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Windham - The Board of the WVFD Joint Fire District met for their regularly scheduled meeting on April 10, 2014 in the Windham Fire Station with Board members Dann Timmons, Deb Blewitt, Ron Kilgore and George Bengtson and Fiscal Officer Jayme Neikirk present.  Board member Mike Dye was absent.

The Board approved the minutes of the last meeting, the bank reconciliation and the expenditures for the month.

Board Chairman Dann Timmons reported that he, Mike Dye and Chief Mike Iwanyckyj met with several representatives of the Ohio National Guard to discuss details concerning the renewal of the contract to provide fire and rescue service to Camp Ravenna.  The Fire Department has been providing service to the Portage County portion of Camp Ravenna (commonly referred to as the Arsenal) since 2009 under a contract negotiated with Camp Ravenna jointly by Windham Township and the Village of Windham prior to the formation of the joint fire district.  The new contract expands the service area to include Trumbull County as well as access to the gate on State Route 534 in Braceville.  The contract, which will continue until May, 2018, includes a yearly escalation in fees for services as well as other updates.  The board members in attendance unanimously approved the contract and forwarded it to the Ohio National Guard for signatures.

In other business, Chief Iwanyckyj reported on the involvement of the department with the Garrettsville fire.  With most of our firefighters and equipment involved with the effort, Paris Township Fire Department provided a fire truck and personnel in our fire station to respond to any calls in our district.  Our thanks to Paris for the cooperative effort.  In addition, at the request of the Chief, the board agreed to move all carded reserve members of the department to pay status.  The chief also reported that the department had responded to 215 calls to date in 2014.

The Board of the WVFD Joint Fire District meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Windham Fire Station.


Garrettsville – In their first council meeting since the fire on March 22 that destroyed a significant portion of downtown businesses, council was proactive in taking steps toward a rebuilding effort.  Upon the recommendation of the planning commission, council approved Ordinance 2014-18, which waives zoning fees that would be charged in the rebuilding process for properties impacted by the fire.  Council also approved Ordinance 2014-16, a tax abatement program focused toward community reinvestment.  

Mantua Twp. – At a recent meeting in Mantua Township, the trustees announced that Spring Clean Up will be held on May 3rd from 7 am to 4 pm. Dumpsters will be available across from the Township Garage on Mantua Center Road for township residents to dispose of any unwanted items. Later in May, the township will provide document-shredding services to residents. The tentative date set for shredding is May 17th. 

Windham  Twp. – Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday April 3, 2014 with all trustees in attendance, along with the fiscal officer, seven residents and two guests.

The first item on the agenda after approving March’s expenditures and the minutes, was roads. The Road Supervisor Brian Miller reported that the roads held up well during the harsh winter but there was still some work to be done. Werger Road and Horn Road have the usual problems that they will continue to work on.  Brian Miller said he received a suggestion that the township consider filling in the cracks on Bryant Road early rather than later to prevent them from getting larger. The trustees took the suggestion under advisement.  Dann Timmons said they had yet to hear back from Dale Soinski’s lawyer on the cul-de-sac, but expect to see some paperwork on the issue soon. Trustee Rich Gano asked what roads they would consider chipping and sealing this year. Timmons said they will evaluate the roads as soon the weather breaks. 

Hiram Twp. – At the recent meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees, the trustees discussed a request the three trustees received to meet with the members of the Hiram Village Council to jointly meet and discuss Hiram Township Resolution 2014-3, regarding annexation of a parcel of village-situated property. This resolution was presented to Hiram Village Council for consideration at their March 18th meeting. It was agreed that all Township trustees would be in attendance at this joint meeting, on April 8th at 6 pm. The results of that meeting were not available before press time. 

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the April 2, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the special meeting & regular meeting from March 19 for approval.  Matota made a motion to accept the minutes as presented;  Elias seconded the motion. All trustees voted to approve the minutes

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the March 19th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

Finney made copies of the NOPEC annual Report available on a first-come first-serve basis. 

Hiram - At the last meeting of the Hiram Village Council, Hiram Mayor Lou Bertrand acknowledged the Hiram Fire Department’s Save of the Year recipients. The team was honored for the successful resuscitation of a full cardiac arrest victim on Vaughn Road in February. On that snowy morning, the Fire Department received a call to assist a man, Mr. Dave Loader, who had fallen. Upon arrival, the team found him not breathing, with no pulse. The team was able to resuscitate him, but could not transport him via Life Flight due to poor weather conditions. They braved icy roads to transport Mr. Loader to Geauga Hospital, where he made a full recovery.  Mr. and Mrs. Loader were present at the award ceremony to show their support and appreciation to the crew.

As the new year is progressing, Freedom Township has had an uneventful winter. Our township was well prepared for the weather; we have experienced NO shortage of road material.  There have not been any major issues come up in the township.  Our rental halls have been used on a regular basis and they have been a beneficial asset to the township.  We are in hopes that the baseball fields will be used and the Community Park and Townhall Park will be utilized often this summer.

Garrettsville – The main topic of discussion after the opening of the March 12, 2014 Garrettsville village council meeting was water rates and how much of an increase there will be if council approves proposed Ordinance 2014-13.  The Board of Public Affairs (BPA) had asked a representative from Arcadis in February 2013 about a rate study for the village water utility that could be used to plan and budget future water projects and to assure current rates were adequate.  (Arcadis is company that specializes in infrastructure and water planning & design which  has consulted on infrastructure projects like the State Street water main replacement project last year and the coming Liberty Street bridge replacement project.)

Hiram - Around 30 residents from Hiram and Mantua Townships attended a community meeting last Saturday to share their concerns about how a local storage well is affecting their lives, their roads and their families. At the meeting, citizens voiced concerns over the ill affects of the increase in 18-wheeled tanker truck traffic near their homes. Individuals provided photos taken on local roads of tanker trucks bringing fracking waste to the area for disposal at the storage well from as far away as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Texas. 

Windham Twp. – Eight residents were in attendance at the Windham Township Trustees meeting on March 6, 2014 to see how the township conducts its business.

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman Dann Timmons. The trustees approved the minutes and the financial report before moving on to discuss the judge’s decision on granting Mr. Dale Soinski’s petition to have the trustees vacate an unused portion of Frazier Road. The trustees are disappointed with the judge’s decision and claim the ruling is a bit ambiguous, but voted 2-0-1 (Timmons yes, Rich Gano yes, Miller abstained) not to pursue an appeal. The residents in attendance also felt it was unwise to spend any more money on the issue and agreed with their decision.   

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the March 5th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the February 19th meeting for approval.  Matota made a motion to accept the minutes as presented;  Elias seconded the motion. All trustees voted to approve the minutes.

Mantua Twp. – At a recent meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees, the trustees approved a resolution to certify their jurisdiction of 37.09 miles of township roads. In similar news, they have also approved a list of zoning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in response to the increase in questions received from realtors and appraisers. The updated list has been posted on the Township website, so visit mantuatownshipohio.gov for the latest information.

Hiram – The Hiram Police Department is pleased to announce the acquisition and approval of the Ohio Criminal Justice Assistance Services Law Enforcement grant. The grant will fund the total replacement of  two  outdated light bars on two  Hiram P.D. patrol cars. The total project is budgeted at $3,500. The approval of this grant will heighten and improve officer safety and roadway safety during traffic stops and emergency responses without carrying the financial burden to the taxpayers.
“With successful grant acquisitions we are able to improve and update current outdated safety equipment, which generates an improved safety service that we provide to the community, it also is completed without burdening taxpayers or the budget with the expense”, stated Chief Samec. The current light bars are the rotating and flasher type, the new light bars that will be acquired with the grant funds are LED styles which are very visible from long distances.

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the February 19th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the February 5th meeting for approval. Matota made a motion to accept the minutes as presented; Elias seconded the motion. All trustees voted to approve the minutes.
Following the presentation of the minutes, Finney provided the trustees with copies of the bills and wages to be paid totaling $19,202.02; he also presented the trustees with a fund status report showing $285,809.11 in total township funds. Finney also informed the trustees that he has received the final loan repayment amortization schedule, which requires semi-annual payments $156.15 in the spring and fall. Following this schedule, the township’s debt would be retired in January 2044.

Mantua Twp. – At the last meeting to discuss prospective plans for the Mantua Center School/Administration Building, over 60 residents braved the blustery weather to find out the results of community feedback regarding the historic township structure. Todd Peetz, from Portage County Regional Planning Commission again led the meeting.

Hiram Twp - After Steve Pancost, Chairman of the Township Trustees called the meeting to order, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Kozak presented his monthly report, sharing that, fortunately, January’s calls were, “kind of low.” Kozak reported 32 total calls within the village and college, with a total of 14 in the township. He also reported that the Fire Department is investigating the potential of generating additional funds by placing a levy on the ballot during November’s election.

In similar news, Township Trustees are in the process of finalizing plans to purchase an emergency siren for the south end of the township. The addition of this new, second siren will provide emergency notification coverage to the entire township, and will be located on State Route 82, across the street from the Rolling Acres development. According to Vice-Chairman of the Trustees, Kathy Schulda, the siren will be installed by late spring or early summer, with a portion of the funds provided by Village Builders, per an agreement with the township. 

Windham Twp. – While many townships, cities and municipalities are struggling to get road salt, Windham Township seems to have dodged that bullet for now. According to Road Supervisor Brian Miller they are currently doing all right with their salt supply after securing a delivery from the county engineer earlier in the year. For now they are holding their own so to speak with their salt supply. In other road news, the township workers have done a great job on keeping the roads clear and even found some time to do the sidewalks so the students could safely walk to school. Trustee Rich Gano looked at their secondary broken salt spreader and tightened up the chain. It seems to be working now. Gano suggested they consider selling it since they only use one anyway. No decision was made on the spreader.

Nelson Twp – Officials present at the February 5th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

Kent –State Representative Kathleen Clyde of Kent is seeking a third term in the Ohio House of Representatives and has declared her candidacy for the 75th Ohio House District in Portage County.

“I am running for State Representative so that I can continue the job I started when the people of Portage County elected me to the Statehouse four years ago,” stated Clyde. “Nothing is more important to me than being a strong voice for Portage County residents and doing everything I can to find the common sense solutions that will help improve our economy, strengthen our schools, and preserve our future.”

First elected in 2010, Clyde serves on the powerful Finance & Appropriations Committee, the Policy & Legislative Oversight Committee, and is the Ranking Minority Member of the State & Local Government Committee.  She is also a member of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission.

Clyde will again be running in the 75th Ohio House District, which includes Streetsboro, Kent, Ravenna and all of Southern Portage County.


Hiram – At the start of the meeting, Mayor Lou Bertrand called for nominations for an appointment to fill Alan Donley’s seat on Village Council. Mr. Donley gave up his seat in December 2013. Council approved the nomination of Mr. Tom Wadkins to fulfill the remainder of Mr. Donley’s term, and during the same meeting, elected Mr. Wadkins to the position of Council President.  Mr. Chris Cobb took his seat on council, as well.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Mr. William Steiner, Director of Portage County Solid Waste Management, was present to answer questions about a proposed contract for recycling services between his organization and the Village. Mr. Steiner shared that the Ohio EPA is in the process of writing a new plan for the entire county, and noted that the EPA’s plan is “somewhat restrictive.” Among Council’s questions was the ability to schedule weekly recycling pick-ups within the Village, as opposed to bi-weekly, as is the current practice. It was noted that recycling pick-up within Hiram Township occurs on a weekly basis. The resolution authorizing a contract with Portage County Solid Waste has been tabled.

Windham – Windham Village Council met for their regularly- scheduled meeting on January 27, 2014 with all council members present, along with fiscal officer Lloyd Billman, and solicitor Tom Reitz.

Council approved the minutes from the December 17, 2013 meeting and the minutes from the January 7, 2014 organizational meeting. They also approved the financial report, the dispatcher’s report for the month of December. 

At the first regularly scheduled meeting in 2014, the Village Council approved appointment of Paul Janson as 2014 President of Council. In addition, Mr. Janson was appointed to the Finance Committee along with Ben Prescott and John Clark. Martin Hura was named the alternate member to the Finance Committee. Bill Zoller, Ben Prescott, and John Clark were appointed to the Service Committee. Mr. Janson was named as the alternate member to that committee. Council also appointed Martin Hura, Giles Seith, and Bill Zoller to the Village’s Safety Committee. Ben Prescott will serve as an alternate. Lastly, Council appointed Bill Zoller to fill the position of Mantua Village Representative to the MSFD Fire Board, effective February of this year. Giles Seith will serve as his alternate.  At this time, a Village representative and Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department representative have not yet been appointed. 

Ravenna - Portage County Auditor Janet Esposito is warning property owners to beware of companies offering to assist with tax valuation appeals. “Property tax values are available at the Auditor’s Office, where the staff or I will be happy to explain what values are on record and how to file an appeal. The entire process is free.”

Mantua Twp. – There is a Mantua Township Community Meeting which was rescheduled because of weather on January 7th to January 29th at 7:00 p.m. at the Mantua Township Civic Center.  The meeting is a follow up from October with additional findings from other community groups and organizations and to discuss the potential possibilities for the old Center School.  We continue to look for community input concerning the school.  The Portage County Regional Planning Commission will be the facilitators for the discussion.  The end product will be a compilation of the suggestions and provide a set of alternatives for the Mantua Township Trustees to consider.   If you have further questions or need additional information, please contact Todd Peetz, Director of Portage County Regional Planning Commission at 330-297-3613.

Nelson Twp.  – Officials present at the January 15th, 2014 trustee meeting were fiscal officer J. David Finney and township trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were, Roads Supervisor Chuck Vanek, Zoning Inspector Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Community House Caretaker Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney presented the minutes of the January 8th meeting for approval with the addition of Jacob Seinc’s last name. Elias made a motion to accept the minutes as presented with the addition of Seinc’s last name; Matota seconded the motion. With a 3:0 vote to approve, the motion carried.

Mantua Township – At the last regularly scheduled meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees, Trustees Victor Grimm and John Festa were in attendance. Mr. Festa noted that the Township’s inventory has been completed and turned in to Fiscal Officer Marie Stehli. Mr. Grimm noted that a draft document of proposed zoning fees has been completed, with no changes from 2013 fees, other than a change noted on page two of the document. Mr. Grimm stated that he has included his proposed change, which deals with the demolition of a small building. The document will be ready for Trustee vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

Windham Twp. –  The Windham Township Trustees held their organizational meeting on January 7, 2014.  All trustees and fiscal officer were present.  The board welcomed Rich Gano as a new trustee, replacing Jesse Wirick.  Dann Timmons was appointed chairman, with Brian Miller being appointed as vice-chairman.  Dann Timmons was appointed as the trustee representative to the W.V.F.D Joint Fire District.  Rich Gano was appointed to represent the township with Portage County Regional Planning Commission.

Nelson Twp.  – Acting as the Chairman-Pro Tem, Nelson Township Fiscal Officer Dave Finney called the first trustee meeting of 2014 to order on January 8 and lead those in attendance in reciting the pledge of allegiance. Officials present at the meeting were trustees Joe Leonard, Mike Elias, and Tom Matota. Also present were Chuck Vanek, Anna Mae VanDerHoeven, and Michelle Cmunt.

As the first order of business, Finney opened the floor to the trustees for the nomination of a Chairman. Matota nominated Leonard, and was seconded by Elias. All three trustees voted to close the nomination for Chairman making Leonard the Chairman. Finney then turned over control of the meeting to Leonard who opened the floor for the nomination of a Vice Chairman. Matota nominated Elias, and Leonard seconded the nomination, and the trustees voted to make Elias the Vice Chairman.

Hiram Twp. – The township has received a copy of a suit filed in December by the Pinter family against Clarence Moore, the owner of Far View Airport, a privately owned airstrip in Hiram. The issue was initially brought to the attention of Township Trustees in February of last year. At that time, Trustees asked both parties to work with the County Prosecutor’s office to reach a resolution. At this time, Trustees are waiting to hear the outcome of the suit.

As we begin 2014, I would like to start out by saying how beautiful our Village looked for Christmas. There was a comment on our Facebook page that I thought was very appropriate. It was stated at the Christmas Tree Lighting that Garrettsville reminded them of a Hallmark Christmas Card. I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and I would like to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Garrettsville –  The January 8, 2014 Garrettsville village council meeting opened welcoming new councilman Tom Hardesty (Hardesty was elected last November and replaces retired Councilman Bob Matson).  Immediately the floor opened for nominations for council president.  Councilwoman Becky Harrington nominated Tom Hardesty for the job.  The motion was seconded and council voted him in.   Hardesty’s first act was to open a public hearing to discuss proposed Ordinances 2013-39 and 2013-40 which would eliminate the requirement that business signage be reviewed by the Design Review Board and would allow the zoning department to approve applications for signs that meet current codes.
There was no public comment – actually, there was only one resident in attendance in the audience.  Hardesty closed the hearing and regular session began.  Minutes from the last council meeting were approved with corrections.  Council then discussed revenue, expenditure, cash balances and income tax reports.  

Windham Twp. – Windham township trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all trustees in attendance, along with the fiscal officer. Chairman of the Board Brian Miller called the meeting to order. The trustees approved the minutes from November’s meeting and the expenditures.  After a brief discussion, the trustee agreed to raise the insurance reimbursement from $6500 a year to $7500 a year as the maximum reimbursement.

Windham -  Windham Village Council  met for their regularly-scheduled meeting with one board member delayed, by the weather; otherwise all other members were present. The meeting was called to order and council approved the minutes, expenditures, and the fire and police dispatcher’s report.

Mayor Rob Donham reported that the asbestos report was done on the 13 properties the village is planning to demolish through the Move Ohio Forward Program. The buildings are expected to be down by the end of the year.

Nelson Twp - Meeting at 7:15pm on November 20, trustees Tom Matota and Joe Leonard were in attendance for a special meeting scheduled to decide the fate of two proposed amendments. Outgoing trustee Jim Turos was once again absent.

After the November 6 meeting, the trustees followed up with Township legal counsel Chris Meduri for advice on two proposed amendments. Meduri informed the trustees that the amendments could be approved at their discretion, but noted that accepting “Amendment 2” as valid would set a precedent for future proposals. Amendment 2 was thought to be “null and void” at the November 6 meeting due to the fee for submission remaining unpaid. Trustees Matota and Leonard were in agreement that the amendment needed to be rejected as void to avoid setting a precedent. 

Garrettsville – At the November 13th village council meeting, Mayor Rick Patrick introduced Nelson Township Trustee Tom Matota.  Matota addressed council about the issues over chip/seal to Brosius Road that the township and village share responsibility for.  Matota explained his understanding of how ODOT divided up roads for maintenance.  Matota also stated it appears that Nelson Township’s assigned responsibility actually extends approximately 400 feet further than originally thought toward Silica Street.  Matota said that the township would maintain the portion of the road assigned to them.  He also said that the Township couldn’t always commit funds, especially on short notice.  

Hiram – Last Wednesday in Independence, the Hiram Police Department received the prestigious American Automobile Association (AAA) Platinum Award for community safety programs and education. The national award is given annually to recognize police departments for their efforts toward improving roadway and pedestrian safety. The award was bestowed on the Department by local and national AAA representatives.

Issue 1 –  Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities Renewal Tax Levy – 2 Mills

Issue 2 –  Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities Renewal Tax Levy – 0.9 Mill

Issue  3 –  Portage County Mental Health & Recovery Board Renewal Tax Levy – 1 Mill

Issue 15 –  Mantua-Shalersville Fire District Renewal Tax Levy – 2.99 Mills


School Boards

Crestwood LSD

David A. Becker

Norman Erickson

Todd Monroe


J. A. Garfield LSD

Patricia A. Brett

Guy V. Pietra


Ravenna Schools Deborah Davison

Judy Paydock

Joan Seman

Mike Tontimonia


Rootstown LSD

Jay Kelsey

Stephanie Langguth

Tom Siciliano


Windham Exempted Village School District

Danny Burns

Elaine Grant

Dawn D. Kilgore


School Levies

Issue 24 –  James A. Garfield Local School District  Renewal Tax Levy – 5.51 Mills


Issue 21 – Ravenna City School District

Additional Tax Levy – 4.9 Mills

3 Mills Current Expenses, 1.9 Mills General, On-Going Permanent Improvements


Issue 28 –  Windham Exempted Village School District Renewal Tax Levy – 3.95 Mills


Garrettsville Village


Rick Patrick

Village Council

Teri Eiermann

Steve Hadzinsky

Tom Hardesty

Becky Harrington

Charles C. Klamer

Kristen Kline Morris

Board of Public Affairs

Stephanie Byrne


Hiram Village

Village Council

Robert E. Dempsey

David C. Smith

Christopher Cobb


Mantua Village

Village Council

John A. Clark

Martin S. Hura

Ben Prescott

Giles E. Seith


Windham Village

Village Council

Rachel W. Barrett

Scott Garrett

Linda Rininger


Freedom Township 


Bill Bennett

Jeff Derthick

Roy E. Martin

Tom Mesaros

John C. Zizka


Hiram Township


Steven F. Pancost

Kathleen Schulda


Mantua Township


Jason Carlton

Victor W. Grimm

Matt Parsons

Dawn Pechman

Carole A. Pollard

Nelson Township


Michael G. Elias

Joe Leonard

James M. Turos


Ravenna Township


Patsy Artz

Vince Coia


Rootstown Township


Summer Carpenter

Misty Dulaney

Linda Hankins

Brett A. Housley

David McIntyre


Shalersville Township


Frank R. Ruehr, Jr.

Larry Solak

Nancy J. Vines


Windham Township


Richard Gano

Dann Timmons

Jesse W. Wirick

Mantua Twp. – In light of many questions regarding expenditures of the Township’s finances, Township Fiscal Officer Marie Stehli shared a spreadsheet she developed to clearly show what has been spent on the Mantua Center school building.  She made copies available to those in attendance, and requested that it be added to the township’s website, mantuatownshipohio.gov.  

Hiram – At the start of the meeting, a representative from the Hiram Parks Board, Susan Merrill, informed council of a meeting that will be held on November 13th from 7 to 9 pm. The purpose of this meeting is to provide a venue for area businesses and residents to discuss suggestions for development of the five-acre park space to be located on the former Hiram School property. The meeting will be held in Koritansky Hall at the corner of Routes 82 and 700 in Hiram.