St. Clair trustees report on recent conference

CALCUTTA — During their meeting this week, St. Clair Township officials reported on their recent trip to Columbus for the township association conference, during which they attended various classes and trade shows.

Trustees, fiscal officer Deborah Dawson and road foreman Scott Barrett attended the conference, where they were able to choose from a variety of classes about their respective jobs.

Among those that attracted Trustee Jim Hall was a class regarding the disposal of township property, which he said includes everything from desk chairs to real estate.

Hall also attended a class dealing with how to handle issues about noxious vegetation, junked vehicles, weeds and the like, and he brought information back to be reviewed for possible use here.

“There were a lot of informative sessions,” Hall said.

Trustee Jim Sabatini sat in on the economic development session, saying there was considerable discussion about Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and New Community Authorities (NCA), which is a method of applying for funding for economic development projects.

Chairman Bob Swickard chose to attend classes focusing on law, the General Assembly and human resources and said the trustees tried not to each attend the same classes.

Dawson attended fiscal office integrity training and also public records training, since she serves as the township’s representative for that.

This was the first time Barrett attended a conference, and he was able to sit in on some classes and looked over some equipment at a trade show before having to return back to the township to address the heavy snowfall which trustees said made their trip back to Columbiana County treacherous.

During this week’s meeting, police Chief Brian McKenzie was presented a $250 check on behalf of Michael and Rachel Blaner to benefit the K-9 program for “the good work it has done.” Trustees voted to accept the donation, which was presented by Doug Blaner.

McKenzie also reported to trustees that a suspect in the Buckeye Pharmacy robbery has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, saying it was the last case he and former Detective Troy Walker worked on, after which current Detective Greg Smith “took up the reins,” resulting in an investigation that led to the arrest.

“There was a lot of technology and footwork to get them charged,” McKenzie said, adding that multiple jurisdictions were involved in the investigation.

“Good work,” Hall told him.

A resident addressed trustees without identifying himself, telling them he appreciates the strides that are being made with the township to make it grow, pointing specifically to the new car dealership that he called a “wonderful thing for the township.”

In other economic development matters, the same resident said he had applied for a job at the proposed Busy Beaver that will take over a portion of the former K Mart building and that a “soft opening” is planned for August.

Trustees voted to enroll in the Care Works Comp group rating for Workers Compensation at a cost of $2,053, which will mean a projected savings of $7,698.

In road-related matters, trustees approved the purchase of 600 tons of salt for $37,050.

It was reported a complaint had been received about water lying on the roadway at Martha Street and Y&O Road, which Barrett will check, and he will also check with the Ohio Department of Transportation about Swickard’s concern about a culvert at the lower entrance to Walmart.

Swickard announced the township administrative offices will be closed Feb. 18 in observance of Presidents’ Day.