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Trustees want to stop Snug Harbor firework shows

THORNVILLE – Thorn Township Trustee Chairman Tim Phipps said during the July 8 trustees meeting that he doesn’t want to allow any more fireworks displays at the Snug Harbor development off of Custers Point Road.

Last month, Snug Harbor developer Marty Finta hosted a large-scale celebration of the development’s progress complete with fireworks and Smooth Jazz concert. At least two more Smooth Jazz concerts complete with fireworks had been planned.

“Fireworks put people in danger,” said Phipps. Some residents near Snug Harbor said the fireworks exploded over their homes with debris falling on their roofs and in their yards.

Trustee Rick Wilson said Thorn Township Fire Chief Duane Moore and the Perry County Sheriff’s Office must OK firework shows. “We shouldn’t let (Moore) sign off on them any more,” said Wilson.

Phipps said Finta plans to set a meeting with Moore, the trustees, and fire department member Dave Hoops to discuss a donation to the fire department in appreciation of allowing last month’s fireworks. “We’d like to get that worked out as well,” said Phipps. “He’s more than welcome to sit down with us.”

In a related issue, Finta doesn’t believe that an Ohio EPA Notice of Violation will significantly delay Snug Harbor’s progress. According to the OEPA violation issued June 26, a channel was dug through wetlands within Snug Harbor after the OEPA denied an application to do so April 2, 2008, as did the Army Corps of Engineers on July 28, 2008.

According to the violation, “This area is no longer a wetland, nor is it performing the functions of wetlands or supporting the habitat that exists in wetlands. This is a violation of Ohio Administrative Code Section 3745-1-51 which requires wetland functions to be protected unless authorized by a valid permit issued by the Director of Ohio EPA.”

“The Notice of Violation requires Mr. Finta to put forth a plan to resolve the violations noted,” said Jeffrey Boyles, wetlands coordinator for the OEPA Division of Surface Water. The impacted areas must be restored or a permit obtained to resolve the violation. “I can’t really say if the Notice of Violation will delay the project, since I don’t know Mr. Finta’s goals,” said Boyles.

He said he was informed through Finta’s company, Triglyph Development, that “they will not be performing any new development activities or construction on-site, and plan to apply for a permit by the end of August 2009.”

“We have reviewed and responded to Ohio EPA’s June 26 letter and we are confident that Snug Harbor has been developed in compliance with all applicable state and federal permitting requirements,” said Finta. He said he’s currently reviewing which permit requirements, if any, may be applicable to the future phases of the Snug Harbor development and he “looks forward” to working with Ohio EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to address any outstanding issues and to ensure the establishment of a high-quality and environmentally sound community. “We do not expect any delay in our development plans,” said Finta.

In other township news:

• Trustees accepted specifications, drawings, and budget for a new $875,651 fire station from the Newark design firm ADR & Associates July 8. Tim Phipps estimated construction might begin in November.

Trustee Dick Boring said he thought ADR & Associates did a good job keeping the budget within what the trustees requested. The trustees plan to open construction bids August 12 at Thornville Elementary School.

• The trustees accepted bids from the Shelly Company, the only bidder, to pave and chip and seal some township roads. So far, Phipps said New Salem Farms Road will be resurfaced but he’s not certain which other road will be upgraded. He explained that the township bids for a certain number of miles and then it’s determined which roads need it most.

• Thornport resident Richard Harris said he believes most residents who live along the Thornport channel agree with removing the bridge from Township Rd 79 to allow the channel to be dredged. He said Perry County Engineer Kent Cannon also favors removal because the bridge is due to be replaced anyway, and this is a cheaper alternative. The Honey Creek Road Bridge is a convenient alternative to Twp Rd. 79, said Harris. None of the trustees opposed removing the bridge.

• Watch where you park in Robinwood, said Trustee Rick Wilson. He said many people are parking illegally within the development and sheriff’s deputies will actively enforce the laws. “They’re gonna start writing tickets,” warned Wilson.

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