Work Session

Perry Township Board of Trustees

Work Session

June 14, 2011 7:00pm

The Board of Trustees has previously reserved the right to take action at this time

Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance:

Excused absence: 

Joyce Fetzer, Administrator

Charles Hall, Law Director

Additions/Deletions to Agenda:

Trustee Capaldi added an item of communications.

Public Hearings/Invited Guests: None.


Trustee Capaldi stated that during the Jackson Avenue NW project Mr. and Mrs. Kelly’s septic was tied into the wrong pipe.  Therefore, storm water is getting into Mr. & Mrs. Kelly’s septic.  Mr. Masalko stated that when the City of Massillon and the Shelley Company rebuilt Jackson Avenue there had been ditch’s there at one time.  Some of the residents on the Perry Township side have septics.  When Jackson Avenue was put back together some of the out flows were not put back together correctly.  Mr. and Mrs. Kelly complained that water had been backing up into their basement.  The Project Manager at the time said that they would fix the problem.  Mr. Masalko stated that he thinks that they hooked the out flow into the under drain of the new road.  The under drain is not suppose to take water, it is suppose to shed water away from the road.  When the Township experienced the four (4) inch rain, the catch basin filled up with gravel and plugged the under drain.  Residents then experienced back up into their systems.  Mr. Masalko stated that the Perry Township Road Department was able to unplug the drain enough to get it flowing again.

Mr. Masalko explained to Mr. and Mrs. Kelly that this system was improperly installed and that the Shelley Company should be the ones responsible for making the proper repairs.   Mr. Masalko asked the Board to consider authorizing the Law Director to contact the Shelley Company to have them come out to the site to see what they have done.  Trustee Capaldi stated that the first call should go to Keith Dylewski, Engineer for the City of Massillon because he managed the project.  Trustee Chessler inquired if Mr. and Mrs. Kelly’s septic system is functional.  Mr. Masalko stated that it is functioning now.  Trustee Laubacher inquired about the address.  Mr. Masalko stated that Mr. and Mrs. Kelly’s address is 620 Jackson Avenue NW.  604 and 1139 Jackson Avenue NW are also hooked into the system some where.  Mr. Masalko stated that he called and left a message for Mr. Dylewski and Mike Stevens.  No returned calls were received.

Trustee Capaldi stated that she would contact Mr. Hall, Law Director and advise him that the Board supports him contacting the Shelley Company and moving forward with this matter.

Public Speaks on items up for Board Approval: None.

Township Business requiring Board Action:

Unfinished Business:

Consider Awarding the 2011 Road Paving Bids

Mr. Masalko stated that Mr. Hall advised him that the Board has two (2) options to choose from: 1. Authorize one (1) company to pave the roads and the parking lot of Township Administration.   2. Authorize the company with the lowest bid to pave the roads and the other company with the lowest bid to pave the parking lot at Township Administration which will be a savings of $974.70.  Trustee Chessler stated that in speaking with Mr. Hall, he explained that since the bid specifications were split it is left to the Board’s discretion. 

Trustee Chessler made a motion based on the review of the bids received by the Road Department and the advice received from the Law Director that the Board award one (1) bid to Superior Paving and Materials for the road paving and a separate contract to Central Allied Enterprises for paving the lot at the prices they quoted; Seconded by Trustee Capaldi.

ROLL CALL: Mr. Laubacher, yes.  Mr. Chessler, yes.  Miss Capaldi, yes. 

Central Allied Enterprises bid $18,109.50 and Superior Paving & Materials bid $114,526.61.

Mr. Masalko stated that eventually the parking lot next to Township Administration will have to be discussed.  Quotes were received but a decision does not need to be made immediately.  Trustee Laubacher stated that he and Mr. Masalko assessed the parking lot and determined that it needed to be micro surfaced.  Mr. Masalko stated that the Board can either take action on this matter now or it can wait till next week.  Trustee Capaldi stated that the prices for micro surfacing are close to the prices to pave the lot at Township Administration.  Mr. Masalko stated that there is a lot more square footage over at the additional parking lot.  Trustee Capaldi asked that this matter be tabled.

New Business:

Trustee Laubacher made a motion to approve bills in the amount of $15,708.48 for the week ending June 14, 2011; Seconded by Trustee Capaldi.

ROLL CALL: Mr. Laubacher, yes.  Mr. Chessler, yes.  Miss Capaldi, yes. 

Fiscal Officer: 

Trustee Laubacher made a motion to approve the minutes from the June 7, 2011 Regular Meeting minutes; Seconded by Trustee Chessler.

ROLL CALL: Mr. Laubacher, yes.  Mr. Chessler, yes.  Miss Capaldi, yes. 


Discussion of the Communications Committee Report

Trustee Chessler stated that in the later part of 2010 the Board was made aware primarily by the Police Department of issues regarding equipment and staffing.  This topic generated a lot of discussion at Township meetings.  As a result, the Board decided to study the matter further and by resolution formed the Communications Committee.  The purpose is not to make any recommendations but to provide options that are available.  Trustee Chessler noted that for the late person it is complicated in terminology and technology.  Also, very rapidly the things that you think you start to know, change.  Along the road there have been requirements beyond control such as radio bands being narrowed.

Trustee Chessler stated that the Communications Committee met on a monthly basis.  In an attempt to make the information more understandable the committee was broken down into different subtopics: Equipment and Staffing based upon Police Department needs, Fire Department needs and Road Department needs.  Trustee Chessler stated that he has asked Chief Pomesky and Matt Gatchell to present a summary of the information that was gathered.

Chief Pomesky stated that the Police Department is currently operating on a primary channel with talk-around capability using twenty-two (22) mobile radios and twenty-seven (27) portable radios.  The majority of the issues with the equipment are due to the radio antenna.  Chief Pomesky stated that after speaking with Chief Martin and looking at all of the information it was agreed that the equipment needed updated but along with that a new site to hold the equipment.  Building an antenna would be a major expense.  There is already a sufficient antenna located at Fire Station #3 which would substantially increase the height of the antenna and improve radio operations.  Chief Pomesky stated that the equipment needs to be moved around and relocated to Fire Station #3.  Another option would be to move the equipment around and implement a whole new system that would be digital which would require all new equipment.  The initial price tag for this option is estimated at $60,000.00.  This price increased due to the needs of the Police Department which took the price closer to $75,000.00.  If the equipment and repeater was moved to Fire Station #3 it would cost approximately $13,000.00.  Chief Pomesky stated that another option would be to repair the current system/equipment but if the banding plan holds true then this option would no longer be available.

Chief Pomesky stated that the current staffing plan at the Police Department has six (6) full-time dispatchers.  This assists with double coverage, filling in gaps and keeping officers on the road.  The Police Department does have the facility space to accommodate a two (2) person dispatch set up.  There is plenty of room to house all of the computers necessary for a two (2) person set up.  Chief Pomesky stated that it boils down to the direction that the Board would like to see this go.  A staffing plan would need to be developed to increase the staff.  Chief Pomesky stated that he ran some numbers regarding part-time dispatchers.  This would have to be discussed with Chief Martin to determine if it suits his staffing needs. 

Chief Pomesky stated that the largest piece of equipment that would be needed to purchase would be the CAD system.  Many of the issues deal with needing equipment updates to be able to rectify the current deficiencies with coverage.  The current system operates on VHF which doesn’t penetrate buildings nearly as well as an UHF system.  The Police Department would definitely see improvement by moving equipment around but it’s one of those things where until you use it you don’t know.  It is unknown how well the problem will be corrected by just moving the equipment.

Trustee Capaldi stated that Chief Pomesky’s report commented on coverage issues in some parts of the Township as well as the Fire Department report.  The Fire Department repeater is already located at Fire Station #3 and inquired if it is at the same height as where the Police Department repeater would be placed.  Mr. Matt Gatchell stated that there would have to be a slight elevation change.  Trustee Capaldi stated that if the Fire Department is not getting good coverage from Fire Station #3 then the Police Department will not get good coverage by placing the repeater in the same spot.  Chief Martin stated that the problems are not just antenna related.  Staley Technologies provided a map that shows excellent coverage throughout the entire Township with that.  Chief Martin stated that things like wire, weather and the unit itself can impact radio coverage.  Mr. Gatchell stated that the Fire Department’s concern is more partner related than technology related.  Chief Pomesky stated that the Police Department itself sits at a low elevation.  Therefore, any increase in elevation to the antenna will greatly improve coverage issues.  The ideal location would be the Aqua Ohio tower because of its central location but it is not fiscally an option because of the amount they are asking for.  The next ideal option would be Fire Station #3 because it is of considerable height.  Mr. Tim Cecil stated that currently the Police Department is transmitting sixty (60) feet off ground level.  If you compare that to the intersection at Southway and Genoa that antenna extends eleven (11) feet above that intersection.  That is a loss of forty-nine (49) feet.  The current antenna sits at sixty (60) feet from ground level at the Police Department which is Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulations and it can go no higher.  But because of where the antenna is located there is only an eleven (11) foot advantage over that intersection.  That is where the problems are coming from regarding the antenna.  It is just in a bad location.  Mr. Schlegel inquired where the highest elevation in Perry Township is located.  Mr. Cecil stated that the highest elevation is on Knollwood.  Trustee Laubacher inquired if there is enough room at Fire Station #3 for the Police Department’s equipment.  Chief Martin stated that there is enough room.  Chief Martin inquired if the Communications Committee looked into Police Dispatch joining Fire Dispatch at CenCom.  Trustee Capaldi stated that it is a later question. 

Mr. Gatchell stated that the Fire Department’s radio system is unique from the Police Department’s system in that along with talking to dispatchers and to each other while on calls they also have to be able to communicate with people responding from home.  Currently, they use a tone paging system to notify crews in an emergency.  The technology for a tone paging system has been around for a long time.  With the migration to the newer technology with narrow banding and quarter banding, the paging technology doesn’t seem to be keeping up quite as quickly as the FCC would like.  There are still questions in regards to how this is going to play out over the next ten (10) to twenty (20) years and how this would be incorporated with the FCC requirements.  Right now, Staley’s has said that with narrow banding everything should remain the same.  With quarter banding there is no telling because it is brand new technology.

Mr. Gatchell stated that the Fire Department is also in need of more portable radios to be available to personnel.  The pagers are only for one way communication so that the calls can be dispatched.  Enclosed in the binder is a radio equipment inventory along with what can be upgraded short term, quarter banded and meet the FCC requirements of 2013.  Right now it does not look like any of those radios will be able to be quarter banded.  The digital system is a whole different ball game.  There are unidentified options with analog and digital.  Obviously, everything has a cost.  There is a lower cost associated with minor upgrades and higher cost associated with major upgrades. 

Mr. Gatchell stated that the Fire Department’s issues are related more to equipment.  Not necessarily the equipment as a whole but just certain pieces.  In previous years, the Fire Department has looked at the water tower as a solution.  The tower at Fire Station #3 is higher than the water tower but the water tower is located on higher elevation.  Therefore, there is a slight elevation difference to the actual antenna. 

Mr. Gatchell stated that the Fire Department is currently operating off of three (3) different frequencies.  The Fire Department is continually working on mutual aid by running calls with surround agencies.  In order to do this, the Fire Department has to be able to maintain operability with those agencies.  All of the different systems available have their pros and cons.  Mr. Gatchell stated that the MARCS system is a subscribed system that is maintained and operated by the State of Ohio.  Each agency that uses the MARCS system pays a monthly subscription fee.  The 800 MHZ system through Stark County requires a fee per radio, per talker.  Currently, the City of Canton’s monthly fee is $15.00 per radio and $2.00 per radio per talk group per month.  This is an additional reoccurring cost to throw into the mix if the Board would decide to go that route. 

Trustee Chessler stated that it seems as if Fire Departments favor the UHF systems while the Police Departments are using VHF.  Mr. Gatchell stated that when the UHF technology became popular in the early 1990’s the majority of the departments went from the low band to the higher band.  Chief Martin stated that the UHF systems provided the Fire Departments the best range and penetration where the Police Departments really needed more range than penetration.

Trustee Capaldi inquired about the ideal number of radios or portables.  Chief Martin stated that the number of seats would exceed the number of radios that the Fire Department would need to have.  Chief Martin stated that the people that really need the radios are those who are inside the hazard zone.  If you look at the OSHA, NFPA and BWC standards it states that the people inside the hazard zone are the ones who need the radio communication capabilities.  The ideal radio number would match the number of seats.  On average there are two (2) to four (4) people on a fire truck.  If you have four (4) people you are in great shape.  Trustee Capaldi inquired if the Township is meeting four (4) radios per apparatus.  Mr. Gatchell stated that currently the Township has two (2) radios per apparatus.  The projected number of the radios per seats is ideal: six (6) radios per fire truck and three (3) per ambulance.

Mr. Gatchell stated that he provided information regarding different radio technologies such as digital, analog and county 800 MHZ system.  There are different types of digital radios within the digital technology.  Currently, there are no fire agencies in the area that operate with a fully digital system.  Most agencies operate off of a UHF system. 

Mr. Gatchell stated that he has identified how the Fire Department is dispatched to calls and how the dispatchers handle calls.  Mr. Gatchell stated that he worked with Chief Pomesky regarding computer and software issues.  Mr. Gatchell stated that he spoke with Emergitech to find out if the CAD system at the Police Department would be capable of dispatching fire calls as well.  Emergitech stated that would be possible but the price wasn’t included in the quote but is estimated to be around 2% of the overall cost of the CAD system.  This would include toning and texting capabilities.  Chief Martin stated that the Fire Department uses a paging system to alert off duty personnel.  Digital and 800 MHz system do not allow paging capabilities.  Motorola is currently developing a VHF, UHF and 800 MHz all in one radio because they are realizing that everyone is not going to agree to go to just one.  The cost is between $5,000.00- $7,000.00 but you get three (3) radio systems in one.  Trustee Capaldi verified that anything purchased today would be able to be used in 2013.  Mr. Gatchell stated that was correct.

Mr. Gatchell stated that he laid out several different options that would meet both the Police and Fire Departments needs.   The MOTOTRBO system is a proprietary system that can operate in either analog or digital mode, but the mobile and portable radios can operate in either mode.  It is not P25 compliant.  Trustee Capaldi inquired if the MOTOTRBO system would allow Perry Township to talk to other agencies that don’t have MOTOTRBO.  Mr. Gatchell stated no because it is functioning as a digital system and it can only communicate with other MOTOTRBO systems.  Functioning as an analog system it can communicate with any analog UHF system.  If the Board would choose to go to a fully digital MOTOTRBO system the radios would not be able to talk directly to Jackson Township.  There would have to be a separate channel within the radio that is an analog channel that would be able to communicate with them.  Trustee Capaldi inquired what the Fire Department’s dispatch is currently using.  Mr. Gatchell stated that everything the Fire Department uses is analog.  Most departments that utilize fully digital and 800 MHz systems are solely full-time departments. 

Trustee Capaldi stated that back in December options were presented and she doesn’t know if there are full options available to choose from that are Township wide.  Maybe there is not a Township wide option and all departments have to be split.  Trustee Chessler stated that at the time this was going on the consolidation effort was still in full go.  At that time, the RED Center was part of the consolidation effort and not looking to take on additional service.  Trustee Chessler stated that he does not know if that is the case or not.  Canton and Stark County’s radio systems are emerged in that they share the same towers.  Trustee Chessler stated that another option that he has been made aware of is that Plain Township Fire Department is moving their dispatchers to where the 9-1-1 calls come in.  The dispatchers are remaining employees of Plain Township and they are moving on to the county wide system and will be working side by side with those dispatchers to learn that system. 

Trustee Capaldi stated that she thought that the options were going to be sifted through the entire committee and everyone would have a say on the options brought to the Board.  Trustee Chessler stated that he saw that as the Board’s decision.  Trustee Capaldi stated that she can not make a decision until the options are laid out in front of the Board.  Mr. Cecil stated that he thought the purpose was to look into in house joint dispatch for Fire and Police.  Trustee Chessler stated that this came about because the Police Chief wanted to consider entering into a contract for dispatching and there was opposition to that.  Then the idea came up to look into the option of expanding what Perry Township currently has by moving Fire Dispatch in house.  Trustee Chessler stated that the Committee was looking to bring fire dispatch in house and combine police and fire.  Any other option would be through a third party service provider.  At that time, all of those providers individually were moving towards consolidation.  Chief Pomesky stated that they were able to get pricing from everyone but the RED Center back in December.  Trustee Capaldi stated that was still only one (1) department being addressed.  Obviously, it would be ideal to keep dispatching in house but the Board hasn’t really been given anything to choose from.

Trustee Laubacher inquired if it would be advantageous to use the 800 MHz system in house.  Chief Pomesky stated that the 800 MHz would be advantageous because it is an encrypted system and would promote officer safety out in the field.  Mr. Gatchell stated that nobody in their area has that frequency programmed into their radios.  If the Police Department were to utilize the 800 MHz system they wouldn’t be able to communicate with other agencies.  Trustee Capaldi inquired why there is not the ability to communicate with other departments.  Chief Pomesky stated that they can communicate outside of the department with the countywide radios that are in the cruisers.  Trustee Capaldi inquired how that would be different if the department would switch to an 800 MHz system.  Chief Pomesky stated that the same ten (10) towers would be used for all communications.  Mr. Gatchell stated that the current radio system has sixteen (16) channels programmed into it.  If the Police Department went to an 800MHz system there would be seventeen (17) channels.  None of the other agencies in the area would have the Police Department programmed unless they reprogrammed all of their radios.  Trustee Capaldi inquired how it would help the Township to switch to an 800 MHz system.  Mr. Gatchell stated that he is not going to say if it would or it wouldn’t.  Trustee Capaldi stated that one of the reasons there is support for the 800 MHz system is because you can talk to people all over the county.  Chief Pomesky stated that with the countywide radios in the cruisers they can still communicate with other agencies.

Trustee Capaldi stated that there is still a lot to do and suggested moving forward with moving the antenna for now so that there is immediate improvement to a problem that has been around for a long time.  Chief Pomesky stated that can be done and it comes at a price tag of approximately $17,000.00.  Chief Pomesky stated that he has concerns with spending the money to move the antenna with other options on the horizon.  Chief Martin stated that even if Police and Fire Dispatch combined the antenna would still need to be moved.  The only reason you wouldn’t move the antenna is if there was a totally different radio system.  Trustee Laubacher stated that you have to determine if officer safety is worth $17,000.00.  Trustee Capaldi stated that it is and that is why the Township needs to move forward with moving the antenna.  Trustee Laubacher stated that the $17,000.00 needs to be spent to move the antenna while the research continues for all available options.  Trustee Capaldi stated that next weeks agenda should include the antenna.  Trustee Laubacher stated that Chief Pomesky needs to get a hold of Staley’s to get this moving.  Chief Martin stated that he has some improvements that need to be done at that time as well.  The wire on the antenna has been spliced.  Chief Martin stated that he has already gotten cost estimates to run all new wire and get a new repeater.  Trustee Laubacher suggested getting this matter on the agenda and moving forward.

Mr. Cecil stated that there is a private organization interested in providing grant funding for the radio system.  Trustee Capaldi inquired what organization Mr. Cecil was referring to.  Mr. Cecil stated that he did not want to disclose that information at this time.  Trustee Capaldi stated that the Board would have to approve the submission of the grant.  Trustee Laubacher stated that they would have to include the rest of the costs.  Mr. Cecil stated that they have the rest of the costs that they didn’t have at the time.  This was a few weeks ago that this was done.  Trustee Capaldi stated that the personnel costs were just the additional staff that would be needed.  Mr. Schlegel stated that was correct.  Trustee Capaldi stated that it compares to what the Township is currently paying CenCom.  Chief Pomesky stated that would be additional costs compared to what is being paid for today.  Chief Martin stated that they currently pay CenCom approximately $90,000.00 per year.  Trustee Capaldi stated that $442,000.00 is being compared to $90,000.00 per year.  All the grants in the world, unless they are going to cover wages, won’t cover $300,000.00 some odd dollars.  Trustee Laubacher stated that the $90,000.00 is only Fire.  Chief Pomesky stated that Police is at $365,000.00.  Trustee Capaldi inquired if the difference was between $442,000.00 and $365,000.00.  Mr. Cecil stated that the $442,000.00 is made up of six (6) full-timers, five (5) part-timers under a joint in house operation.  Trustee Capaldi stated that the additional cost would be the difference of $442,000.00 and $365,000.00 plus equipment.  Mr. Cecil stated that was correct.  Then you compare that number to what the Township is paying now for Fire.  Mr. Schlegel stated that the difference would be $13,000.00.  Mr. Cecil stated that there would be a savings to the Township of $13,000.00.  Chief Martin stated that Chief Pomesky may end up having a reduced cost on his system if the Fire Department picks up a bigger share.  The cost of CenCom is based on the number of calls.  Mr. Schlegel stated that Trustee Capaldi is correct in that no matter how you calculate it there will be a savings.  Chief Martin stated that he is not advocating this but if the Police dispatchers moved to CenCom that could be an even bigger savings to the Township.  This is another option that would have to be looked into because a cost hasn’t been identified yet.  Mr. Cecil inquired if he was proposing to move the Police dispatchers to CenCom.  Chief Martin stated that he was only saying it was an option.    Mr. Cecil inquired if dispatchers would remain employees of Perry Township similar to what Plain Township has done with their dispatchers.  Trustee Capaldi stated that they would have to look into it more.  Trustee Chessler stated that this would just be another option that is available.  Chief Martin stated that this is another option that is available in which a cost has not yet been identified.  The Township should look at as many options as they can so that the correct option can be chosen.  Mr. Cecil stated that he prefers in house dispatch.  The cost is usually more but the quality is better.  Trustee Capaldi stated that she understands that but because the Board answers to the public they have to be as objective as possible and lay out the options so that people understand that all of the options were looked at.

Trustee Laubacher inquired if committees should be formed at the department levels to determine the different options that are available.  Mr. Schlegel suggested that the Board take a week to think about all of the information and discuss it further at next weeks meeting.  Trustee Chessler stated that the information provided gives the Board an idea of the general directions that they could go.  The Board could maintain the status quo and deal with the equipment issues, look into joint police/ fire in house dispatch or look into a third party service.  Trustee Capaldi stated that the Board talked about, and she read in the minutes, that they were looking for the options available.  Trustee Chessler stated that the general options are available; in-house or third party.  The equipment needs and future staffing configurations have been provided.  This is a very time intensive thing.  The options were presented without getting into judgments, decisions or qualitative assessments of what is better.

Fire Department: None.

Police Department: None.

Road Department: None.

Law Director: None.

Zoning: None.

Parks: None.

Executive Session(s):  None.

Department Matters Not Requiring Board Action:

Administration: None.

Fire Department: None.

Parks/Recycling: None.

Police Department: None.

Road Department: None.

Zoning: None.  

Law Director: None.


1.            Stark County Commissioners will conduct a public meeting at the Perry Township Hall on June    15, 2011 at 6:00pm to answer questions and concerns of the general public.

Public Speaks-Open Forum: None.


With nothing further to come before the Board, Trustee Laubacher made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:01pm; Seconded by Trustee Chessler.

ROLL CALL: Mr. Laubacher, yes.  Mr. Chessler, yes.  Miss Capaldi, yes. 

Lee C. Laubacher, President                                     

 Joe Schlegel, Fiscal Officer