Minutes: February 13th, 2024

Catawba Island Township Board of Township Trustees

Meeting Minutes

February 13, 2024

The regular business meeting of the Catawba Island Board of Township Trustees was called to order by Chairman Diane Belden on Tuesday, February 13, 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,
Kevin Johnson, John Gangway, Kevin Gibbons, Will Moore, Louie Wargo, Dan Barlow,
Marty Auxter, Brian Gutman, Jack Madison, Shelly Garcia, Dorothy Baker, William Baker,
Lisa Murphy, and Randy Riedmaier

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.

Matt Montowski made a motion to approve the January 23, 2024, 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 two payrolls, in the amount of $79,304.47. The total includes a payment of $8,470.30 to Atlantic Emergency Solutions for CIVFD retrofit expenses, a payment of $4,376 to Morton Salt for the first salt order for 2024, and a payment of $2,890.16 to Port Clinton Ford to repair the brakes on the maintenance F550.
Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.


A Public Records Request from Randy Riedmaier for audio recordings of the January 9, and January 23, 2024 public meetings and all communications between Township Trustees and members of the Catawba Island Volunteer Fire Department, between Trustees and the township’s Risk Management Agency, and between Trustees from December 1, 2023 and January 31, 2024.

Correspondence and recordings were provided to Randy Riedmaier as requested.

A letter from Dan Barlow regarding security changes being made at the fire station and requesting which Trustee(s) had concerns and approached the Fire Chief and officers with those concerns and how they became aware of concerns as they were never discussed with CIVFD members.

A letter from Frank Harmon, Ohio Insurance Services Agency, Inc. regarding the May 1, Healthcare Renewal.

A letter from Karl Busby requesting use of the Community Hall on May 5, for a family gathering.

Trustees agreed Karl Busby can use the Community Hall as requested and waived the rental fee.

An email from Esperanza Davenport requesting use of the Community Hall on Friday, February 23, for a community movie night.

Trustees agreed the CIVFD Ladies Auxiliary can use the Community Hall and waived the fee.

A letter from Vicki Wheatley requesting use of the Community Hall on February 26, for the Parks Board Speaker Series. Kelly Schott from ODNR will present “How the Eclipse Affects Wildlife”.

Trustees agreed the Catawba Island Parks Board can use the Community Hall and waived the fee.

A letter from the Ottawa County Board of Elections regarding the election to be held March 19.

An invitation from the Ottawa County Farm Bureau to the Legislative Luncheon on March 25, at the Bay Township Fire Hall.


Fiscal Officer Karen Shaw presented January Financial Reports.


Matt Montowski said there were three zoning permits issued in January with a total of $326.16 collected in fees.


Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Johnson said he is getting quotes for work at the compost facility.

Kevin Johnson said he would like to purchase a compactor tamper for various projects. He said the last two that were rented from various places did not work well.

Trustees agreed Kevin Johnson should look into prices for purchasing a compactor tamper.

William Rofkar made a motion to contract with Bill’s Implement for the 2024 Annual Mower Lease Trade In program for a total of $7,500 for two mowers; a 48” mower for use in the cemetery and a 60” mower for use at other township locations. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.


Police Chief John Gangway said the 2017 police interceptor is at Statewide Ford getting equipment transferred to the new car which should be here within two weeks and then decals will be installed.


Travis Thompson, Vice President of Risk Management with the Ohio Plan, said across the state organizations are looking at securing different physical assets and sources of protected health information not only in fire and EMS departments but in civic halls. He said there is a general expectation of all political subdivisions to protect the assets and information they have secured.

Travis Thompson said there is an opportunity for volunteerism but in order for all our immunities and defenses our coverages extend to, those individuals who are volunteering need to be recognized authorized volunteers. He said he is hearing there may be a volunteer program that may or may not be official or may or may not be authorized.

Dan Barlow said no one was notified the security changes were going to happen until it was decided. He said looking at the township as a whole, there is a lot of equipment that is not protected, i.e. maintenance shop, fire station, administration building, police vehicles in the garage, and asked why all of a sudden the fire department is the one place to secure?

William Rofkar said there are cameras located in the administration building.

Dan Barlow said the decision was rushed and several individuals are hurt by how it was addressed. He said if it had been discussed in advance with time to look at the situation and digest the information it would not have felt like such a hit. Dan Barlow said many people in the department do not know anything about it and when he asked the officers he was told to go talk to the Trustees.

Matt Montowski said the Trustees are responsible for securing the public’s assets.

Diane Belden said she does not believe it was a hit at the fire department. She said she asked how other fire departments handle the situation and people turn in their keys when they are no longer members of the fire department. Diane Belden said volunteers are still welcome as part of the association it is just monitoring who can go in and out whenever they feel like it.

Randy Riedmaier said he is one of the retired/past members of the department. He said on the evening of Monday, January 29, he was informed he would no longer be allowed in the fire station unless he was accompanied by a regular member. Randy Riedmaier said that has been a practice that has been going on for as long as he can remember and he started in 1974. He asked what brought all this to light and has taken us to the point where we are today.

Diane Belden said I think we were just trying to get things caught up.

Randy Riedmaier said no, this did not just come up out of the blue, something had to prompt the decision.

William Rofkar said he would see Randy Riedmaier’s truck at the fire station during the day unattended and mentioned it to the fire chief and asked if that was appropriate to have a nonmember in the fire station alone. He said that conversation took place a couple times over the last few years.

Randy Riedmaier asked what William Rofkar thought he was doing at the station.

William Rofkar said I don’t want to make any accusations but if you resigned years ago and now have free access to a building that has medical records I don’t think that is right more than any other person who could walk in off the street and have access. He said I don’t want to accuse you of anything but I saw a situation plenty of times that I thought should be considered by the chief.

Randy Riedmaier said the department turned 75 year in September and he worked for 18 months to put a history together for the department. He said he could have been helping to prepare for the chicken barbeque or cooking for the dinner we put on in October. Randy Riedmaier said and now you do not trust me to be in the fire department and you could have just asked what I was doing.

William Rofkar said I asked the chief and he was concerned so I let him handle the situation. He said he recognizes that Randy Riedmaier is a member of the general public and not under the township’s umbrella of protection by being an official volunteer in the department.

Randy Riedmaier said he responds to calls and mans the radio, but in the future if all the trucks roll out I would have to leave because no other members would still be at the station.

William Rofkar said well the way it stands you are not covered under our insurance.

Travis Thompson said if we are going to adopt specific uses, for a non-active roster, it is real easy to put together and give that authorization. He said I think that will clear up a lot of the concerns.

Fire Chief Kevin Gibbons said we should move forward with access control and cameras and we will discuss active and non-active rosters.

Randy Riedmaier said if there was a concern for three of four years we should have sat down and had a conversation about it. He said he feels there is a lack of communications and after all the years of service given to be told he cannot be in the fire station without an active member present felt like a slap in the face.

Brian Gutman, acting Fire Chief for the City of Port Clinton, said at Port Clinton as soon as you make the choice to leave the roster, you give up any access to the department. He said once you are inactive on the roster you no longer have the ability to enter the fire station at your leisure. He said the department is locked down at all times.

Brian Gutman said in 2023 the EMS call volume to Port Clinton, Bay Township, and Portage Township decreased while the call volume to Catawba increased which is attributed to the number of lift assist calls. He said almost 40% of the calls to Catawba are for lift assists.

Brian Gutman said they have had good response from CIVFD members helping out on scene.

Randy Riedmaier said under the new system vendors will be given an access code to enter the fire station to perform work and they will be alone without a member but long term retired members are not allowed the same access.

Marty Auxter said now we will have cameras so if a vendor does something we would know.

Randy Riedmaier said you would have the same cameras if volunteers were in the station to help.

Kevin Gibbons said CIVFD members responded to 3 fire runs and 14 EMS runs for a total of 17 runs responded to in January.

Marty Auxter said the ADT cost quotes presented and approved at the last meeting for video and access control at the fire station were incorrect and another vendor is needed for the installation. He asked Trustees to approve a new motion based on corrected totals from the vendors.

Matt Montowski made a motion to approve a contract with ADT for install of Access Control and Video Surveillance at the fire station for $5,414.31 and a contract with Tanner Supply to install the locks and electric strikes for $3,310 for a total of $8,724.31 plus a monthly monitoring fee of $128.62. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Will Moore said the Firemen’s Association approved two volunteer applicants for further review and the applicants are in the process of getting background checks and physicals.

New Business

William Rofkar made a motion to add a fee of $150 for installation of a flush marker to the Cemetery Fee Schedule. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Matt Montowski made a motion to remove the $10 fee for access to the Community Hall to decorate the day before rental. William Rofkar seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion to contract with Republic Services for one 6 yard container service at the maintenance building for $135 per month and two 96 gallon containers at the Community Hall for $33.66 per month. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion to contract with Republic Services for spring and fall cleanup in April and September at a rate of $260 per haul and $50 per ton. A rebate for steel will be received after both cleanup events. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion to participate in the Firelands Corporate Health Center Consortium Membership (Random Program) for drug and alcohol testing in 2024. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

William Rofkar made a motion to participate in the Ottawa County Engineer’s 2024 Road Resurfacing program for Catawba Woods Drive, Balliette Drive, and Norma Drive with estimates provided by the Ottawa County Engineer’s Office of $19,334, 47,800, and $39,416 respectively for a total of $106,550. Matt Montowski seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Diane Belden said a member of the Rotary Club asked about reserving tennis and pickleball courts or the pavilion at Heigel Park this summer for a fundraiser.

Trustees agreed they do not reserve the courts or pavilion and use is on a first come first serve basis.

Matt Montowski made a motion to adjourn the meeting. William Rofkar seconded the motion.
All voted aye. Motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 10:45 a.m.

___________________________ _____________________________
Diane Belden, Chairman Karen Shaw, Fiscal Officer