Employees file to join Teamsters

Bids for a big sewer project could be sought in the next two months.
NEW SPRINGFIELD -- Springfield Township's two road department employees have again filed for union status, this time with the Teamsters.
Trustees would not comment further because of litigation, said Trustee Chairman Jim Holleran.
The department consists of Road Superintendent Richard Kennedy and Assistant Superintendent Eric Mace.
After Wednesday's trustee meeting, Kennedy said he and Mace have filed to join the Teamsters because trustees have cut their vacation and sick time.
In February 2003, the International Union of Operating Engineers had filed an unfair labor practices charge with the State Employment Relations Board contending that trustees retaliated against the two men who were at that time trying to join Operating Engineers Local 66. However in June 2003, that charge was dismissed.
The dismissal was appealed in July 2003, but the bid for unionization was withdrawn in September. No reason was ever given by IUOE for the petition withdrawal.
Kennedy said Wednesday that the petition was dismissed at the time for "legal reasons." He had no further information and referred further questions to Mace, who could not be reached for comment.
Sewer project
Also Wednesday, Holleran announced the $2.7 million sewer project in Petersburg may be advertised for bids in the next two months.
Trustee Shirley Heck said the Petersburg sidewalk project and the Phil Rose Phase II storm sewer project will begin in the spring.
Landfill dispute
Holleran was named the township's representative to negotiate with Waste Management for a host community agreement. Trustee Reed Metzka, who stated in November that all three trustees should be in on any agreement, voted against appointing Holleran.
Responding to questions from residents Wednesday, Holleran said any agreement will be made public before being approved by trustees.
The negotiations with the landfill, which is located on State Line Road, have been stalled more than a year. Waste Management has offered the township $30,000 per year for 20 years in exchange for an agreement. But Metzka instead wants the landfill to pay the township $1 per ton for every ton of waste dumped at the landfill -- instead of the 25 cents minimum required by the state that it now pays.
Holleran had said that Metzka's refusal to compromise on this demand has left the negotiations stalemated. Metzka has said that once a township signs a host community agreement, the landfill's expansion requests would be automatically approved by the state.
Metzka also told those attending the meeting he has obtained complaint forms which residents can file with the county board of health and Ohio Department of Transportation concering any odors near the landfill, or garbage and mud on the road. The forms are available at the township offices on South Range Road.
Other business
In his road report, Kennedy announced that he would like South Range Road from Brungard Road, east to Columbiana Road paved this year.
He asked trustees to make a decision so paving can be advertised for bids soon.
Fire Chief Brian Hughes was authorized to buy a thermal imaging camera, turnout gear, helmets, boots, gloves, flashlights, masks, pagers, and power saws through a Federal Emergency Management Grant.
No bids are required because they will be purchased through the state.
John Wilbert of Petersburg told trustees that underground blasting by East Fairfield Coal Company has damaged his home and affected his water table.
Trustees agreed to contact the company and ask for a meeting about the problem.
Trustees also approved sending six firefighters to a fire department instructional conference in Indianapolis in April at a cost of $9,414.

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