Covid-19 alters Clay Township business

CLAY TOWNSHIP – Responding to precautions against the Covid-19 virus, Clay Township trustees voted on April 6 to cancel the April 20 meeting of the board of trustees. They authorized Fiscal Officer Brad Limbert to send out payments that the trustees usually approve at meetings and voted to hold only one meeting a month until the situation improved.

“I’m good with one meeting,” said Trustee Steve Woolf, “because we shouldn’t be here.”

Trustees also postponed interviews to fill the position of administrative assistant and to continue the employment of Sharon Schuh on “an as-needed basis” for the time being.

The existence of the virus also affected attempts to place a fire levy on the ballot at a special election in August. Because the current levy has expired, the levy must be replacement levy, and trustees wanted legal advice on the wording. But the township solicitor is in the prosecutor’s office, which is closed, and efforts to reach him so far have been unsuccessful. As the levy must be submitted to the board of elections before May 4, trustees asked Limbert to see if he could find the wording of the last replacement levy in township records and decided to hold an emergency work session to approve the wording. Trustee Dale Winter agreed to try to locate the last replacement levy on board of elections records and said he might be able to locate the solicitor.

The trustees are considering having Republic Services, the trash collection service, assume responsibility for billing the residents instead of the township sending out the bills and collecting the payments. The township uses a proportion of the trash fund to pay part of the office costs and the cost of Keep Clay Clean, and the trustees were uncertain as to this total. In addition, Woolf and Trustee President Dave Vore disagreed on what the Republic representative had told them about whether residents could only use the My Resource app to pay their trash bills if Republic handled the billing or whether it would be available to the township and how Republic’s franchise fee would work.

Finally, Woolf said, “We have too many questions. We need to meet with Republic again.”

Trustees agreed to try to meet in a conference call with the representative, and Woolf suggested combing this conversation with the work session on the wording of the fire levy proposal to lessen the time trustees had to be together.

Trustees also said there would have to be cuts to the street cemetery department, since lower gas prices and less driving would reduce revenue from the gas tax. Woolf also noted that burials were down slightly, adding quickly, “Of course, that’s good. But it is less revenue.”

The next board of trustees meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Monday, May 4, at the township building, 8207 Arlington Rd.

Vore said that may also change, and added in a hopeful tone, “Maybe the whole thing (the COVID-19) will be over by then.”

By Kay Dawson

Contributing writer

Reach this writer at [email protected] or by calling 937-836-6314.