Minutes: July 1st, 2022

Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees

Special Meeting

July 1, 2022

Chairman William Rofkar called the Special Meeting regarding House Bill 172 to order on Tuesday, July 1, at 9:00 a.m. in the conference room of the administration building located at 4822 E. Cemetery Road.

In attendance were: Diane Belden, Matt Montowski, William Rofkar, Karen Shaw,
John Gangway, Dan Barlow, Rebecca Jessen, Dorothy Baker, John Karl, Toni DeLuca,
Bob Feyes, Sandra Mohley, Matthew Stouffer, and Randy Riedmaier

William Rofkar opened discussion to the floor regarding the Trustees intent to pass a Resolution addressing the provisions of Amended Substitute House Bill 172 concerning the Township’s right to restrict and/or ban the discharge, ignition and exploding of 1.4G fireworks.

Police Chief John Gangway said the Police Department is in favor of banning fireworks in the township. He said police personnel understand they will not be able to stop all fireworks being discharged but it will give them the authority by Ohio Revised Code to take care of egregious problems. He said the department typically issues warnings first. John Gangway said the police agree with the ban due to safety reasons.

Eric Schramm spoke on behalf of the Catawba Island Volunteer Fire Department and stated personal safety is a concern as well as property protection and boats in the local marinas. He said there has also been an increase in housing density on Catawba Island over the years and the fire department is in complete support of banning fireworks.

Sandra Mohley, a visitor to Catawba Island for 32 years, said she understands concern about fire but she thinks people should be allowed to set off normal fireworks in their backyard. She asked if children can use sparklers.

Trustees agreed sparklers and novelty type fireworks were allowed.

John Gangway said 1.4G fireworks consumer grade are not allowed. He said basically anything that explodes is not allowed.

Rebecca Jessen said she has lived on Catawba for over 20 years and is a full time resident. She said she can appreciate that some people would like to be able to set off fireworks, but people tend to set off fireworks two weeks prior to and two weeks after the holiday. Rebecca Jessen said while some people are on vacation many full time residents work and are kept up late at night as are their animals. She said she believes it is dangerous and disruptive and her concern is if fireworks are legal that private displays will get even bigger than those currently set off.

William Rofkar said he positive that the majority of township residents would prefer to continue the ban on fireworks. He said the governor has given the township legislative authority to ban the discharge of fireworks and that is how he intends to vote.

Matt Montowski said he is favor or banning fireworks but he also feels it is important to listen to the fire and police departments and they support the action.

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July 1, 2022

Diane Belden said she believes it is the Trustees responsibility to respect the opinion of the police and fire departments. She said the Governor is allowing municipalities to opt out and many are opting out and leaving fireworks displays to the professionals. Diane Belden said she believes it is the right decision.

Trustees confirmed that the Catawba Island Club will continue to set off fireworks professionally three times per year with the Catawba Island Volunteer Fire Department in attendance. CIC fireworks can be viewed from the state park or elsewhere around the township on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Trustee William Rofkar moved the adoption of the following:

WHEREAS, on October 27, 2021, the Ohio General Assembly passed Amended Substitute House Bill 172 (“H.B. 172”) concerning among other things, the purchase, possession, discharge, ignition and exploding of 1.4G fireworks in the State of Ohio; and

Whereas, Governor DeWine signed H.B. 172 into law on November 8, 2021; and

WHEREAS, provisions of H.B. 172 (including what is now R.C. 3743.45(D) and (E) and R.C. 3743.451 (B) allow townships and other governmental entities, to restrict the dates and times a person may discharge, ignite and/or explode what are commonly referred to as “fireworks” and to allow townships and other governmental entities to ban the discharge, ignition and/or explosion of fireworks purchased pursuant to R.C 3743.45; and

WHEREAS, The Catawba Island Township Trustees desire to ensure the health and safety of residents, visitors, residential property, businesses, woodlands, and agricultural property; and

WHEREAS, this resolution does not apply to Licensed Fireworks Exhibitors that comply with all applicable rules and requirements adopted by the Fire Marshall that govern licensed and approved fireworks exhibitions;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED The Catawba Island Township Trustees ban the discharge, ignition and/or explosion of 1.4G fireworks in Catawba Island Township, Ottawa County, State of Ohio, effective July 1, 2022.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that all formal actions of the Board of Trustees relating to the adoption of this resolution were adopted in an open meeting of this Board, and that all deliberations of this Board that resulted in such formal action were in meetings open to the public, in compliance with all legal requirements.

Trustee Matt Montowski seconded the resolution and upon the roll being called, the vote resulted as follows: William Rofkar, aye; Matt Montowski, aye; and Diane Belden, aye.

Matt Montowski made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Diane Belden seconded the motion. All voted aye. The meeting adjourned at 9:20 a.m.

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William Rofkar, Chairman Karen Shaw, Fiscal Officer