Planet Oasis Statement
• The Planet Oasis project is in the very early stages of development. The developers held a press conference on June 28, 2018 announcing their plans for the project. State, County and Local officials were invited to attend, as well as press and interested parties.
• To date, no final development plans have been presented to the Berkshire township Zoning Board, and as far as we are aware, a traffic study has not been completed. All development of this nature would have to go through ODOT and the Berkshire Township Zoning Board.
• The area around the I 71/36-37 is part of a zoning district known as a PMUD (Planned Mixed Use District) The PMUD was created after public hearings by the Zoning Board and public Trustee meetings were held, both of which solicited input from residents. While much of the land is still zoned A-1, the tools are in place to allow for commercial development in the future.
• Township residents voted overwhelmingly (almost 3 to 1) to approve a Revitalization District for that area in 2016, paving the way for restaurants and other entertainment related businesses to locate here.
• A JEDD (Joint Economic Development District) and a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) are in place on these parcels of land to facilitate development of infrastructure and improvements when growth occurs.
• The township has been very clear in expressing its desire to have the bulk of Berkshire’s commercial development occur near that interchange, with less commercial and less residential density radiating out from that area.
The Berkshire Township Trustees invite all residents to attend the trustee meetings which are held at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Monday of the month in the township hall. Public participation is on the agenda at every meeting.
July was a busy month for the township. The announcement by the developer of Planet Oasis on June 28th made lots of news. The township had only been informed of their plans weeks earlier as was stated at the July 9th Trustee Meeting. At that meeting, there were many questions and concerns shared by attendees; an overriding request we heard was “we want to be kept informed.”
Here’s how we try to do that for our residents:
- Maintain a website which is current and changes frequently with news and information
- Send a monthly newsletter with pertinent information to everyone who’s signed up to be on our email list. Currently, we have emails for less than 1/4 of township residents, but wish we had them all. Communicating by mail is prohibitively expensive; email costs pennies. Can you help us expand the list by asking your friends and neighbors to sign on at www.BerkshireTwp.org?
- Send email updates, as needed, during the month to inform residents about road, trash or other issues which might affect them immediately
- Hold “open-to-the-public” Trustee Meetings on the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month
- Hold “open-to-the-public” Zoning Meetings on the first Thursday of the month
- Hold “open-to-the-public” Board of Zoning Appeals Meetings on the third Wednesday of the month, as needed
One request which we’ve already implemented is publishing the agendas for our meetings on the website. As a reminder, the agendas are subject to change right up until the time of the meeting; they are fluid documents, not written in stone.
There is one comment we’d like to make regarding development in our area. Not every project brought to us informally comes to fruition. Potential real estate transactions and development concepts are just that; concepts. It’s not incumbent on the township to disclose informal conversations prior to having formal rezoning applications submitted, and in fact, could hinder good projects in the long run. When a rezoning application has been submitted it goes on the agenda for the next appropriate Zoning or BZA meeting and that is what we publish. At that time, we are also required by law to send notices by mail to a specific set of nearby property owners who might be affected. These legal criteria must be met and it is done in every applicable case. We hope this clarifies the process.
If you have ideas on how we can better inform township residents we would love to hear them. Please send us an email, or contact us in person. Your opinions matter.
Rod Myers, Bill Holtry and Mike Dattilo, Township Trustees
Always, for the most up-to-the minute info, be sure to visit the CALENDAR OF EVENTS and TOWNSHIP NEWS page on our website.
Calendar of Events
All events listed take place at the Berkshire Township Hall, 1454 Rome Corners Rd., Galena OH 43021 unless otherwise noted
Thursday, August 2nd 7:00 p.m. Zoning Meeting, open to the public
Monday, August 13 7:00 p.m. Board of Trustees Meeting, open to the public
Wednesday, August 15 7:00 p.m. Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting, if needed. Open to the public
Monday, August 27 7:00 p.m. Board of Trustees Meeting, open to the public
Monday, September 3 LABOR DAY, Township Offices Closed
Thursday, September 6 7:00 p.m. Zoning Meeting, open to the public
Monday, September 10 7:00 p.m. Trustees Meeting, open to the public
YOUR TRUSTEES and BST&G WELCOME A NEW FIRE CHIEF
On Thursday, July 12, 2018 the BST&G Fire Department welcomed Chief Christopher Kovach to their station. The Chief was sworn in at a ceremony attended by local officials and other guests. Chosen by the Fire Board, after the retirement of former Chief Wilson due to medical reasons, Chief Kovach came to our community from North Olmsted, OH.
The Berkshire Township Trustees also welcome the new chief and his family to our area, and we appreciate him visiting us at the July 23rd Trustee Meeting. Congratulations on your appointment, Chief!
The BST&G Fire District operates out of a facility located at 350 W. Cherry St., Sunbury, and is dispatched through Delaware County 911
Our garden has never been more beautiful
Spend some quiet time relaxing in the tranquility of the Berkshire Community Park Learning Garden. It’s in full bloom and the butterflies and hummingbirds will keep you well entertained.
The Berkshire Book Nook is open for business. Borrow a book – Lend a book!
The beautiful memorial glider donated by resident Carol Deyo has added another comfortable place to relax and reflect in the garden. Come visit!
Residents Make the Difference
A special shout out to township resident Summer Fenton who stepped up to offer her time as a volunteer to help get the garden together. Summer and Susan Holtry have worked very hard to pull weeds, trim plants, plant annuals and more. The garden looks beautiful because of their efforts. Thank you both.
Speaking of the garden, if you’ve not been here for awhile be sure to stop by and check out the new Butterfly Wall. Painted by Susan Holtry, this beautiful piece of art serves as a windbreak to protect the butterflies, but also provides a PERFECT selfie-backdrop!
P.S. The Park Survey results are in and are currently being compiled to help us move forward with the next stage of our Parks and Trails Master Plan. Let’s just say we are thrilled with the response and look forward to sharing them with everyone as soon as we can.
Berkshire Bird Walks Take Flight
In May, township resident Tom Bain, an experienced birder and naturalist, led more than a dozen residents on bird walks, which began on the Township Hall property, went to the Berkshire Cemetery and ended at Hoover Reservoir. Our area is rich in local birds and fortunate to host many species of migrants each spring. Did you know we have Eastern Meadow Larks nesting in our park?
With Tom and his wife Jackie leading the way, we saw quite a few birds and also learned how to distinguish them by their many songs and calls.
The interest shown in these walks makes me think that programs like this are something we might plan to do again in the future. What a fun way to meet neighbors, be outdoors and learn something, too.
Classes Offered at Township Hall a Success!
In July, a New to Medicare class was presented by Sourcepoint Insurance Specialist, Paula Dean. If you have any Medicare questions I HIGHLY recommend contacting SourcePoint for a one-on-one meeting or to find dates and times for the class.
Then, on July 26th, Delaware Soil & Water Conservation held a Rain Barrel workshop at the Hall. Several local families attended, got a rain barrel and learned best practices for their use.
Have an idea for an activity you’d like to see offered in Berkshire Township? Give me a call and let’s talk. Shawna Burkham 740-965-2992, ext. 207
The Township Trustees decided earlier this year to pave the parking lot at the Township Hall. It will create a much better environment, making plowing easier in the winter and creating a cleaner atmosphere for visitors.
REMEMBER TO DUMP STANDING WATER
The Delaware General Health District has mosquito traps on the township hall grounds. They are monitoring daily for disease carrying insects. At this writing, no West Nile or Zika insects have shown up in our traps.
Remember, mosquitoes carry many diseases, and the best way to prevent them from breeding on your property is to remember to dump standing water anywhere it might be.
From flower pot saucers to stagnant bird baths to a forgotten old tire behind the barn, if you dump standing water weekly it will interrupt their brief breeding cycle and hold down their numbers.
You Can Help Delaware County by Completing Two Short Surveys
The County wants your input please!
Ohio to Erie Trail Survey
Please follow the link below, and take a very brief survey about the Ohio to Erie Trail. Your input on trail design, trail features and barriers to trail usage are very important as many community partners are planning the next segment of the trail through Delaware County.
We need your input please! Quality of Life Survey
The Partnership for a Healthy Delaware County is asking residents to complete a Quality of Life survey. This survey is open to any resident in Delaware County. The information gathered will be used to develop the Delaware County Community Health Improvement plan. This survey should take approximately 3 minutes to complete.
Please complete it by August 20th. Click on the link below to take the survey.
Rent the Township Hall for your next party
If you’re a township resident looking for a good place to host your next family gathering, meeting or party; call us! Contact Shawna at Berkshire.Shawna@gmail.com
The hall is available for rental to Berkshire Township residents only. More info and photos are available on our website on the “Services and Maintenance” page. Dates fill up quickly, so make your plans for the rest of 2018 soon.
REPUBLIC UPDATE AND CONTACT INFORMATION
As a reminder to residents who may not be familiar with the decision, the choice to contract with one hauler was made for several reasons, but the two main ones were:
1) Economics (it saved the majority of residents quite a bit on their monthly bill, (plus added recycling) and
2) Safety/Maintenance (it greatly reduced the number of heavy trucks on our roads daily.)
Victor Citro, Division Manager for Republic Services attended the trustee meeting on June 25th and spoke to the trustees and residents at length about the trash and recycling issues we’ve been having. The trustees really appreciate his participation and the time he spent answering everyone’s questions. Below is a summary and his contact information.
All companies (not just Republic and not just waste companies) are having huge problems with regards to hiring licensed, qualified drivers with CDL licenses. It is a national problem. In spite of Republic currently offering a $5000 signing bonus, excellent benefits and pay, the problem persists.
He also explained that we had a “perfect storm” of issues Memorial Day week with the holiday delay, three drivers quitting, a truck breakdown, etc.
In addition to the problems mentioned above, there are governmental regulations which prohibit drivers from working more than a certain number of hours and other rules that make sending out a driver, even when a mistake has been made, very difficult. It can cause a company or the driver to be cited and after so many citations, the driver is prohibited from driving until a citation drops off the record, which would only compound the problem and cause more delays.
Republic has a special system in place, not unlike AEP and other utilities which allows them to move teams of people around from other parts of the nation to fill in for weeks and months at a time, if needed. They have already done that here in Central Ohio. Great, right? Nope. While the rover teams are experienced on the equipment, procedures, etc., they have no knowledge of the local routes they have to run, thus the myriad of issues with missed streets, delays, etc. It’s a gigantic Catch 22. They learn them, of course, but it takes time. Berkshire Township has many isolated areas and pockets, some with only a handful of houses on a route, and there are many roads where one side of the street is Berkshire and the other side is another municipality all together. You can imagine the learning curve.
One additional point he made was important: As we move forward, when there are missed pick-ups, please be aware that correcting trash pick-up will always be the priority if it comes to a choice. While both are important, the trash could become a health issue, and the recycling would not. We appreciate your understanding.
All that being stated, Mr. Citro was adamant that these problems will be fixed. Many already have and he would like residents to contact him directly with their complaints because, as he said, he cannot fix something that he doesn’t know is broken. He doesn’t want customer service in a far off place promising something local and then it not happening.
To reiterate what we have been told regarding service issues, if it comes to a choice of picking up trash or recycling, due to health reasons they will focus on trash first.
Mr. Citro is very professional, very sincere, and totally invested in seeing this issue resolved for all residents. We welcome him as a contact and as a Berkshire Township resident.
Here is his contact info:
TRASH AND RECYCLING DO’S AND DON’TS
We encourage you to always collect your empty trash cans on Fridays as high winds may cause them to blow into the road, creating a traffic hazard. (It keeps our streets and neighborhoods looking nicer, too.)
New to the township? Republic Waste is the single authorized trash hauler for Berkshire residents. Call them to subscribe and be sure to tell them you are a Berkshire Township resident to receive our special contract rates.
Nothin’ Runs Like a Deere
I am certainly not an equipment expert, but I’m told by those who are that we had a remarkable number of hours on our old backhoe. It was bought used, and when we traded it in last month for a new one, it had over 7000 hours on it! The trustees recently authorized the purchase of a new backhoe and after many hours of research and comparisons, we now have a beautiful new John Deere backhoe. Dan and Justin are still on cloud nine.
Information for this story was compiled from township emails and newsletters.