The Bethel Township Trustees of Clark County convened in regular session last Tuesday, December 8, to discuss current issues in the area.

Items discussed include:

122 Middle Street – The Board moved to declare the Medway property a nuisance because of large amounts of trash sitting out front. The Board reported hearing that as many as 18 people occupy the structure, and that the family also keeps many animals, including chickens, which the township cannot do anything about, as the property is zoned for such animals. A certified letter was sent to the property owner, advising him that the place must be rid of all outside trash. The owner called Township Administrator Ray Nelson after receiving the letter and assured him that he would work on it.

10590 Kendig Road – Trustees said that they must be prepared to take action on the burned remains of the house at this address if the home’s mortgage company does not intend to have it demolished. Fiscal Officer Melanie Cochran has encountered difficulty getting the mortgage company to provide a clear answer on whether or not they plan to raze the structure, so the Board approved that a letter be sent to the company outlining a clear deadline. The letter will state that if the mortgage company has not made any progress on the home’s demolition by December 18, that the board will approve Trustee Don Minton to initiate demolition through Tony Smith Demolition, which will cost the township around $10,000. The house burned down earlier this year, killing the man inside.

Liability Insurance – The township’s liability insurance will be renewed effective December 15 with Ohio Plan in the amount of $25,716.

Fire Department – Acting Chief Jennifer Cotterman reported that as of the meeting time, her department had responded to 1,933 calls for service since the beginning of the year. She also explained a house fire that occurred on Greenacres Drive two weeks ago, commending her crews for a quick and effective response. She said the fire could has easily destroyed the entire house quickly if it weren’t for the speedy response and skills of the responding firefighters. She said the home’s wood-burning stove caught on fire, and spread to a pile of lumber that was placed right next to it. Cotterman said that the homeowners had to be escorted out of the home while it burned as they frantically searched for their dog. Crews did locate the dog under a bed and gave him oxygen for his severe smoke inhalation. She said that the same dog ended up escaping from his owner’s car window in Springfield two days later while the owner was inside the pharmacy getting medicine for the dog’s smoke inhalation.

Action on suspended firefighter – The board said they will likely wait to initiate an investigation into the alleged pandering of child pornography by James Risner, who has been placed on paid administrative leave by the township. Trustees said they have been advised by the county prosecutor’s office to hold off on terminating Risner until an official investigation has been conducted by the township, or until the federal proceedings develop.

Next meetings – A year-end closeout meeting is scheduled for December 30 at 4:30 p.m. Regular meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the fire station at 3333 Lake Road, with the public always welcome.

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