PERRY TOWNSHIP – The Trustees discussed the problems of having a shortage of deputies in the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Road Patrol at the June 26 meeting.
A committee has been reviewing the coverage needs of the township.
“I think we all agreed in our prior work sessions and meetings that we’re putting a levy on the ballot;
there’s no doubt about that,” said Trustee Rick Amos. “I think we’ve gotten close to the number we want to put up and we need to finalize that.”
Trustee Phil Haskell noted they would be having a meeting with residents.
Amos said they will need to discuss how the money would be spent.
Haskell suggested reviewing the other township police contracts to see how they work.
Amos commented on the amount of activity posted on the LCSO Facebook page for just three deputies over one weekend.
“I tried to do a snapshot of the weekend,” said LCSO Chief Deputy Frank Leonbruno. “I think at that time we had two DOAs over the weekend. We had seven accidents. We had seven domestics. We had three burglaries. There were 160 calls for neighbor disputes and those types of deals.”
He said he tried to give the public an idea of how much the deputies have to handle.
People have also been questioning why they are being asked to go to the LCSO office to fill out reports, he said. Due to the cuts in the number of deputies, they do not always have a deputy available to respond to a non-emergency call.
“There’s a significant manpower problem and a few people can’t be six places at once,” Amos said.
Lt. Carl Dondorfer noted they had two recent suicide threats which require two officers to respond.
Leonbruno noted he had been getting calls and e-mails about a photo posted online of a Lake County deputy in a squad car, texting and driving with no hands on the wheel.
“I put on our Facebook it’s not us,” he said. “It’s somebody in Franklin County that’s three hours away.”
Leonbruno said there was a man in the area who was pulling into the parking lots of businesses along North Ridge Road (Route 20), sit in his car and wait for someone to pull in and enter the business. The man would then walk like he was going to the store and open any unlocked car doors and steal whatever contents he could from the vehicle.
“It’s amazing how many people don’t lock their car,” he said.
Leonbruno also said he had asked North Perry and Perry Village police to help secure the areas of accidents if LCSO or the Ohio State Highway Patrol could not respond promptly.
He said calls could take from a few minutes to several hours for a drunk driving arrest. Some calls, such as for domestic violence, required two deputies to respond.
Dondorfer gave his report for May. There were 326 calls with one injury accident and six property damage accidents. A female was arrested for disorderly conduct on Oregon. New investigations included: 13 thefts, three for drugs, one sex offense, two burglaries, one assault and one breaking and entering.
“We did monitor the speed trailer on Middle Ridge,” he said. “We’ll continue to move those speed trailers around at your request, where you’d like them.”
In other business:
* The trustees approved payment of $2,380.20 to Mattingly Brothers for work at the Perry Township Park campground to put in pipe and an electrical box for an additional campsite.
They discussed running another water line to the campsite in the future.
* The trustees approved expending $3,000 for the storm sewer at Canyon View.
* Trustee Phil Haskell said they only received $45 for paper recycling from Abitibi for the month of May. The township keeps falling short on the amount of paper collected in the bins to collect the $15 per ton. When they are below a certain level, the amount paid drops way down.
“We’re only 400 or 500 pounds short every month,” he said, adding sometimes people leave the lids open and papers blow around.
The money raised is all donated to the Perry Schools for scholarships.
* Haskell said he was having someone from Mars Electric come out to do an energy audit of the Webb Road garage to see what, if anything, could be done to reduce electrical usage which now runs about $7,000 per year.
* The trustees approved a resolution to transfer $250,000 for a new capital fund and $10,200 for the crack sealing program this year.
From the June 12 minutes:
* Loretta Nemeth of Webb Road said someone tried, unsuccessfully, to burglarize her home on May 12. She asked if the township had some type of means of alerting residents when such events occur.
Amos said the Township only had the quarterly newsletter, but the LCSO put releases on its website and on occasion has used Reverse 9111 to contact residents concerning emergencies.
* Chief Arnie Stanko of the Middlefield Township Police Department, who is a Perry resident and member of the committee to review police coverage needs advised trustees of five protection options: Madison Township Police, Lake County Sheriff's Office, Perry Village Police, establishing a Perry Township Police Department or forming a district police force with other townships.
Trustees had a lengthy discussion on the topic. All agreed the township did not have the funding to support any option without a levy.
* The trustees approved paying: $10,000 to Ronyak Paving to pay the cul-de-sacs at Pine Hollow Place and Shady Pine Place and $12,075.86 for two John Deere Z910A Commercial ZTrak 48-inch mowers. The purchase will be financed through Lake National Bank for 3.6 percent for four years.
* The trustees adopted a resolution requesting the Ohio Department of Transportation reduce the speed limit on state Route 20 in Perry Township.
The next regular meeting of the trustees will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 10.