GALENA — The last Berkshire Township Board of Trustees meeting on July 11 was canceled due to lack of content. That doesn’t mean the trustees haven’t been busy in recent months, though.
Prior to adding a third trustee, trustees Mike Dattilo and Rod Myers met on Feb. 14. At this meeting, Myers said the BST&G Fire District would like to appoint a fifth person to its board, but he didn’t agree with the idea.
At a special meeting on Feb. 17, the trustees approved the hiring of Scott Hoffman as full-time road maintenance supervisor for the township.
There was a full slate of trustees at the March 14 meeting as Paul DiSantis was welcomed. He was sworn in on Feb. 28. DiSantis was appointed to serve the remained of Josh Varble’s term on the board (Dec. 31, 2023). Varble had to step down after moving out of the township. In addition, Connor Woodford was hired as roads/maintenance worker. Both Hoffman and Woodford started March 9.
“Rod brought up the discussion of removing the 3-minute time limit on Public Participation,” said the meeting minutes. “After some discussion the Trustees decided to leave it to the Chairman’s/The board’s discretion on Public Participation time of speaking.”
At the April 11 meeting, the trustees approved hiring Chris Sharlike as part-time board clerk. They also agreed to open the hall at 1454 Rome Corners Road for rental for four months, depending on the status of the pandemic.
“Rod also brought forward that he thinks Berkshire Township needs to record the meetings,” the minutes read. “He doesn’t mind if no video but wants audio. After much discussion, (Administrator Kevin Vaughn) will look into this and get some information on what needs to be provided to complete this task.”
Recordings began at the next meeting on April 25, Vaughn said. Also at that meeting, the trustees approved the purchase of a new 12-by-16 shed at the cemetery for $7,296.
“The new shed will be purchased to replace the old shed, which is falling apart. The shed will house the zero-turn mower and other lawn equipment and will allow flexibility for the maintenance crew … the old shed will be destroyed, and the new shed will be locked.”
A member of the public requested raised vegetable beds for Berkshire, similar to Genoa Township.
“The trustees were in agreement not to pursue community gardens at this time,” the minutes said. “Objections included lack of interest/demand by the community and the possibility the plots would not be properly maintained by community members, creating an eyesore.”
On May 9, Myers said recorded meetings would be on the website once the minutes of that meeting were approved (the last four are available). During the next meeting on May 23, they approved three declarations of nuisance on separate properties. They also approved a resident’s request to have a ditch cover installed.
Lastly, Kim Zianno Hartman was appointed to the township’s Board of Zoning Appeals on June 13, filling a vacancy. In addition, a speed study on Plumb Road was approved.