Minutes: January 10th, 2023

Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees

Meeting Minutes

January 10, 2023

The regular business meeting of the Catawba Island Board of Township Trustees was called to order by Chairman Matt Montowski on Tuesday, January 10, at 9:00 a.m. in the conference room of the administration building.

In attendance were: Diane Belden, William Rofkar, Matt Montowski, Karen Shaw,
John Gangway, Kevin Johnson, Dan Barlow, William Moore, Jannah Wilson, Reggie Langford,
Jack Madison, William Baker, and Carl Sorgen.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

William Rofkar made a motion to approve the December 27, 2022 Board of Trustees regular meeting minutes as presented. Diane Belden seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Diane Belden made a motion to approve and pay final 2022 bills and the first payroll of 2023 in the amount of $22,466.14. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Matt Montowski made a motion to approve and pay January 2023 bills in the amount of $6,638.30. Diane Belden seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.


Fiscal Officer Karen Shaw presented the December 2022 financial reports and bank reconciliation. There were no questions or concerns.

Karen Shaw presented the Annual Appropriation Resolution for the Fiscal Year 2023.

William Rofkar made a motion to adopt the Annual Appropriation Resolution for the Fiscal Year 2023 as presented by the Fiscal Officer in the amount of $6,330,000. Diane Belden seconded the motion. Vote on Motion: Diane Belden, aye; William Rofkar, aye; Matt Montowski, aye; Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion to allow the Fiscal Officer to create Blanket Certificates in 2023
not to exceed $15,000 at any one time assuming adequate appropriation amounts are available. Diane Belden seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.


Matt Montowski said there were a total of 137 permits issued in 2022 and 41 of those were for new homes and a total of and 35 variances were requested with a total of $22,534.56 collected in zoning fees for 2022.


A letter from Karen Shaw requesting to exchange a cemetery space and deed previously purchased for a different location in order to have two spaces together.

Trustees agreed and acknowledged the exchange of cemetery spaces.

A letter from Brandon Fitt, local youth soccer coach, suggesting consideration be given to having an AED (automated external defibrillator) at Heigle Park for use, if needed, with the numerous recreational activities taking place at the park.

Trustees agreed they do not believe the park is a practical location for an AED due to storage concerns with temperature, maintenance, theft, etc. It was noted responding police officers carry AED units in their vehicle and it may be more practical for coaches or leagues to supply such equipment and be trained on how to operate.

Police Chief John Gangway said he spoke with our risk management representative and he had the same concerns with storage, maintenance, and someone trained to use in the time of need.

Reggie Langford suggested AED units also be housed in the lobby of the administration building and at the Community Hall.

Trustees agreed the enclosed controlled environments would be good locations to consider housing AED units. John Gangway agreed to look into the cost of additional units with storage.

A letter from the Ottawa County Auditor regarding Zoning Resolutions and Amendments. Fees are $50 for a zoning resolution and $20 for a zoning amendment.

An email from Jannah Wilson, Executive Director of the Park District of Ottawa County, regarding the 2023 Parks and Trails Improvement Grant application now available.

An email from Gary Baty, Director of the OSS Solid Waste District, announcing a one-time Infrastructure Grant to assist in the maintenance of the Aim to be Green drop off sites.

A Safety Recall from the Ford Motor Company for the 2022 F-550 Ford Fire Truck.

An email from the Ottawa County Engineer’s Office regarding Road Reviews, Striping Resolutions, and 2023 Road Paving Resolutions.

An email from Craig Miller of the Ottawa County Engineers office regarding 2022 Road Condition Ratings and a Budget Planning Tool.


Representing the fire department, Will Moore reported CIVFD members responded to four fire calls and 13 EMS calls in the month of December. Will Moore also gave a brief overview of the major or unusual incidents CIVFD members responded to 2022.

Diane Belden reported that Port Clinton EMS responded to 57 calls in October, 43 in November, and 37 in December for a total of 137 calls responded to on Catawba the fourth quarter of 2022. The contract agreement is for 409 calls and there were 536 total runs or 127 runs over the agreed upon number at a rate of $315 each for a total of $40,005 likely due in overage fees.


Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Johnson said the heat is out in a portion of the administration building but it will be repaired by the end of the week.

New Business

Jannah Wilson said the Ottawa County Park District is in the early stage of planning for the Catawba Islander Trail and Greenway Master Plan. She said it has not yet been determined which direction they will take with the trail but they are gathering facts and feasibility for the project to get a better understanding of all the components including trail amenities, route, restrooms, safety, and other types of services that will be needed to have a trail on Catawba Island. Jannah Wilson said at the conclusion of the master plan they will have a document to help make well educated decisions about the project. She said an engineer they contracted is working on a component, once that is complete it will go to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for a safety review, and then a final version of the master plan will be ready in February or March. Jannah Wilson said they are currently only focused on Phase I of the project which will be the first two miles of the trail.

Matt Montowski said the Trustees are more interested in the entire master plan than just Phase I. He said he has concerns about maintaining a portion of the trail.

Jack Madison said the trail will belong to the Ottawa County Park District and will be the responsibility of the Park District to maintain. He said the Park District Board found the entire project too large to communicate with everyone possibly involved so they broke the project into three phases and are looking at Phase I now and if it doesn’t go any further then that is fine.

Jannah Wilson said the Park District as a county entity will have the easements in the Park District’s name so any easements that they get from ODOT or private land owners will be in the name of the Park District. She said the trail and any right of way on either side of the trail or any adjoining property to the trail would be the property of the Park District and their jurisdiction, therefore the Park District’s responsibility to maintain the trail and have rules and regulations. Jannah said they would also have the authority to hire police enforcement for the trail if it becomes necessary.

Jannah Wilson said the Park District is thinking beyond Phase I and would like to see Cedar Meadow Preserve connected to the Catawba Point Preserve joining two parks together.

William Rofkar said his concern is they are learning little bits at a time with no overview of what the project is going to look like so as a government of the community it is hard to support the idea.

Jannah Wilson said she hopes that when the master plan document is completed it will give Trustees the visual representation and materials to understand how the project will come together.

Jack Madison said Phase I is the focus because it will take the residents and boaters from Gem Beach and Catawba Island Club and the Cliffs and offer a safe way to get to Rudders, other commercial areas, the ferry, and back home without being directly on Route 53 and that is why the Parks Board thinks it is the most important phase. He said it will be good to have people on a safer path and completing Phase I is an opportunity for residents to see if they like the idea and possibly get on board to offer easements to continue the project in the future.

Matt Montowski said he doesn’t feel like the Parks Board has communicated with the township police chief, fire chief, maintenance personnel or the county engineer and Trustees are concerned with the delivery of governmental services with regard to this project.

Jannah Wilson said they are in the process of communicating accordingly and recently had a meeting with the county engineer and a meeting is set up with the fire chief and she will continue to work on setting up meetings with police, Port Clinton EMS, etc. She said when the master plan document is completed it will have the notes from each of those meetings included.

Matt Montowski said he did not like when the engineering study came out and they said in the public meeting that the township is not safe because it reflects poorly on township personnel, safety services, and zoning board members.

Jack Madison said he does not think it does because highways are designed and redesigned because as standards from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, change improvements are made and the world gets safer. He said the number of new homes and increased traffic in the township has changed over the years and improvements can be made.

Diane Belden said Route 53 has a bike lane and it is not intended as a path for families and walkers with strollers. She said there is a difference.

Jannah Wilson agreed some inaccurate data was presented in their meeting with the public and she communicated her apologies for how it was presented. She said the perceived safety or comfortability of the bike lane remains a concern for many and the Park District is trying to develop something that can be an enjoyable experience to take your dog or child on and possibly be more accessible if you have mobility issues that would make it difficult to ride on the Route 53 bike lane.

William Rofkar said the safety data presented at the public meeting included accidents on Route 163 which is not even located in the township.

Jannah Wilson said they recognize that presenting that data was offensive and the Park Board has taken steps to present the information more fairly and that Catawba Island is a safe place with safety services that help make it a safe place to live and visit. She said they will pinpoint the data for Catawba and reflect that data on the Park District website and Catawba Islander Trail information.

Dan Barlow presented Trustees with a drawing and idea for improvements to the Veterans area in the cemetery. The proposed renovation includes replacing the hedge marking the perimeter with a three foot wall capped with concrete. The military service emblems would be relocated and become part of the wall. Trustees liked these and other ideas proposed and will look into the project further.

Diane Belden said January 9 was officially National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and she acknowledged the township’s five police officers on Monday with appreciation and donuts.

Diane Belden made a motion to adjourn the meeting. William Rofkar seconded the motion.
All voted aye. The meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

___________________________ _____________________________
Matt Montowski, Chairman Karen Shaw, Fiscal Officer