A wildflower meadow in the park across from the Berkshire Township Hall means less mowing and more color.

Gary Budzak | The Gazette

GALENA — Berkshire Township has a new administrator.

“Berkshire Township is happy to welcome Tyler Lane to the position of Township Administrator effective July 17, 2023,” the township website said.

At a special meeting of the Berkshire Township Board of Trustees on May 3, the resignation of Kevin Vaughn was accepted, effective May 5. Advertising and interviewing for the opening were approved as well.

On May 8, the trustees heard there were 12 residents (later 13) interested in being on the new Parks Committee, to be chaired by Trustee Paul Disantis.

“(Trustee) Mike Dattilo made a motion to approve a purchase order in the amount of $3,397.50 payable to OPN Seed,” the minutes said. “This is for seed which will be used for creation of a 6-acre wildflower meadow in the now open grass area across the parking lot from the Township Hall (1454 Rome Corners Road, Galena). Per Mike Dattilo there are many advantages to this wildflower space including less mowing and it would also add color to the grounds.”

However, “(Trustee) Rod Myers has concerns regarding the cultivation and care of this space. All trustees agreed to table this until the township (facility) improvement project is underway so they can ensure that this area would not be torn out during the project construction.”

At a special meeting on May 11, a road contract for $44,000 with Thornville-based The Shelly Company was approved. A township employee was placed on unpaid leave at a special meeting on May 19. Another special meeting on June 12 was held in executive session.

At the regular meeting on June 12, the announcement of the administrator hire was made. It was said that Lane would need to “put in writing the amendments to the changes of the comprehensive zoning plans.” The township website said the zoning resolution was amended and effective July 11.

Changes included definitions of agrotourism, hotel, small solar farms and bike paths, and “vinyl siding on a building to be broken up with 30% being stone/brick” to planned mixed-use developments.

Disantis named the Park Committee members on June 12: Tim Chiles, Jennifer Flanders, Fred Grunewald, Jessica McCoy, Adam Miller, Lesley Shryock and Michelle Slawinski.

During the public comment portion, several people said they were in favor of the wildflowers. At the end, “Myers stated that he was against the idea of the wildflower area at first but now believes it’s a great idea and he will approve if the area is maintained properly.”

Fiscal Officer Melody George, Administrative Assistant Tracy George, and Secretary Donielle Owen were also present at the trustee meetings.

Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].