Hiram – At the last Hiram Village Council meeting, Frank Hairston and Clayton Popik from the Portage Area Regional Transit Authority (PARTA) shared an overview of their services for Hiram area residents. For those who are not familiar with the organization, PARTA operates fixed-route and countywide public transportation in Atwater, Aurora, Charlestown, Deerfield, Edinburg, Freedom, Hiram, Kent, Mantua, Nelson, Palmyra, Paris, Randolph, Ravenna, Rootstown, Shalersville, Suffield, and Windham. The agency will be conducting surveys to gather feedback on how to increase usage among Hiram Village and township residents in the coming months. For schedule and fare information, visit partaonline.org or call (330) 678-1BUS.
In other news, Chris Szell from the Park Board reported that the board is reviewing local contractor bids for completion of components of the new park. Szell also shared that the contract for play structures has been signed, with installation scheduled as soon as weather permits in the spring.
In his Police Report, Sergeant Brian Gregory shared that call volume is up from the previous month; a total of 298 offense reports were filed in November. He shared that officers attended several training sessions, including Policing in the 21st Century, and Responding to Domestic Violence. He also congratulated Officer Anthony Yoder on receiving an award from the Portage County Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) organization.
He also shared that the Hiram and Garrettsville Police Departments held their annual “Shop with a Cop” program on December 17th at Kmart in Streetsboro.  This year, the program provided 32 Hiram and Garrettsville area children and their families the opportunity to go holiday shopping for themselves and families.

“The program brings about much heartfelt joy to a lot of area children and families,” Sgt. Gregory explained. “We look forward to the Shop with a Cop program every year, and seeing the looks on the children’s faces makes our holiday season,” he beamed. “The program builds a bond that is essential to community policing as well as provides for families that would be unable to bring about the holiday joy with food and gifts. There should be no child that feels the sense of confusion and the feeling of going without during the holiday season due to financial strains,” he concluded. He noted that the event was made possible through charitable contributions from fundraising programs, local businesses and individual community donations. He thanked AVI Food Service, Maggie’s Doughnuts, Hiram Kiwanis and the Hiram Christian Church for providing a luncheon for children and their families after shopping.

In his Fire Report, Chief Bill Byers shared that his department helped Santa visit 19 homes by providing the jolly old elf with transportation on a fire truck throughout the village and township in early December. “It’s nice to be out spreading holiday cheer and meeting with families in the community,” Byers marveled. In an unexpected turn of events, that night a family made a donation to the Firefighters Association in recognition of the excellent care their child received from the Hiram squad. “The donation, while unnecessary, was much appreciated,” Byers acknowledged. Lastly, Chief Byers explained that the transition of dispatching services from Mantua Village to the City of Aurora, which began at the beginning of the month, is progressing well. He added, “The increased capabilities have already proven beneficial to us and those who call 911.”

Byers also thanked the Hiram Service Department and Troy Manufacturing for crafting a replacement part that had corroded on Engine #3. Due to their assistance, the equipment was back in service within 24 hours. He went on to thank Ronyak Paving and Rod Whiting Trucking Company for their valuable help on completion of the helipad this year, as well. “The department has been fortunate to receive assistance from civic-minded individuals on many projects,” Byers remarked. “It’s humbling that people are willing to donate their time and services; their assistance has been invaluable to us.”

Lastly, Mayor Lou Bertrand reported that the newly formed Blighted Home Advisory Committee has been formed. Council is seeking residents to join the Committee; those interested individuals should call the municipal office at 330-569-7677.
The next Village Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 17th at 7 pm.