Vandals Damage Property at Munson Township Park
August 4, 2022 by Ann Wishart

As a result of recent vandalism at Munson Township Park, the Munson Township Trustees decided June 26 to place video cameras at several locations.

As a result of recent vandalism at Munson Township Park, the Munson Township Trustees decided June 26 to place video cameras at several locations.

Initially, road department Superintendent Kirk Walker said installing cameras at the township community center on Auburn Road would be beneficial so he could monitor traffic and weather, especially during the winter when snow and ice require attention from the road department.

Viewing the roads online in Chardon using Geauga-TV’s camera has been helpful, but the weather can be different on the square than on Auburn Road a few miles away, he said.

“I use Chardon’s (camera) to see the snow on the road. It’s handy to know what’s going on right here,” he told trustees, adding he would look into the cost.

“We should do something at the parks, too,” said Trustee Andy Bushman, providing pictures of graffiti spray-painted on doors at the township park on Bass Lake Road.

Trustee Jim McCaskey agreed, noting vandals picked up a portable toilet at Munson Township Park on Bass Lake Road and moved it into the middle of the field.

“I don’t know how they carried it — it’s pretty disgusting,” he said, adding a second had been destroyed.

Cameras are already installed at Nero Park, Walker said.

Fiscal Officer Todd Ray said the township should also put up signs warning visitors that cameras may be in use.

Bushman showed a picture of a valuable maple tree that will die because vandals  stripped the bark entirely off.

McCaskey suggested putting up trail cams in the parks as a first effort.

In other business, Fire Chief Mike Vatty said motor vehicle accidents require a lot of time from department personnel and, if no victims are transported to a hospital, insurance does not reimburse the department for the time spent at the scene.

He suggested the township institute a fee schedule, so whoever is responsible for the accident has to cover the cost of the personnel at the scene.

For instance, it is common a fire department member directs traffic around the accident.

“Sometimes, guys are out there for hours on end. There is a way to recoup some of those costs,” he said, recommending a scheduled set of fees be adopted.

When the department renders service, a fee could be charged to the party who caused the accident. That is being done by several other departments, Vatty said.

“Parkman (Township Fire Department) generates about $16,000 a year,” he said, estimating Munson could bill $12,000 to $20,000 per year.

Vatty said he has researched the user fee concept and believes he has the appropriate policy if the trustees decide to pass a resolution approving it. No action was taken.