Perry Township happenings

Dear Editor and Perry Township residents:

Our trustees at the Oct. 9 Perry Township board meeting discussed their medical reimbursement plan that they had been forced to drop during 2015 because the plan did not comply with ACA (Obamacare) regulations. Trustee Dusty Smith reported that recent changes permit townships to once again pay officials (trustees and fiscal officers) for their medical expenses. Trustee Smith went on to explain that the changes, however, require that part-time employees must now also receive this medical reimbursement benefit.

According to Smith, the coverage of medical reimbursements must be uniform for all employees and since the township officials are part-time employees of the township, the township must also reimburse our two part-time employees (Jerry, who maintains the cemeteries and Chris who mows the roads) for their medical expenses. (Contrary to this, I found out in looking up federal regulations and the Ohio Auditor’s State Bulletin 2017-002 that if a medical reimbursement plan is offered, coverage must be uniform for township officials and full-time employees. But coverage does not have to be provided to part-time and seasonal employees. ) The trustees then unanimously passed a resolution for a medical reimbursement plan that would cover themselves, the fiscal officer, and our part-time employees, with a $3,000 reimbursement limit a year for each employee. They agreed to prorate the reimbursement for the remaining two months and start 2018 with the full $3,000 per individual limit amount. Medical expense receipts will be turned into the fiscal officer for reimbursement and then returned to the employee for keeping.

Our fiscal officer, Brenda Hughes, informed the trustees that the township has not received any resumes for a part-time hire to plow the snow. Our trustees decided to drop the search for a snow plow employee at this time, as they would hate to give $3,000 in medical reimbursements to the employee even if there was no snow plowing work for the hire to do. The trustees strongly encouraged Jerry T., who maintains the cemeteries and does other tasks as he sees necessary, to get his CDL license so that he could operate the snow plow truck. Trustee Tom Creachbaum said that the township would pay for the CDL test and for Jerry’s time qualifying for the license.

The trustees discussed a pothole on Bonner Road that needs filling and missing road signs. The Tigner property in New Martinsburg has been up for auction twice with no bids. Trustee Smith reported that that the county, under a new land bank program, might take over the property, tearing down the building and then maintaining the property. Smith has consulted with Dan Drake, assistant prosecuting attorney, about the situation with the property on Barrett and Bonner roads. The trustees agreed to get together and measure off the right-a-way on the property and then clear the brush on the right-a-way. Dan Drake stated that the flooding problem on Stauton-Sugar Grove Road is the responsibility of the property owner of the quarry.

The trustees are interested in replacing the zero-turn mower with a new one. Several residents addressed the trustees about a nuisance problem created by “The House of Pain.” They expressed frustration trying to find a solution to the problem, having contacted various county departments, including the sheriff and zoning, to no avail. The trustees said they will work on the problem through Dan Drake, our county’s assistant prosecuting attorney.

Janet Anderson

Perry Township resident