Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, Berkshire Township has reopened for its meetings.
Berkshire’s website notes the township reopened for regular business back on May 1.
“There will be some informal adjustments to basic procedures, as the COVID-19 virus is ongoing, but public meetings should continue as scheduled, barring unanticipated conditions that would cause us to have to re-evaluate. Due to sterilization concerns, public use of the township hall will continue to be suspended until the State of Ohio reverses the current social-distancing guidelines that are in place,” the website states.
Instead of the usual meeting room in the hall at 1454 Rome Corners Road, Galena, the township said it is using the garage bay area to provide spacing for attendees and township officials. The layout allows for about 30 people, the township said.
“While this isn’t ideal, this best protects all participants and helps reduce the chance of spreading any communicable disease,” the township said. “Please note that the township does not have PPE available to distribute to the public during these meetings. Residents and visitors are encouraged to come prepared with their own items.”
Not everyone is happy with these arrangements. In a letter published in The Gazette, a resident who said she was in a high-risk household wrote that the meetings weren’t accessible to all.
“I am greatly concerned that in my township they have chosen to ignore the current orders regarding gatherings of more than 10 persons and are insisting on holding important government and zoning meetings in person…” she wrote.
The township said there is virtual access to the public because the meetings are streamed on Facebook.
Prior to COVID-19 cases being reported in Delaware County, township trustees held a special meeting with Larry Buell, cemetery sexton, regarding Berkshire Cemetery. The meeting minutes state Buell advised that the cemetery’s rules seemed to be sufficient. He brought up a couple items, including footer specifications and installation, military marker and disinterment fees, markers and monuments in need of repair, and weekend and column burials.
Trustee Josh Varble, who is also the cemetery chairman, thanked Buell for his help and input.
The cemetery is open daily from sunrise to sunset. It is located on state Route 37 just east of Galena Road, across from the Bent Tree Golf Club.
In other business, trustees accepted the resignation of Sandra DiSantis from the Board of Zoning Appeals on Feb. 10. By a 2-1 vote, the trustees selected alternate Alicia Robson to replace DiSantis, and her term will end Dec. 31. The BZA meeting slated for June 17 was canceled since no items have come before the board.
Also in the township, Columbus Business First reported in June that New Albany developer Blue Horseshoe Ventures Ltd. is being sued by several contractors for failure to pay for work done in 2019. The developer was behind the Arcadia venture, a proposed $2 billion, 350-acre sports/health complex originally known as Planet Oasis near Tanger Outlets.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.