MUNSON — The township Fire Department is looking to replace a battery backup system and a new generator trustees have been talking about for the department and town hall building after both pieces of equipment failed over the past few weeks.
Trustee Andrew Bushman said the new generator quotes from Shepp Electric Co. of Chardon range from $25,000 to $40,000, and that the new one can be 70,000 watts, which could end up costing $10,000 less than the 100,000-Watt generator the township has now. The current backup generator, which he added was a gift from the Illuminating Company, kicks on to power town hall in the event of thunderstorms or other emergencies.
“The generator did fail,” Fire Capt. Brian Gray said at the Sept. 8 meeting. “With the help of the road department, we found a solution early Monday morning to get things back up and running. It’s an aging piece of equipment.”
Trustee Irene McMullen suggested using the $13,000 in remaining NOPEC grant money for the generator. The final decision on a generator will come after Road Department Superintendent Kirk Walker receives one more quote, trustees said.
The fire department will have to get purchase prices on the battery used to back up emergency responders’ phones and servers, trustees said.
“It failed yesterday afternoon and ate battery up so that at 10 [p.m.] last night we lost our phones, Internet, server, everything,” Capt. Gray continued. Though firefighters were able to restore service, he said, the 2010 battery will need to be replaced soon.
“Right now, there’s no battery backup to a lot of critical pieces of the Internet for ourselves and the phone system for the township,” he said. “That’s something we really need to look into.”
Trustees voted to apply for funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission to pave sections of Sherman Road in 2021. At their previous meeting, trustees confirmed that the Road Department will be performing maintenance on Boulder Glen Drive, Sycamore Road and Riverwood Drive as major road projects in 2021.
“That’s probably the worst stretch [of road] we have,” Mr. Walker said. “It would be to our advantage to have that done.”
Mr. Bushman and trustee James McCaskey both voted in favor of applying for OPWC money for Sherman Road, while Mrs. McMullen voted no.
“We’re being unrealistic about what we can get OPWC money for,” she told the other trustees.
Mrs. McMullen said that the Geauga County Engineers Office suggested conducting a speed study at the corner of Fowlers Mill and Sherman Road after the winter season to see if they can make the intersection safer following a recent accident. Previously, Mr. Bushman explained that three of the four lanes at that intersection have stop signs while one does not, to better allow cars to get up the hill in the winter.
Mr. Bushman said the county engineers should place flashing lights on the stop signs at that intersection to enhance visibility as well as two signs telling people to stop ahead.
Other projects in Munson’s pipeline include the pass-through window currently being designed by Onyx Creative architecture firm in Warrensville Heights, where Mr. Bushman said Munson Board of Zoning Appeals member Donald Alexander works as a senior project manager. Though the total cost is still unknown, Mr. Bushman said the project will be completed with CARES Act money.
The new window will allow township hall visitors to interact with staff at town hall more easily, featuring a small opening at the base that will allow residents to slide money or documents to employees on the other side.
“I’d feel safer that you can have a presence when you can look into the town hall and see a window you can go to,” Mr. Bushman explained. “This would make a clear presence of where the visitors to the town hall are supposed to go.”
He said that Onyx will complete the work and trustees will obtain separate quotes for a contractor to install the glass. The entire project should cost under $50,000, he said, estimating that Munson still has about $80,000 remaining of the $109,000 received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
“We have plans for it, but we haven’t spent it,” he said.
Trustees agreed to spend $5,000 of that money on 14 new touchless faucets and toilets for town hall from Monroe Plumbing in Burton, while another $2,450 of CARES Act Funding will cover the purchase of 14 touchless soap dispensers.
Mrs. McMullen said she would present the trustees with quotes for new air filtration and cleaning spray systems for town hall at their next meeting.
Trustees voted to transfer $5,000 within the general fund, from the community picnic fund to their medical hospitalization account, which Mr. Bushman said was a pre-emptive measure they decided to take after canceling this year’s picnic.
The next Munson Township Trustees meeting is 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 22 over Zoom.