list of concerns a resident had, but thus far was not vetted out. One example he cited was a wrong check number noted on the park board minutes.
“It’s not an investigation,” Grendell said. “I can’t ignore the resident’s concerns, but I also don’t want to tie up the park board’s time until we can review them to see if any corrections are needed.
He added, “I think the park is in great shape and has never looked better. Every time I go by, I see families using it.”
Tom Basista, property manager of West Geauga Plaza, asked if the approved landscaping bid included preparing the baseball field for the season. He said the girls high school fast-pitch team had planned to use the field.
Radtke said he did not know if the field preparation was included.
In other business, the trustees heard a presentation on options for the township’s health insurance renewal for employees presented by Sean Sprouse of Burnham & Flower Insurance Agency from Columbus, the township’s current insurer.
He presented several options with a decision needed by May 1. The trustees will decide the matter at their next meeting to be held in mid-April.
The board also agreed to enter into a cooperative purchasing program with the Ohio Department of Transportation to purchase 500 tons of road salt to restock its supply during the summer and 2,300 tons for next winter’s use.
Radtke and Trustee Ward “Bud” Kinney voted to approve it, while Petruziello voted to oppose it because of problems experienced in obtaining contracted salt in a timely manner this past winter.
“We didn’t get what we needed last year,” Petruziello said.
Radtke added, “It wasn’t an easy thing, but we were (able to obtain) salt with the help of the county. We had to go and pick it up in our trucks.”
Kinney said the salt purchasing history shows the township has received a more favorable price by joining the aggregate of other townships and municipalities than purchasing salt on its own due to volume pricing.
“It will benefit us to get into an alternate program, as well, but it may cost three times the amount as the aggregate bid,” Kinney said.
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