Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Officials getting free storage

2 in W. Chester parking boats on public property

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

WEST CHESTER TWP. - A township trustee and the township administrator have been storing personal property - a trailer and sailboats - on township property, a practice the two other trustees say calls for new policy.

Trustee Dave Tacosik said he has stored a 35-foot-long trailer and a sailboat during fall and winter in the township's impound lot at the Voice of America Park off Cox Road for nearly four years. He was elected in 1999.

Tacosik also said Administrator Dave Gully has been storing his sailboat at the township's safety services center on Beckett Road.

"I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I am saying what does it hurt?" Tacosik said. "It's just there rather than putting it in my neighborhood. Yes, I could go to a storage facility and spend some of my hard-earned money.

"(But) Mr. Gully said I could store it at the safety services building," he continued. "I thought, 'That's not right because we are doing renovations there.' "

So he parked his items at the fenced and locked impound lot, where there isn't construction. Tacosik said he would move his sailboat and trailer off township property if it becomes an issue.

Gully said he has stored his sailboat at the safety services center for the past two months. Community nonprofit groups also store items such as movie and play sets and sound equipment on township property at no charge, he said.

"It doesn't cost the township anything. It's public property," Gully said. "I suppose if somebody wanted to park their boat in our parking lot they could do it sometime, but they couldn't do it forever."

Some residents expressed surprise Monday that township leaders were storing items for free, and said trustees should establish guidelines.

"Let the township citizens store their seasonal items then, just like the trustees feel they are entitled to it," said Allen Baxter, 73. "What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Can I store my lawn mower over there instead of in my basement?"

Trustees Jose Alvarez and Catherine Stoker said Monday that a formal storage policy must be established. They are concerned about the township's potential liability with personal items being stored on public property. Stoker also called Monday for a secure police impound lot.


E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com

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