MUNSON — Township officials are looking to a new normal as they consider changes needed before allowing residents into public buildings and parks as Ohio gradually reopens after the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.

Road Department Superintendent Kirk Walker said at the May 12 trustees meeting that he received a quote from Ben Franklin Plumbing of Chardon to retrofit five toilets, two urinals and two faucets in the public restrooms at Bass Lake Park with touchless sensors for $5,998. This, he said, would help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in public facilities.

“The new norm is going to be touchless going forward,” Trustee Jim McCaskey commented.

Trustees did not decide on the proposed replacements but agreed to look into the number of hand sanitizer containers that will be needed in township facilities.

Trustee Chairwoman Irene McMullen said Plexiglas dividers have been installed in the township building and asked if employees might begin working in the office on a full-time basis. She said it is too early to allow residents to return, but when that time comes the township will need to amass adequate sanitation supplies for public use.

“What I’ve observed in the office is that staff are taking it seriously and practicing safe procedure at all times,” Munson Fiscal Officer Todd Ray said.

Mr. Walker said that the Munson Township Road Department received an offer for its GMC truck for $24,495.

“It’s a 1990, and it’s got 80-some thousand miles,” Mr. Walker said. “It’s got 250-some hours logged. It’s well past its use, but still a good truck, still in good shape. Good enough for a private individual to use.” Trustees, who previously replaced the 2.5-ton truck with a similar but newer model, agreed to wait for more offers.

In other business, trustees approved an authorization of noncompetitive procurement, which will allow the Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District to perform an analysis of erosion at the Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School football stadium grounds.

“For the work that Geauga SWCD is doing, we feel like, they’re our partner, they work for the county, so there’s no way someone could do it for less and they have the expertise they need,” Ms. McMullen said.

She explained that the project is in its very early stages and will last at least a year, but the township will be able to obtain a grant and select a builder to repair the eroded land at the stadium once Geauga SWCD reports back with findings.

Trustees decided to wait to hear back from the governor’s office before making a final decision about which pest control company they want to hire to spray insecticides on township parks and facilities and when the facilities could reopen. Mr. Walker said one all-natural option is a bit more expensive but eliminates the waiting period.

Munson Fire Department Chief Michael Vatty announced that call volume, which came to a screeching halt in mid-March when the statewide stay-at-home order was issued, has started to pick up again. He also said the township is seeing more traffic accidents as businesses reopen.

Chief Vatty also touched on his department’s new permitting and inspection program for commercial fireworks displays, explaining that the price of a permit increased by $50 this year, up to $200. He said that nobody purchased a permit in 2019.

The Mayfield Drive-In is now open, Chief Vatty announced, and some local high schools will be holding their graduation ceremonies there; he said Chardon High School, for example, is scheduled for June 4.

The next Munson Township trustees meeting will be held via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. on May 26. Visit munsontwp.com to attend the meeting.

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