Minutes: October 24th, 2023

Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees

Meeting Minutes

October 24, 2023

The regular business meeting of the Catawba Island Board of Township Trustees was called to order by Chairman Matt Montowski on Tuesday, October 24, at 9:00 a.m. in the conference room of the administration building.

In attendance were: Diane Belden, William Rofkar, Matt Montowski, Mary Jane Porozynski,
John Gangway, Kevin Johnson, Louis Wargo, Dorothy Baker, William Baker, Kate Heidenescher,
Lisa Murphy, Nora Conley, Nancy Oreskovich, Ann Rumpf, Rod Ashcraft, and Scott Hines

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

Diane Belden made a motion to approve the October 10, 2023, Board of Trustees regular meeting minutes as presented. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion to approve and pay the bills, including the last payroll, in the amount of $206,439.73. The total includes a payment of $138,784.19 to the Ottawa County Engineer’s Office for the 2023 Road Resurfacing project, a payment of $3,930 to Coldspring for military medallions for the new Veterans area in the cemetery, and a payment of $5,760 to Ashcraft Tree Service for removal of trees following recent storms. Diane Belden seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.


A letter from the neighbors of the Maplewood Allotment expressing concern for the continued facilitation of a feral cat colony by one of the residents which, they believe, has significantly impacted their quality of life and infringed on their rights as property owners.

A letter from the Miller Boat Line announcing they have applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for a dock extension on the submerged lands of Lake Erie adjacent to their property and request a resolution from the local authority stating the submerged lands in question is not needed by the local authority for future improvements, etc.

Matt Montowski said Mark Messa, Director of the Ottawa Regional Planning Commission, said the local authority in this case is the county, not the township. There is no need for Trustees to pass a resolution and all documents pertaining to the submerged land lease will be forwarded to the Ottawa County Commissioners for further review.

A letter from Frank LaRose, Ohio Secretary of State, regarding the November 7 General Election and notice that information about the statewide ballot issues is posted at VoteOhio.gov.

A solicitation from Kiser Sound & Communication.


Police Chief John Gangway said the new garage door openers are being installed by JVS. He said they hope to take delivery of the new police SUV the first week of December. John Gangway said the in car camera has been delivered.

Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Johnson said the 2010 International truck is in for repairs at Selking International and is need of at least $1,866 in repairs and likely more as they continue to go over the unit.

Trustees agreed Selking International should repair the International truck as needed.

William Rofkar said Trustees originally approved a quote from Lake Erie Tree Service for $24,850 to grind mulch and then a storm came through after approving the quote, but before they did the grinding. He said Kevin Johnson informed Lake Erie Tree Service that there was additional material due to the storm and to keep track of the difference. William Rofkar said but instead they ground everything up and invoiced us for an additional $17,250. He said we have called Lake Erie Tree Service and asked them to come out and discuss the additional material but we have not heard back from them.

Kevin Johnson said he told the driver to have their boss call him regarding the additional material before they started. He said he sent emails and left messages but he has not heard back from them.

William Rofkar said he thinks we should pay the original price that was agreed to and then include a note stating that they need to contact us and negotiate the additional charges. William Rofkar said he estimated 25% to 30% over and could have figured that in but didn’t know what they had in mind. He said we have called multiple times and we have not heard back from them. William Rofkar said he didn’t want to burn bridges with a good company but we are just not getting any response. He said the billing does not specify additional cost for a specific additional cubic amount of material.


Louis Wargo said the fire department is replacing the batteries in Engine 222. He said when they were annually testing the fire pumps they blew a pipe out of the pump on tanker 220 which will be an extensive repair. Louis Wargo said he is working on pricing to get a quote on parts to order and repair partially in house then send to W.W. Williams in Perrysburg to complete the repairs.

Trustees agreed to the purchase of batteries for Engine 222 from Lakeland for a total of $1,045.76.

Diane Belden made a motion to approve additional repairs in the amount of $913.76 for truck 225 by W.W. Williams. Work was previously approved not to exceed $3,700 and the total estimate for repairs came in at $4,613.76. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Matt Montowski said CIVFD member Rick Adams has inquired about the possible use of portable temporary signage being used at the fire station for the purpose of promoting the need for additional volunteers. He said a portable 3 x 5 unlit sign used only during high recruiting periods or for promotional events like the chicken barbeque and banners are options.

Matt Montowski said he has no concerns with the use of temporary signage at the fire station.

William Rofkar said anything regarding electronic signage should go through zoning but if it is just a small board and meets all the basic guidelines that other businesses are required to follow he has no concern.

Matt Montowski agreed to follow up with the zoning inspector and get back with Rick Adams.

Diane Belden made a motion to approve Jack Zeigler’s resignation from the Board of Zoning Appeals. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Matt Montowski made a motion to appoint Rebecca Jessen Dubber to fulfill the unexpired term of Sandra Erwin through December of 2026 on the Board of Zoning Appeals and appoint William Baker to fulfill the unexpired term of Jack Zeigler through December of 2024. Diane Belden seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

New Business

Diane Belden said regarding the feral cats, there is a program through the Human Society called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) but there is a cost. She said the cats could then be taken to farms as long as they are neutered and spayed. Diane Belden said she also reached out to Gerald Bingham at the Ottawa County Health Department and he is going to get back to her.

Nora Conley and Kate Heidenescher spoke regarding the situation and said they have tried to work with the individual but the cats continue to be fed making it difficult to trap the cats. They also said that flees have spread to neighborhood pets and asked why the individual cannot be ticketed.

John Gangway said he has dealt with the issue in the past and has also contacted the Human Society and the Health Department as well as the Prosecuting Attorney and there is no Ohio Revised Code that allows township police to charge criminally for feeding cats. He said municipalities and villages can enact resolutions that do not allow it but the township operates by the Ohio Revised Code. John Gangway said the only thing the homeowners association could do is have an attorney write a letter to the individual and if that does not work possibly take civil action with the court demanding, if they ruled in your favor, that the individual remove the cats or stop feeding the cats by a certain date. He said the individual could also be responsible for attorney fees, but it is not an overnight solution.

William Baker said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources did a good job of trapping a colony of cats on the old bay bridge and suggested reaching out to ODNR for ideas.

Matt Montowski said Nora Conley and Kate Heidenescher should follow up with the Health Department since they visited the homeowners recently. He said the township would reach out to ODNR regarding the issue.

Matt Montowski said the township Parks Board held the Fall Walk on October 14 and it was pouring rain but there were about 30 people ready to participate. Diane Belden said the weather was not great for the walking trails but kids were welcomed at the fire station to see the fire trucks.

Diane Belden said she heard from Jannah Wilson of the Park District of Ottawa County and their grant application received the highest score and they hope to close on purchase of the NW Catawba Road property in early 2024. She said it is approximately 7 acres of protected green space and they hope to have picnic tables and trails in the future.

William Rofkar said regarding the house at 4405 E. Konker, the owner has not been available to sign for the certified letter and we are waiting to hear options from our legal counsel.

Matt Montowski said he received an email from MaryLue Carroll regarding use of the Community Hall front room for TOPS OH1487 Weight Loss Group meetings and a request to change from Tuesday evening to morning meetings.

Trustees agreed with to the time request change for TOPS meetings.

Matt Montowski said the Ohio Township Association is offering a new Township Education Subscription for $250 a year to grant access to all affiliate members within the township to current and archived webinars for the calendar year.

Trustees agreed to follow up and register for the annual webinars beginning in 2024.

A resident expressed concern with The Orchard employees walking from the restaurant at night in the dark to the employee parking lot located across the street in all black clothing.

John Gangway said he would have another conversation with restaurant management.

Lisa Murphy asked if the township pays for first responders to take EMT classes.

William Rofkar said the township pays for our people to be trained.

Lisa Murphy said she would like to see a contract required because she believes the township paid for training for an individual and the individual never responded to any calls and became a nurse.

Louis Wargo said he is not familiar with anyone that the township paid the training for and then left.

Lisa Murphy expressed concern about the property for sale on NW Catawba and the ill behavior of individuals in the potential new park.

William Rofkar said it is not a township park and any concerns should be brought up with the Park District of Ottawa County.

Matt Montowski said if someone is throwing up or urinating in your yard you should call the police.

Scott Hines said someone is drilling holes the size of a softball in Laurel Ridge Drive.

John Gangway said there was a surveyor drilling similar holes nearby recently and he believes the individuals were looking for survey pins.

Scott Hines said not everyone is happy that Trustees moved all regular meetings to the morning. He said some people work during the day and it seems like the meetings should be split up at least one in the morning and one in the evening.

Matt Montowski said one advantage is we don’t have to pay employees overtime to attend meetings. He said the Trustees are always available.

Scott Hines said Trustees are more available if at least one meeting is in the evening.

Diane Belden said she agrees. She said she likes the morning meetings and voted for the morning meetings but she understands that may not be best for all constituents.

William Rofkar said he doesn’t see the hardship. He said we get mail, emails, and phone calls.

Scott Hines said then let’s just do away with meetings and do it all by phone.

William Rofkar said more people are coming to the day time meetings and it seems to be less of an inconvenience.

Several audience members said they disagree.

Lisa Murphy said she agrees at least one meeting should be in the evening.

Diane Belden made a motion to adjourn the meeting. William Rofkar seconded the motion.
All voted aye. Motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 10:25 a.m.

___________________________ _____________________________
Matt Montowski, Chairman Karen Shaw, Fiscal Officer