Nursery operator pushes back against neighbors' complaints

File. The owner of Woodville Road Nursery, Jim Mlynek, stands next to a pile of compost that neighbors have complained about.

MILLBURY — Four years after a complaint was first lodged against the Woodville Road Nursery, the case is still unresolved.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Lake Township Trustees set a special meeting for next week to have a mandated mediation hearing in the lawsuit.

The time and place are yet to be determined. It may be held remotely or in person, said Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer, who is also the township administrator.

“It’s been a fiasco,” said Lake Township Trustee Chairman Jeff Pettit after the meeting.

He said the trustees first filed suit against the nursery, which counter-sued.

The mandated mediation, set for Wednesday, will probably be held in executive session, Pettit said.

The township initially filed court action against the nursery in summer 2019. This was after the nursery reportedly failed to put up an adequate buffer between the business and homes.

Owners of homes in the Bailey Road area had repeatedly attended trustee meetings, demanding action. They were upset with the nursery owner purchasing of property across the street from the business and using it as a leaf transfer operation.

Nursery owner Jim Mlynek started the compost operation in August 2017 with an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency permit, but without zoning.

In May 2018, the trustees, by a 2-1 vote, approved the rezoning, stipulating that a barrier go in between the business and Bailey Road homes.

Mlynek has accused the township of giving him misinformation, including telling him that he could build a fence as a buffer. After he ordered the fence, Mlynek said township officials then told him the buffer would have to be dirt and trees.

In other business, the trustees placed 3.5 miles of road improvement projects out for bid.

They include:

• Argyle Forest Drive, from Tracy Road to Wesley and Alexander drives, 212 feet

• Wesley Drive, from Argyle Forest to Grace Lane, 250 feet

• Alexander Drive, from Argyle Forest to Grace Lane, 1,290 feet

• Grace Lane, from Wesley Drive to Ayers Road, 525 feet

• Bailey Road, from Ohio 51 to end of right-of-way, 1,600 feet

• Luckey Road, from north of Isch Road to north of Moline Martin Road, 7,920 feet

• Lemoyne Road, from Walbridge Road to CSX tracks, 6,320 at 23 feet wide and 1,600 at 36 feet wide

• Ayers Road, from Lemoyne Road to 75 feet west

Bids will be opened at the May 4 meeting.

Also at the meeting, the trustees:

• Approved a $25 tap fee for storm water.

Hummer said the fee is needed to help pay for costs incurred with the jet truck, which is “incredibly expensive” to use and maintain.

“It’s not going to pay for a new truck, but it will certainly defray,” he said.

• Heard Pettit ask if the police department had a microchip reader for lost dogs.

“If it didn’t cost a lot, it would be a nice feature,” Hummer said.

Currently, officers try to take a lost dog home if it has a tag or transport it to the Wood County Dog Shelter.

“If it could take a step out, that would be great,” Hummer said.

• Promoted part-time patrol officer Tyler DeWitt to full time at the hourly wage of $22.02.

• Voted to purchase 200 tons of salt from Compass Minerals America Inc., Overland Park, Kansas, for $10,546 delivered.

• Authorized the purchase of a GH Armor Systems Ballistic Shield from Granger Inc., Perrysburg, for $4,800, for the police department.

• Approved spending $12,500 to replace the road department roof over the lunchroom/boiler. M.J. Weis Roofing Co., Millbury, will do the work.

• Enrolled in workers’ compensation service for the 2022 service year at a cost of $4,385 to Sedgwick, Cleveland.

• Heard Fiscal Officer Buddy Ritson say that bugs are still being worked out of the new phone system.

• Heard a limited Music in the Park schedule is being considered. The events are annually held outside at Friendship Park.