Minutes: September 26th, 2023

Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees

Meeting Minutes

September 26, 2023

The regular business meeting of the Catawba Island Board of Township Trustees was called to order by Chairman Matt Montowski on Tuesday, September 26, 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, Dorothy Baker, William Baker, John Woods, David Howell,
Joy Noren, Mike Antonyzyn, and Ann Rumpf

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

William Rofkar made a motion to approve the September 12, 2023, 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 the bills, including the last payroll, in the amount of $135,411.22. The total includes a payment of $62,000 to Masonry Construction for work on the Veterans Area in the cemetery and a payment of $3,318.57 to Lexipol for bulletins and manual updates for CIVFD. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.


An email from Sara Hill of the Park District of Ottawa County requesting use of the Community Hall on June 11, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. for a public meeting of the Board of Park Commissioners.

Trustees agreed the Park District can use of the Hall as requested and waived the rental fee.

A letter from Jannah Wilson of the Park District of Ottawa County advising that the Park District is applying for a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission, Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, to be used toward the purchase of approximately 7.6 acres of land on Catawba Island, Ottawa County. The name of the project is the Catawba Island Pitera Property Acquisition Project.

An email from Vicki Wheatley of the Catawba Island Parks Board requesting permission to host a Fall Walk at the Cedar Meadow Nature Preserve on Saturday, October 14, at 10 a.m. and purchase pumpkins, donuts, and cider for the event.

Trustees agreed to the Fall Walk as requested and approved an expenditure up to $200 for the event.

A letter from Janet Traub concerning the destructive spotted lanternfly rapidly expanding across the United States and devastating fruit crops. Its preferred host plant is the Ailanthus tree which produces toxic chemicals. She asked if a campaign could be initiated to urge landowners to remove the trees and noted the lanternfly threatens to be a serious problem for agricultural producers.

A letter from the Ottawa County Board of Elections regarding the General Election on November 7.

A solicitation letter from GOGov requesting to provide an online software demonstration.


Fiscal Officer Karen Shaw said she initiated a wire transfer of $1,700,000 from the township’s Huntington Bank account to the township’s STAR Ohio account.


Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Johnson said the Fall Clean up went well. He also provided a quote from Pavement Technology.

William Rofkar made a motion to contract with Pavement Technology to apply Reclamite asphalt rejuvenator to Converse, Crogan, Porter, and Sloan for $12,190.58. Diane Belden seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Trustees agreed to provide a letter of commitment to the Ottawa County Engineer’s Office with their intent to proceed with the Road Resurfacing projects in 2024 as previously suggested by the Engineer’s Office including Norma, Catawba Woods Drive, and Balliette with tentative estimates provided of $40,000, $20,000, and $45,000 respectively.

New Business

Trustee William Rofkar moved the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas, Ohio Revised Code section 505.86, authorizes a board of township trustees to provide for the removal, repair, or securance of buildings or other structures in the township that have been declared insecure, unsafe, or structurally defective by the fire department, county building department, or that have been declared unfit for human habitation by the board of health; and

Whereas, the building or other structures located at 4405 E. Konker Road, Port Clinton, Ohio 43452, Catawba Island Township, Ottawa County, Ohio, has been:

Declared insecure, unsafe or structurally defective by the Catawba Island Fire Department, (see attached Fire Department Declaration) and

Whereas, the Board of Trustees, desires to proceed with the securance of the building(s) and other structures on the property as provided by law; now therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Trustees of Catawba Island Township, Ottawa County, Ohio, that the Board hereby ORDERS:

1) A title search shall be performed to identify all owners of the land and all holders of liens of record on the land; and

2) All landowners and lienholders of record shall be sent written Notice, certified mail return receipt requested, that complies with the following requirements:

• A copy of this Resolution and Order;
• Order that the owner secure the buildings and structures on the property within thirty (30) days after receipt of the Order;
• Notice that if the buildings and structures on the property are not secured, then the Township will secure the structures and will certify all expenses incurred to the Ottawa County Auditor to be entered upon the tax duplicate and be a lien on the land from the date of entry; and
• Notice that the owner or lienholder may request a hearing before the Township Trustees by giving written notice within 20 days to the Township Fiscal Officer.

3) Following the meeting of the Board held after twenty days of the owners’ receipt of the notice if no hearing request is received, or following the meeting of the Board held after thirty days of the decision from the hearing held, the Township shall proceed to have the Buildings secured.

Trustee Diane Belden seconded the motion, and the roll was called on the question of its adoption. The vote was as follows: Diane Belden, aye; William Rofkar, aye; and Matt Montowski, aye.

Diane Belden made a motion to approve the purchase of Fire Research Kit Water Tankvision and remote for Engine 222 from Atlantic Emergency Solutions for $1,099. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Trustees agreed Trick or Treat will be Tuesday, October 31, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Mike Antonyzyn asked Trustees if there has been any thought about installing a traffic light at the corner of Twin Beach and State Route 53.

William Rofkar said it is a state highway and the decision would be up to the Ohio Department of Transportation. William Rofkar said he is not in favor of traffic lights in the township.

Mike Antonyzyn asked Trustees about the volunteer fire department and if consideration has been given to housing members at the station around the clock for faster response time. He said the community is growing with new homes going up all the time and with so many visitors in the summer that he feels there is a need. Mike Antonyzyn said he thinks a combined department consisting of both volunteers and paid full time employees at the station should be looked into for better fire service in the community. He said housing EMS at the fire station would also be better.

William Rofkar said it costs money.

Mike Antonyzyn said he does not want to hear about money when he is talking about lives and people’s property.

William Rofkar said it is part of the equation.

Mike Antonyzyn said compare our community to Danbury where they have some members at the station.

William Rofkar said if you look at Danbury’s situation they are a little different and they are a lot larger and have many more calls. He said they make three times as many runs on a regular basis. William Rofkar said when you get to a point where you have that many runs it makes sense to put on levies and increase your department and have people on staff. He said but at this point we don’t feel we are quite at that place yet. William Rofkar said we have been talking about this for years and always keep an eye on it and it will evolve into that eventually.

Mike Antonyzyn said he believes there are options and he is not worried about his taxes when he is talking about safety in the community.

William Rofkar said he thinks we are in a very good spot at this point as our EMS is being taken care of well and our fire department is doing well. He said we are talking about purchasing equipment and moving forward in a sensible manner based on runs and use. William Rofkar said

once you take that leap and start staffing people and having sleeping quarters you are talking about a lot of money because there are a lot of requirements.

Diane Belden said we have had about eight or nine fire calls a month in recent months.

William Rofkar said we also have mutual aid contracts with both Port Clinton and Danbury and they all work together.

Mike Antonyzyn said time is of the essence and if we are talking volunteers versus someone housed in our station, consideration should be given to the way Danbury fire station operates.

William Rofkar said he agrees at a certain point we will be there but we are not there now because of a lack of runs. He said we have a system in place that works quite well and as time goes on and runs go up we will have people sitting in house and more equipment someday.

Mike Antonyzyn asked how it comes about where the tax payers have a voice on the matter. He asked if it can be on a referendum to see if the people want their taxes to be increased.

William Rofkar said you say money is not part of the equation because life is so important but when you are trying to run a township you have to look at money because it is a big part of the equation. He said if we had an excess budget where we could afford to put people over there yes maybe that is the way to go but if you are going to sit there for days on end and not run any runs I think most people are going to ask why did we do that when we had a system in place that was working well.

Mike Antonyzyn said he has a fire system on his house and he hopes it never goes off. He said he pays a monthly fee and wouldn’t mind paying extra to have the security of having a fire station in a 3 mile radius of the island instead of responders coming all the way from surrounding areas for fires or even Port Clinton for EMS.

William Rofkar said he understands the concern but right now cannot justify going to the ballot saying we need this kind of money to put this kind of staff on and fundamentally change everything. He said he feels it may happen but in a few years down the road.

Mike Antonyzyn asked who then decides what goes on the ballot.

Matt Montowski said we also consult with our police chief and our fire chief.

Diane Belden said we have talked about this numerous times.

William Rofkar said it is coming from our own fire department leadership as well.

Mike Antonyzyn asked who then decides what goes on the ballot.

William Rofkar said the Trustees have the ability to write ballot language and get it approved but it is not his desire to change things. He said we are at a point where we have enough money to fund things right now as they are. William Rofkar said each Trustee met individually with the fire chief last week and the officers. He said we even discussed the five year plan and equipment and all those things so these conversations are going on. William Rofkar said we are doing things with our fire department but this is not a city with millions of dollars that we can draw from. He said we are doing well with what we have and we really have good service with our fire department.

Matt Montowski said I have never had one complaint since I have sat up here for fourteen years.

William Rofkar said again, we have Port Clinton and Danbury to draw from if there is a situation and they are not that far away.

Matt Montowski said they all use volunteers. He said he does not believe a fire chief sitting at the station is the answer.

Mike Antonyzyn said he didn’t say fire chief, but he is comparing it to the research that he did with Columbia Station or Danbury and he knows there are people housed there and it is a concern he wanted to bring to the Trustees.

Fiscal Officer Karen Shaw asked Trustees why they met individually with the leadership of the fire department to discuss a five year plan rather than hold a special meeting.

William Rofkar said because we wanted to sit with them and talk to them individually.

Karen Shaw stated but all about the same thing.

William Rofkar said from everything he has learned he is absolutely on solid ground meeting with the fire chief and his officers to discuss trucks and what their thoughts are for the future.

Karen Shaw said but if you hold a special meeting and meet with all three of you at the same time then it gives residents the opportunity to attend and hear what the five year plan is and it gives the fiscal officer an opportunity to hear what the five year plan is.

William Rofkar said the fire chief asked him to come Monday at 10:00 a.m. to talk about fire trucks with the officers and so he did and that is all it boiled down to.

Karen Shaw said and that would be fine but you said all three Trustees met individually with them.

Matt Montowski said no decisions were made.

Diane Belden said nor have the three of us discussed what was presented at the fire department. She said she was under the impression we were just getting the basics.

Dorothy Baker asked what will become of the inhabitants when the house is boarded up on Konker.

William Rofkar said when we inspected the premises there were no animals living there that we could see and is by no means over run but there likely were cats living there at some point.

David Howell said they would be happy to donate pumpkins again for the Fall Walk in October. He said it is one way Howell Orchards can give back to the community.

Diane Belden made a motion to adjourn the meeting. William Rofkar seconded the motion.
All voted aye. Motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

___________________________ _____________________________
Matt Montowski, Chairman Karen Shaw, Fiscal Officer