Minutes: June 13th, 2017

Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees

Meeting Minutes

June 13, 2017

The regular business meeting of the Catawba Island Board of Township Trustees was called to order by Chairman Matt Montowski Tuesday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the conference room.

In attendance were Gary Mortus, Matt Montowski, William Rofkar, Karen Shaw, Dan Barlow, John Gangway, Kevin Wylie, Julie Wylie, Ernest Wylie, Robert Chaney, Glenn Osowski,
Craig Koerpel, Lawrene Montowski, Jack Zeigler, Keith Deters, Tom Hileman, Dan Holan, Marianne Weimerskirch, Stephen Weimerskirch, Jeff Rasmussen, John Brewer, Jeri Brooks, Lynn Kochheiser, Todd Kochheiser, Timothy Rink, John Garbach, David Pocos, Jim Brennan, Dan Stryffeler, Jason Schaffer, Terri Green, Bryon Green, Joann Welch, Richard Brooks,
Sandy Schaffner, Charles Schaffner, Deborah Colson, Robert Colson, William Moore, Jr.,
Kenneth Stumbauch, Flint Heidlebaugh, Kathy Heidlebaugh, Greg Russell, Janice Russell,
Dick Thompson, Kathryn Priesman, Thomas Priesman, Bill Bush, George Arnos, Vicky Glaze, John Glaze, Carol Shoemaker, Nancy Day, Tanya Frost, Kevin Ryan, Diane Belden,
Judy Thompson, Bill Van Der Giessen, Rick Smetzer, and Randy Riedmaier.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

Gary Mortus made a motion to approve the May 23, 2017 Board of Township Trustees regular meeting minutes as presented. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion to approve and pay the bills, including the last two payrolls, in the amount of $77,941.67. Gary Mortus seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.


A letter from Julie Cassis expressing concern about a neighboring property on North East Catawba Road with overgrown weeds and grass as well as an issue with rodents and snakes.

Trustee Matt Montowski agreed to follow up with a letter.

The Spring 2017 Ottawa County Community Foundation newsletter.


Fiscal Officer Karen Shaw presented the May 2017 financial reports and bank reconciliation. There were no questions or concerns.


Matt Montowski said there were seven permits and four variances issued in May with a total of $1,685.90 collected in fees.


Dan Barlow presented quotes for grinding at the compost facility and turning material including: David Price Metal Services $7,500, Barnes Nursery $13,300, and Universal Farms $11,000.

Gary Mortus made a motion to contract with David Price Metal Services for $7,500 for the grinding and turning of material. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Dan Barlow presented quotes for the lighting project to be completed prior to the parking lot resurfacing and concrete addition for the recycling containers. A quote from A.T. Emmett for $23,347.00 was presented as well as combined quotes from Rexel Energy Solutions $4,245.71 (material) and Stively Electric for $8,900 with a combined project quote of $13,145.71.

Gary Mortus made a motion to approve a contract for the parking lot lights with Rexel Energy Solutions at $4,245.71 and Stively Electric at $8,900 for a combined total of $13,145.71. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Dan Barlow said the recycling containers will be moved to the compost facility while the parking lot is being resurfaced and returned to the parking lot following project completion.

Dan Barlow said Edwards Tree Service is going to begin clearing the walking trails next week.


John Gangway said Devin Pollock reached her six month service anniversary on June 12 and he would like the Board to consider promoting her off of probation to full duty status. He said she has done a great job, is self-motivated, and interested in furthering her education.

William Rofkar made a motion to approve permanent employment of Devin Pollock and increase her wage twenty-five cents per hour effective June 12. Gary Mortus seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

John Gangway said the three ballistic vests have been received and are in service and the mandatory wear policy has been issued.


Fire Chief Kevin Wylie asked for approval of two new volunteer fire department members.

William Rofkar made a motion to approve Keith Fisher and Doug Kutz as volunteer fire department members. Gary Mortus seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

New Business

William Rofkar made a motion to approve architectural service fees for the chapel renovation from Lee Short, not to exceed $3,000. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. Vote on motion: William Rofkar, aye; Matt Montowski, aye; Gary Mortus, opposed. Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion to approve the payment of fees related to the chapel renovation up to $2,000 with the Ottawa County Building Department. Gary Mortus seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion to enter into an agreement between Catawba Island Township Board of Trustees, (Landlord) and the Catawba Island Historical Society, an Ohio Nonprofit Corporation (Tenant) lease of the Union Chapel at 5258 East Porter Road for a period of ten years beginning June 13, 2017. Gary Mortus seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Gary Mortus made a motion to pass a resolution authorizing the submittal of a Recycling Drop Off Infrastructure Grant Application for $1,000 to the Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca Solid Waste District, Fiscal Year 2017, for a concrete pad to be installed for placement of the recycling containers in the new parking lot. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Flint Heidlebaugh asked the Trustees to explain the recent communication regarding golf carts.

Police Chief John Gangway said a bill was enacted into law effective January 1, 2017, in an effort to address increasing safety concerns, which allows a more clear section to cite under. He said a low-speed vehicle (LSV) comes from the manufacturer with all the equipment required to legally operate on a public street including a title and does not require an inspection to operate. John Gangway said the LSV title can be taken to the BMV to be registered and acquire a set of plates and as of January 1, 2017, legally operate on public roads posted 35 mph or less. He said an under-speed vehicle (USV) by contrast is a more basic golf cart which is not allowed by township jurisdiction to operate on public roads. John Gangway said the only township in Ottawa County which permits USV’s to operate on public roads in Put-In-Bay.

George Arnos asked about the short distance between Cliff Road and the club entrance on Moores Dock Road. He said he understands, following a lengthy conversation with the Ottawa County Prosecutor, that his USV is not legal to operate in that stretch of public road but he asked if it is the Trustees intent to further restrict LSV’s in the future by increasing speed limits.

John Gangway said the Board of Trustees does not have the authority to change speed limits. He further emphasized the Trustees have tried to change the speed limits in the past and were not granted permission.

John Gangway said the Board of Trustees do have the authority to put more restrictions on LSV use but not speed limits. He said they could restrict something such as time of day for example but they would not likely do so unless there were a reason such as multiple accidents recorded.

George Arnos asked for reassurance that if he were to purchase an LSV to replace his USV the laws would not change.

Matt Montowski said they cannot control what the state laws will be in the future and the Board of Township Trustee members could change every two years so there is no guarantee.

Charles Schaffner said he checked with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and they confirmed if you have a serial numbered golf cart and a bill of sale along with the required inspection you can license a golf cart without a VIN number.

John Gangway said that is an accurate statement but the jurisdiction where that golf cart intends to be operated has to do the inspection and it is only valid in that jurisdiction so you cannot get a golf cart inspected elsewhere and operate it in Catawba Island Township. He said the Trustees have chosen not to enact the inspection, licensing, and the operation of USV’s on public roads.

A gentleman asked the Trustees what the difference is between LSV’s and USV’s.

Trustee Matt Montowski said an LSV can go 24 miles per hour, has a windshield and windshield wipers, a VIN number, can be licensed, and the frame of an LSV is more substantial. He said a USV is a traditional golf cart that can go 12 miles per hour and all the extra items can be added to a USV, except the upgraded frame. Matt Montowski said it is not so much what the Trustees recognize as it is what the State of Ohio recognizes. He said a USV is not allowed on public roads and an LSV is allowed on public roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less.

John Gangway said legislature has defined traditional golf carts as USV’s as of January 1, 2017.

Trustee William Rofkar said he does not want golf carts on the roads because they are not safe.

A resident asked what has changed in the township that now all of sudden golf carts are not allowed.

John Gangway said nothing has changed. USV’s were never legal before on public roads and they are not legal now.

Judy Thompson asked Trustees if they would consider granting a waiver to responsible citizens to drive a short distance on Moores Dock Road from the Cliffs to the club.

Numerous residents requested additional areas where granting a waiver, if possible, would be desirable including Schoolhouse Road, White City Beach, and Gem Beach.

A lengthy discussion took place regarding unsafe driving scenarios where individuals allow young, unlicensed drivers to drive golf carts recklessly in the township.

Trustees and residents agreed that many individuals do not operate golf carts responsibly.

Police Chief Gangway and the Trustees agreed golf carts on public roads are not safe. An example would be a golf cart driving the short distance on Moores Dock Road and another driver in a large truck pulling a boat headed toward the state park rounding the corner while texting. They agreed it is naive to think that with the number of vehicles on township roads in the summer a scenario like that could not play out.

William Rofkar said if you want to drive on public roads in the township you can purchase an LSV. He said they are allowed on 35 mile per hour or less roads and the state has taken it out of their hands.

When asked about the future, William Rofkar said if the state allows the operation of LSV’s he is not going to fight that battle, but everything else is not allowed on public roads.

John Gangway confirmed LSV’s do not require additional inspections.

John Gangway confirmed Nor Easter Drive is a private road and golf carts are allowed.

John Gangway confirmed golf carts can cross directly across a public road but may not traverse any distance down the road.

Keith Deters asked why golf carts are allowed in other areas such as every community in Putnam County.

Trustee Gary Mortus said villages and cities are allowed by Ohio Revised Code to pass ordinances. He said locally Port Clinton, Oak Harbor, Sandusky, and Vermillion all allow golf carts. Gary Mortus said in the state townships are not allowed to pass ordinances and we can only enforce the laws as the state mandates. He said counties are also not allowed to pass ordinances.

A resident asked who sets the speed limits in the township.

The Trustees said the Ottawa County Engineer’s Office and the Ohio Department of Transportation set the speed limits. William Rofkar said ODOT has the final say and sets the speed limits.

A question was asked concerning the floating docks at Nor Easter Club.

The Trustees said there is pending litigation regarding the issue so they will not comment more than to say the docks have been inspected and registered with ODNR and have been issued OH numbers.

Gary Mortus made a motion to adjourn the meeting. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. The meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

___________________________ _____________________________
Matt Montowski, Chairman Karen Shaw, Fiscal Officer