Champion trustees OK raises

CHAMPION — Township trustees approved pay raises for the police and fire chiefs, with the increases being prompted by the hiring of a new road supervisor who was granted a three-year contract.

Trustee Chairman Rex Fee said Michael Rozzo of Bristol was chosen as the township’s new road supervisor earlier this week to replace Chris Connelly, who will retire effective Oct. 1. Rozzo was granted a three-year agreement effective Sept. 23 so he will be able to work with Connelly for a week to become familiar with the position.

Rozzo will be paid $53,000 the first year and $55,000 the second year, with no increase planned the third year. Fee said Rozzo brings 19 years of experience and previously worked for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“He had a strong resume and experience,” Fee said.

With Rozzo getting a three-year agreement, trustees also approved three-year agreements with fire Chief John Hickey and police Chief Jeff White. The agreements are effective this month.

Fee said Hickey, who was at $56,670 will increase to $60,500 in 2019, $61,400 in 2020, and $62,000 in 2021. He said the increase will bring Hickey’s pay in line with other comparable townships such as Brookfield and Bazetta, whose chiefs are paid between $65,000 and $79,000.

Fee said White, who was at $55,000, will increase to $55,825 in 2019, and $56,400 in 2020, with no increase in 2021.

In other business, trustees spoke with resident Tamie Hoostal and others from the Stewart Street NW and Brookside Drive NW neighborhoods who have expressed concerns about loud noise coming from many vehicles on the state Route 5 bypass, which is in their backyard.

Residents asked trustees if the Ohio Department of Transportation can put in a noise wall to buffer some of the sound. Fee said a letter from ODOT to the property owners states testing will need to be done to determine if a sound wall is warranted.

He said ODOT will conduct a traffic study and place noise monitors near or on residents’ properties to measure the decibel level.

“Work crews will be going onto properties and placing the noise monitors to collect data,” Fee said. “A public hearing will be required, with 50 percent or more of the residents needing to support the project for it to move forward. After the data is collected, they (ODOT) will present their data.”

Also, trustees met with Adam Miller and others with the Champion Soccer League regarding guidelines for the league to use the fields at the former Champion Central property off Mahoning Avenue. Fee said items discussed included dates for mowing the property, parking issues, prohibiting pets and also removal by the township of a light pole that is leaning. Plans are to put lighting on the concession stand.

He said trustees also stressed a rule that no games or practices are to be held when it is storming. Trustees also:

• Set trick or treat 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31;

• Reported that paving work will take place his week on Jonathan Lane off Champion Avenue East and Ridge Road, north of the high school near Mahoning Avenue;

• Approved purchase of a Chevy Tahoe at $42,306 from RD Banks Chevrolet for the police department.