Minutes: December 14th, 2021

Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees

Meeting Minutes

December 14, 2021

The regular business meeting of the Catawba Island Board of Township Trustees was called to order by Chairman Diane Belden on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. at the Community Hall.

In attendance were: Diane Belden, Matt Montowski, William Rofkar, Karen Shaw, John Gangway,
Kevin Johnson, Ernie Wylie, Kevin Gibbons, Dan Barlow, Jack Madison, Linda Madison, Paul Shaw, Nancy Caldwell, Brian Caldwell, Flint Heidlebaugh, Craig Graham, Jim Stouffer, Chris Singerling, Heidi Cline, Dennis Patthoff, Jeff Jadwisiak, Paul Derry, Bryan Baugh, Kay Lehner, John Calandra, Deb Triana, Jennifer Zoll, Rick Smetzer, Chris Guthrie, Andrea Weldon, Ann Rumpf, Barry Kroeger, Lynette Kroeger, Jeff Allen, Dawn, Allen, Mike Irlbacher, Steven Cellier, Doug Blackburn,
Tami Blackburn, Mark Sprenger, Linda Sprenger, Cory Smith, Quintin Smith, Mike Bassett,
Rick Nemecek, Ken Sander, Carol Sander, Donna Smith, Noreen Matts, Carol Holdren, Rick Matts, Kevin Latham, Rod Gale, Ken Ebert, Karen Ebert, Nancy Kreulen, Pauline Coleman, Paul Sweeney, Linda Sweeney, Patricia Breault, Tony Corona, Judy Indorf, Mary Kessler, Slate Kessler, Tony Coyne, Cherie Oberst, Craig Koerpel, Steve Gulas, Becky Anderson, Len Partin Glenda Ward, Mary Coffee, John Shaw, Barbara Gravengaard, Dorothy Baker, William Baker, John Gibson, Carol Schemmer, John Coppeler, and Randy Riedmaier.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

William Rofkar made a motion to approve the November 23, 2021 Board of Trustees regular meeting minutes as amended. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Matt Montowski made a motion to approve and pay the bills, including the last regular payroll, in the amount of $68,220.04. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.


A letter from David Belden, Board of Education member for Port Clinton City Schools, regarding HB126 and requesting support from Township Trustees in reaching out to Representative Swearingen expressing opposition to HB126 and its amendments as the Ohio Schools Board Association and the Ohio Township Association both oppose the bill. The bill would negate the Board of Revision system that allows interested parties to challenge property valuations (up or down) in efforts to preserve and maintain fair and equitable taxation.

A letter from Melissa Moser of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources regarding the West Harbor Public Boat Launching Ramp including the fully executed agreement for the Cooperative Boating Facility Grant. The letter also serves as an official Notice to Proceed and the effective ending date of the agreement is June 30, 2023.

An email from Jennifer Foster regarding a Port Clinton broadband internet provider tool she offers and her request for the township to add the broadband search link the Community Links page on the township website.

A note from Sue Kalinoski regarding her donation to the “Wreaths Across America” project and a thank you to Diane Belden for her continued leadership on such a worthwhile project.


Police Chief John Gangway said Officer Austin Troike began full time duties on December 11, 2021.

John Gangway said Officer Devin Pollock recently celebrated her 5 year service anniversary with the department. John Gangway said she received a length of service star and a letter of commendation.

John Gangway asked about the obsolete ammunition he requested to return for credit at a previous meeting.

Matt Montowski said he consulted with Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper regarding the obsolete ammunition and she agreed it is appropriate to return the ammunition.

Matt Montowski made a motion to return $580 in ammunition to Kiesler Police Supply for a credit. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted eye. Motion carried.

John Gangway said the new police car is in service and they are waiting for delivery of the new in car camera. He said the 2013 police car is available to sell on govdeals.com if the Trustees desire to do so.


Fire Chief Kevin Gibbons said there were ten fire calls in November and the fire department responded to eighteen EMS calls with a total of 28 runs the month of November.

Kevin Gibbons said Rick Adams would like to attend firefighter training in January through EHOVE and Jeff Kennedy, Scott Tanner, Kevin Howe, Chris Scott, Chris Boyd, and Jason Wagoner would all like to attend Emergency Medical Responder training beginning in February also through EHOVE.

Matt Montowski made a motion for Rick Adams to attend firefighter school through EHOVE for $575 plus mileage reimbursement. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion for six members of CIVFD to attend Emergency Medical Responder training through EHOVE at $454 per person or $2,724 total plus mileage reimbursement. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.


William Rofkar said the leaf vac has been down but maintenance personnel are working on it in house and it will be back on the road soon.

William Rofkar discussed the grant from ODNR that the township secured which is being funded from fishing license fees. He said the Ottawa County Commissioners gave the boat launch to the township years ago and the township has been able to maintain it but has not had the funding to make major improvements. William Rofkar said the $562,500 grant will allow for building a new restroom facility, all new docks for launching, and possibly paving the parking lot and burying the electrical wires providing lighting on the poles as occasionally the wires have been brought down by a sailboat mast.


Matt Montowski said there were nine zoning permits issued in November and one variance request with a total of $1,054.68 collected in fees. He said 52 new home permits have been issued in 2021.

Old Business

Matt Montowski said he received an email from Kevin Joyce, Ohio Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land, regarding the property the township is looking into possibly obtaining as discussed at the last Trustee meeting. Kevin Joyce said after a discussion with the owner of the property, he found out there are a lot of snakes on the property and he wanted to make sure the Trustees are still interested in moving forward.

The Trustees agreed to move forward and agreed they are not concerned with possible snakes.

Matt Montowski said he received a follow up email from Bruce Buckingham informing Trustees that he has completed Saw-Whet Owl banding in the nature preserve for 2021.

New Business

Diane Belden asked Trustees is they wanted to contact Senator Gavarone regarding HB126 individually or collectively, as it is a time sensitive issue.

Trustees agreed they prefer to respond individually.

Karen Shaw said Ohio Insurance Services Agency, Inc. is offering Affordable Care Act (ACA) Small Employer Reporting Section 6055 for 2021. The cost for the program is a Small Employer Group Annual Fee off $50 plus $15 per employee.

Trustees agreed to continue participation in the ACA Small Employer Reporting Program for the 2021 tax year.

Matt Montowski made a motion to approve a Depository Agreement with Huntington National Bank for Active Deposits of Catawba Island Township up to $4,000,000 and Interim Deposits up to $3,500,000 for the period commencing January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2026. As a public depository, Huntington will pledge securities in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code or the Ohio Pooled Collateral Program (OPCP). William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Jack Madison talked about the Ottawa County Parks District Board and as a member how he has been meeting with residents of Catawba Island Township and talking about a green space trail through Catawba Island. He introduced some of the members of the group he has worked with on the idea of a Catawba Islander Trail, which is a conceptual multi-use trail. He said they have tried to phase the project so they can talk with property owners and the Township Trustees. He said tonight he wanted to present it to the Trustees and the public so everyone can see what they have been working on.

Jack Madison said funding for the trail does not allow for golf carts on the trail. He said walking, biking, running, rollerblading, strollers, pet friendly, and you can go from the north end of Catawba to the south end and offers safety by getting people off the bike path on Route 53. Jack Madison showed

a map of the proposed path of the trail. He said ODNR and the Ohio Department of Transportation offer grants for constructing trails. He said the Ottawa County Parks Districts will also offer grants to help pay for the construction. He said the trails cost about one million dollars per mile.

Jack Madison said Quintin Smith has been supportive of the idea.

Quintin Smith said he believes such a path could be in concert with nature. Quintin Smith said he understands it will not be possible to go through green space the entire route and it will have to be diverted out to Route 53 at times but he feels there are multiple groups that can be involved to make it work. Quintin Smith said he is in support of a trail and presented a proposed path with areas he would like to see turn green reflecting approval by property owners along the path.

Jack Madison said they would like the Trustees to support their dream and the ability to make it happen. And they would like to keep pushing forward.

Diane Belden thanked Jack Madison and Quintin Smith for their presentation and said she understands a lot of work and thought has gone into the project and as a community member and Trustee she appreciates the effort.

Matt Montowski said if it is done right it could be beautiful and if it is not it could be a mess. He said if this is something that the residents want it is possible to put a levy on the ballot in the future but he thinks there is still too much work to do at this point.

Quintin Smith said the Cedar Meadows Preserve located behind the township building is township property with a conservation agreement with the Black Swamp Conservancy. Quintin Smith said he has had conversations with the Black Swamp Conservancy and they are pro bike paths just not with solid surfaces. He said paths need to be permeable.

Quintin Smith asked if the Township Trustees would make a path through the Cedar Meadows a green part of the path so they can get started.

William Rofkar said he does not think a bike and walking path would be out of order through the preserve. Jack Madison reaffirmed the term would be multi use trail.

William Rofkar said they need to check with legal counsel but if you establish a path and it makes sense to go through the preserve and you are not proposing anything contrary to the restrictions on the property then it is the public’s park and he cannot fathom a reason not to allow a path.

Quintin Smith said approving that section would be helping to lead at least that portion of the project.

William Rofkar said it is so preliminary and you don’t have people agreeing to allow easements on their property. William Rofkar said from what he has seen you have a conceptual plan and that is fine but you are asking me to commit beyond a conceptual plan. He said we support you on this and if you get things nailed down you will not have a problem with going through the preserve.

Quintin Smith said but what if it is like a domino and we need that portion to go along with three or four properties that will then help another property owner get on board. He said if someone leads the first green space then it helps convince others and you as our elected leaders would then help us.

Matt Montowski said he has been in communication with the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s office regarding the issue and they are working to coin a letter of support.

Dennis Patthoff said the Cedar Meadows Preserve was purchased with Clean Ohio funds and they support trails and the Black Swamp is in favor of a path. He said if the Trustees approve a resolution then the Ottawa County Parks District has funding available but like everything you are competing with other districts all vying for the same funding. Dennis Patthoff said he feels if the Trustees say yes we want to move forward then the Ottawa County Parks District can come up with the plan.

Matt Montowski said the Trustees have to do their due diligence.

William Rofkar said he talked to the person that comes out and walks the preserve in the spring and there is no issue as long as nothing changes in the use of the property and there are already trails through the property. He said it can be used as a walking and bike path now and there is going to be no objection to people using the park but I would think you would want to get some of the trail laid out because right now it is preliminary and I cannot look at it and know where it is going to be.

Jack Madison asked if a Township Trustee would meet with their Catawba resident group once a month. Diane Belden said she would be willing to attend the meetings.

Matt Montowski said he thinks it would be appropriate for the Ottawa County Parks District to collaborate with the Catawba Island Parks Board and they can report back to the Trustees.

Jack Madison said the first step is to get a Letter of Intent signed for the North Point Preserve.

Matt Montowski asked for a copy of the Letter of Intent so the Trustees can forward it to the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

William Rofkar said what bothers him is you do not have property owners signed on saying yes you can go along my property. He said if the Trustees say this is the way it is going to go then it turns into what about eminent domain and what if one person does not want to give up his property but everyone around him does. William Rofkar said he does not want to be in that situation and once the project is far enough along with property owners signing on then you will see more traction from the township.

John Coppeler said Cedar Meadow Preserve is subject to a Conservation Easement which very specifically controls what can be done at the preserve and he agrees Trustees need to talk with legal counsel for Black Swamp Conservancy and present a specific plan as for where the path will go and what it will be comprised of. He said the plan needs to be detailed with more than just a concept of can we run a path through the preserve before Black Swamp Conservancy will sign off because they control what can be done with the conservation easement that all of that property is subject to.

William Rofkar made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

___________________________ _____________________________
Diane Belden, Chairman Karen Shaw, Fiscal Officer