Minutes: January 12th, 2010


The regular business meeting of the Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees was called to order by chairman Gary Mortus at 7:30 p.m. on January 12, 2010 in the conference room. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

The following were present: Gary Mortus, William Rofkar, Matt Montowski, Todd Flagel, James Shelley, Tim Connors, John Moore, Reggie Langford, John Gangway, Robert Snyder, Brian Snyder, Keith Fisher, Dan Barlow and Pat Cerny.

Pat Cerny read the minutes of the December 22, 2009 meeting which were approved as submitted by the Board of Township Trustees.

Correspondence received: Ottawa County Township Association quarterly meeting notice for January 28, 2010 hosted by Danbury Township.

The Hylant Group, administrators for the Ohio Risk Management Plan, referencing two claims and providing a loss payment.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources regarding the preliminary identification of Lake Erie coastal erosion areas in Catawba Island Township.

OTARMA Update newsletter. Port Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce newsletter. OPERS notice to new employees regarding seminars.

LaFarge North America, with a new price list.

Todd Flagel, Attorney representing Marine Max, was in attendance to address two concerns raised by the Trustees. Mr. Flagel has also spoke to Mr. Mark Mulligan, County Prosecutor, regarding the parking at the site on the north and south sides of the building which are the areas that were described in the variances. Mr. Flagel stated he found out about the variance sometime in November of 2009 and they are trying to take steps so there would not be any parking in those areas. They have reached an agreement using an adjacent property, with permission, for parking and have told the employees where they can park and where they cannot park effective immediately keeping the firelane unencumbered. William Rofkar requested mapping for the spaces for the parking on that property. There are requirements for the operation of sales and storage. Mr. Shelley has a drawing but in respect to the office area it is based on the square footage of the building and the parking spaces that they have complied with zoning. It is Mr. Flagel’s understanding in regard to the variance of 1997, regarding boat storage, it is their understanding it gave them a variance from the parking requirements. Marine Max would like to make the township happy with whatever needs to be done. They need more clarification. Mr. Shelley stated you need one space per 200 square feet for a commercial building and the new building, 70% is a parts storage area and eight spaces are required and they have provided eight spaces. William Rofkar stated the variance was granted because the building was already too large for the property and could not accommodate enough parking spaces for the storage so some of it was waived.

John Moore stated when he built the buildings, he was granted a variance for twenty foot setbacks for either side of the property as long as they were kept clear for fire protection. Marine Max is telling you that they just heard about this in November. Mr. Moore stated he is trying to find the two or three letters that he sent either to the local manager or to Clearwater advising them of their trailers and cradles and all the stuff that they stored on the county side violated the zoning agreement. He never received a response. Mr. Moore stated when this was built, there was an old house there that was a managers office and it was redone into three offices and the parking that was approved at that time was for no more than four people to be working
there at any time. Gary Mortus stated he sees a change of use for this property when these variances were granted, it was for winter storage
not rack storage, the parking requirements were lessened. It now will be used as a year round facility causing a problem with parking, not only in the front but on the property itself. This is where the big concern is and how are we going to deal with the resolution in enforcing the parking based on the new useage of the property and still maintain the integrity of the variance that was granted. The Trustees cannot overrule the variance. Mr. Flagel requested some time to look at what parking plan can they put into place that would satisfy the township and alternatively a potential request a variance to the Board of Zoning Appeals to the parking requirements based on the
uses now. Matt Montowski stated, that on November 2nd, 2009, when we had the meeting, and Mr. Flagel was on speaker phone, it was then specifically stated that the township wanted parking for the small building and for the new building and the entire project. Now you are giving us eight parking spaces and there are more than eight employees. Mr. Flagel apologized, and stated when he received copies of the variances and saw the parking requirements they were granted variances for, and we are complying with those, he would like to know what plan is he preparing for and he should have communicated this question to the Trustees before the meeting tonight. Matt Montowski stated it is the plan that is in the zoning resolution book on page 73. It talks about winter storage, one parking spot for every seven boats stored. Mr. Flagel stated by the wording in the variance, he does not think they have a parking requirement, based on what he has read.
Gary Mortus would like to see a plan agreeable to the township trustees or agreeable to the Appeals Board. There should be a short time line. William Rofkar stated the use is the problem as the use was established when the variance was granted. Now the use of the front of the property is changed and now you expect the parking problems not to be an issue. William Rofkar’s opinion is that the only thing you can use the storage buildings for is storage which was agreed to when they were constructed and sales would not be allowed up front. Mr. Moore stated there are a lot of employees and a lot of sales traffic. The original variance was granted for four offices. Gary Mortus stated the use that was moved to this location from the other location and what transpired at the old location is now at the new location, sales, repairs, more employees, etc. It needs to be resolved because of how many employees and how many customers and what to base this moving target on. Mr. Flagel does not have an answer to all of this.
Matt Montowski stated in November, Mr. Shelley stated a proper survey is needed to get an accurate look at the buildings are and go from there. Mr. Flagel thinks another call to Mr. Mulligan will have to be made.

Mr. John Moore stated the Trustees received a letter from Mr. Flagel November 4, 2009; it was sent to Mr. Mulligan and copied to the Trustees. There are statements in this letter regarding parking issues that should be addressed, not by the trustees, but by somebody. Marine Max does not have a lease on that property. It expired October, 2008. Part of the old lease stated any changes or improvements had to be approved by the owners and Mr. Moore is the principal owner of the property and remain the principal. Mr. Moore stated he was never consulted on this change. When the zoning request came in, the manager of Marine Max signed the zoning request as the owner of the property. Mr. Moore stated his name is still on the deed and he still on the mortgage. Mr. Moore stated that the building will remain on the property at least six months and as far as he is concerned they are squatting on his property. Gary Moore asked if they are legally where they are supposed to be with the use of the property if you are the owner. Mr. Moore stated their lease expired in October 1, 2008. Mr. Moore stated he is trying in every possible way why they are still there. Two months ago, they finally vacated the property at 2555 Northeast Catawba Road and left it in shambles and moved everything down the street. Mr. Flagel stated the receiver was appointed several years ago to take control of these properties. The receiver has given Marine Max permission and authority to do everything they have done. Mr. Mulligan has copies of the papers showing that the receiver has control of the properties. It is not the township’s position to get involved in the legalities. If this goes to the Board of Appeals, the owner of the property would have to apply to the Board of Zoning Appeals, so the township will need some legal documentation from someone if it goes to the Appeals Board. Mr. Mulligan would have to clarify to us who is the owner of record or the legal owner. William Rofkar asked when they could have an answer about the parking. James Shelley stated he could do some measuring in regard to border lines. Someone will be back on January 26 with further information. The Trustees thanked all for their input and attendance.

John Gangway, Fire Chief stated all the vehicles have been inspected by the Highway Patrol and they have all passed with a few minor chassis, exhaust repairs that need to be done. Ron Bauman will serve on the Dependents Board.

Dan Barlow, Maintenance, stated the vehicles have been inspected and it is just the leaf vac that needs to be certified. All the trucks have stickers.

Gary Mortus spoke with Dan Barlow concerning the de-icer equipment and it will be built in another week or so. When the two units are in place, the two units with the de-icer will be used on the north end of the township and leave the other two trucks to do the south end so we can have a good camparison on what the product is doing.

Dan Barlow received three bids for the brush grinding. Trevor Tree Service submitted a bid of $15,000.00 plus additional costs, Barnes Nursery submitted a bid for $16,500.00 and David Price Metal Services submitted a bid for $13,727.00. Dan Barlow recommended David Price, the lowest bidder, at a price of $13,727.00, which includes two grindings. Matt Montowski made a motion to accept David Price Metal Services bid of $13,727.00 for the recycling of the yard waste seconded by William Rofkar. All voted aye.

Reggie Langford thanked the Maintenance Department for the great job snow plowing.

William Rofkar attended a meeting at the Ottawa Sandusky Seneca Joint Solid Waste District for grant funding. We can submit for funding even on our waste grinding and put in for up to $10,000.00 and at least a 20% match. William Rofkar made a motion to pass a resolution to submit for a $10,000.00 grant application with a 50% match seconded by Matt Montowski. All voted aye.

William Rofkar spoke to Robert Rogers, Police Chief, in regard to the video cameras and his computer upgrades and would like to move forward with the cameras. William Rofkar made a motion to approve
up to $11,000.00 for the cameras for the cruisers seconded by Matt Montowski. All voted aye. The computer upgrades will be looked into further.

William Rofkar stated there is a fire department member getting married in the spring and is asking if the fee can be waived on the Community Hall. William Rofkar made a motion to waive the Community Hall fee for Bob Christiansen seconded by Matt Montowski.
Gary Mortus stated he thinks it sets a bad precedence and it is not a good use of the township facilities because he does not think that you can control it. William Rofkar thinks it should be on a case by case basis. William Rofkar, aye; Matt Montowski, aye; Gary Mortus, nay.

Matt Montowski stated he has names of alternates for the zoning boards. Robert Snyder asked if there was a criteria to follow to be a member of the boards. Gary Mortus would like to see a resume on the interested applicants. William Rofkar suggested a questionnaire to be mailed to the interested parties. A check list will be put together.

Matt Montowski stated on June 10, 2009, Doug Alexander was fined in court for a zoning violation, specifically a fish cleaning smell. He paid his fine, went to court, pleaded guilty, and he has to remain a law abiding citizen for a year and comply with the zoning inspector.
Pat Cerny and Matt Montowski met with him to see what he is going to do in the future to prevent further violations and Mr. Alexander provided several options and is willing to work with the township.

Robert Snyder stated on Muggy Road there are parts of the pavement that are gone on the right berm and he would like to see it addressed. Gary Mortus will check into it.

Gary Mortus thanked everyone for their attendance. William Rofkar made a motion to adjourn seconded by Matt Montowski. All voted aye.

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Chairman Fiscal Officer