BATH TOWNSHIP — Plans to usher in spring with an annual cleanup at Bath Township Park, located at 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road, have been delayed in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
During a recent telephone interview, Township Trustee Kassie Lester said her goal is to help create an attractive, appealing place for residents who will be frequenting the park again after state officials lift the shelter-in-place restrictions.
Lester, who is now overseeing the township park, inspected the grounds in late February and again in March. She then relayed her findings to Road Department Supervisor Mike Rhoades, who oversees the maintenance of the park.
Rhoades and his work crew will be cleaning up trash, fallen tree limbs and other debris throughout the park, as well as mowing, trimming and edging grass around the four shelter houses, parking lot and playground areas. The work crew will also be lining up the parking blocks in the parking lot and cleaning up a large pile of leaves that has accumulated behind the road department building in the winter.
In mid-March, the road crew removed four concrete picnic tables that had deteriorated and replaced several roof shingles on two picnic shelters. They also graded and seeded areas of the park that had settled since the construction of the three new playground systems, according to Rhoades.
During the March 4 township meeting, the board of trustees approved Rhoades’ request to repave the walking path in the park this summer. The township will fund the project with grant money from the Greene County Commissioners, which is dispensed through the Greene County Department of Development. According to the terms of the grant, the township must use the grant funds for permanent public improvements.
Initially, Rhoades told township trustees that the repaving project would cost approximately $37,000. However, Rhoades reported to trustees during the March 18 township meeting that he had received a written proposal from Matrix 5 Site Development that included a total price of $34,000 for the project.
“As trustees, we need to make sure that our residents have a nice place where they can bring their families,” Lester said. “The new playground equipment that was installed last year and the walking path that will be resurfaced this year are improvements that will help assure that they will have a nice park to enjoy.”
The trustees also talked about maintaining the baseball diamond in the park and discussed removing the volleyball court that, according to Rhoades, is seldom used. Lester said she thought the township should continue to maintain the baseball diamond because the nearest baseball diamond is located in Rona Hill Estates subdivision. However, Trustee Tom Pitstick said he was not in favor of spending too much money on maintaining the baseball diamond or the volleyball court. The trustees postponed making a decision about both at that time.
In other township business, the trustees addressed an issue during the March 4 meeting that resident Ben (Matt) Jones brought before the board of trustees in late January. Jones asked the board to consider pursuing financial recovery, as per Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 5577.12, for damages to Herr Road. Jones pointed out that semi trucks traveling daily to and from the Dovetail Energy LLC facility, located at 1156 Herr Road, caused additional damage to the road.
Ross stated that he had consulted with Greene County Assistant Prosecutor Sharma Anu about the issue. Anu explained that townships within Greene County have used this particular section of the ORC to obtain money for damages to township roads. However, she noted that the townships had evidence to support their claims. Anu also said she had contacted the county engineer, who was willing to help the township retrieve data on traffic counts, at no expense to the township. According to Anu, an extensive impact analysis might be required as well. The trustees agreed to have the county engineer conduct a traffic count along two sections of Herr Road that would provide baseline data.
The township trustees also took the initial step to place a 2.20-mill road levy renewal on the November 2020 ballot. Ross pointed out that the levy expires in the tax year 2020, with 2021 as the last year to collect tax dollars for this levy. Township Fiscal Officer Elaine Brown said the next course of action the trustees need to take is to pass a Resolution of Necessity.
Township Cemetery Supervisor Teresa Phillips reported that the township reached a settlement agreement with Waste Management, Inc., regarding a vehicle accident that occurred on Feb. 3. At that time, the driver of the company vehicle loss control and plunged through a chain-link fence that borders Byron Cemetery. The vehicle damaged two monuments, one double foundation, and one triple foundation in the cemetery. Phillips said the amount of the settlement agreement was $13,061.43.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.