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Following the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, trustee Tom Matota opened the floor to those present. Jacob Seinc of Scout Troop 465 presented the trustees with updates on his Eagle Scout project (the cleaning and restoration of the Pixley Park hiking trail). Seinc has revised his plan to trade off the mulching of the trail with the construction of stone ramps at the trailhead—enabling Seinc and others to get equipment needed to clear brush on the trail to the job site. Trustee Jim Turos made a motion to accept the changes as presented, to which all trustees agreed.

Mantua Twp. – Zoning Inspector John Dickey announced that he has set up office hours the first few Thursdays of each month at the Center School/Administration Building to make forms available and answer any zoning questions that residents may have. While the township has posted updated permit applications on the township web site, Mr. Dickey acknowledges that residents without computer access need hard copies of pertinent forms and applications. He asked the Trustees to investigate placing a weatherproof box outside the township building so that residents may pick up forms at their convenience. No conclusion was reached on this issue, but this prompted further discussion, including confusions around which doors should be used to enter the building to meet with Mr. Dickey or Fiscal Officer Marie Stehli. Chairman Jason Carlton suggested posting signs directing visitors to the appropriate building entrance.  

Windham Twp – The Windham Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday October 3, 2013 with all trustees and fiscal officer present. Chairman of the Board Brian Miller called the meeting to order. The trustees approved the minutes from the previous meeting and the expenditures. Trustee Dann Timmons announced that Dale Soinski was appealing the county commissioner’s decision on not to vacate the unused portion of Frazier Road. They have set a date for pretrial on October 10, 2013 at 1pm. in Judge John Enlow’s court room.

Hiram Twp. – At a recent meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees, Trustee Jack Groselle mentioned that the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Office of Farmland Preservation is inviting local cities, townships and conservation districts to apply for Local Sponsor Certification by November 15. Local sponsors who qualify would be allocated a portion of the over $6 million available statewide to fund the purchase of agricultural easements on local farms. Landowners who participate in Ohio’s Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program retain title to their land, continue to pay taxes and can farm however and whatever they wish, but the farm must remain in agricultural production. Easement proceeds are typically spent locally to expand farm operations, purchase new machinery, install conservation practices, or reduce debt. Contact Trustee Groselle at (330) 569-7977 if you’re a landowner interested in participating in this program.

Garrettsville – A Public Hearing was held September 11, 2013 prior to the regularly scheduled council meeting for Proposed Ordinance 2013-30 that would amend the current zoning codes to allow for a “walkable neighborhood” overlay district in the current R-2 residential zoned district.  Dave Harrington of The Reserve at Eagle Creek and Fox Hollow Developments stated that a lot of the people that have considered moving to Garrettsville and have come to the Fox Hollow Development to look are discouraged by of the amount of land that they would have to take care of if they purchased a lot to build on.  Currently zoning requires a minimum of a half-acre lot for single-family homes.  

Village Residents,

It has been a little over a year since Mayor Craig Moser passed away unexpectedly and that I had the responsibility to step in and take over the reins of a wonderful and well respected Mayor.  I admit that at first I was frightened to be taking over such a huge responsibility of being your Mayor. I realized that I had no choice and that I would do everything in my power to serve the community as your Mayor.  One of the questions that I am asked the most is how do you like being Mayor? I answer that it has been a challenge but most everyone that knows me knows that I am always up for a challenge.  When I am called or confronted with a question regarding the Village I have done my best to respond with an answer or look into the situation and resolve the issue promptly.

This is what I will call my midyear report of the Village. We endured the tough winter with some temporary patching of the roads.  We will be soon cracking sealing some of the roads. Bidding has gone out for chip sealing and paving for some of the most damaged roads. Unfortunately  O.D.O.T.  has informed me that they will not be paving State Route 82 till next summer. The Liberty Street Bridge by the Street Department is supposed to be replaced by June 29th 2014. Sidewalks are being evaluated for repairs as much as our budget will allow this year. We are also looking at an alternative of concrete lifting for the sidewalks that are not level instead of replacing. A Beautification Committee has been created to look at enhancing areas of the Village such as the entrance signs, parks, parking lots, Main St and other areas. Thanks to The Chamber of Commerce; with their hard work we have enjoyed events such as Community Garage Sale, St. Patrick’s Day celebration and Car Cruise Nights with more to come. A big thank you goes to The Summerfest Committee for one of the largest festivals ever. We endured the floods as best as we could with a big thank you to the fire, police, water and street departments for making our residents safe and doing what they could do to get our Village operational again. Hopefully, we will not have to endure such a severe storm and flooding again.  Now for the million dollar question, what about Paul’s Grist Mill? A demolition permit has been taken out with Portage County and the building is supposed to be completely down and cleared by December 11, 2013. If it is not razed by that date Portage County Building Department will take further action.

As I end this letter I would just like to say that this year I have been yelled at in two incidents in a disrespectful manor that I did not deserve. I was taught years ago by my old boss the late Paul Patry, try to keep calm and keep your cool. You will get more things done and accomplished by talking civilly to someone and try to work it out.  The next time you have a concern or complaint try talking it out with me or your local councilman or councilwoman .  You might not always like the answer but we will do the best we can to solve your problem.  Thank you for your support.

 

Sincerely,

Mayor Rick Patrick

Nelson Twp. – Calling the meeting to order at 7:30 PM, Chairman Tom Matota opened the floor to those in attendance. A resident from Kyle Road was present to ask whether Dave Finney had been able to find information regarding cable service contracts within the township. The resident mentioned that SuddenLink (one of two providers in the township) continues to raise prices on cable/internet services of marginal quality. In his research, Finney found that contracts with SuddenLink and Time Warner had both expired in 2010; he also stated that townships no longer contract with cable companies for service, as the companies are able to deliver service in any areas they desire—paying the township 5% fee on their quarterly gross income.  After successfully navigating the labyrinth that is Time Warner Cable’s phone system, Finney learned that for Time Warner to consider extending service to an area, at least 20 houses per mile would need to be interested in service. Finney will call to inquire whether Time Warner can extend service to more locations in the township.

Hiram Twp. – Chairperson Kathy Schulda reported that she received calls from Township residents reporting that they saw brine trucks dumping into a township river. Ms. Schulda immediately reported this to both the Portage County Sheriff’s office, and to Akron Water Works. When the Sheriff’s office arrived at the scene, trucks were no longer present. As of the Township meeting, Ms. Schulda had not been contacted by Akron Water Works. In future incidents, Trustees implored residents to call 911 immediately to notify the Portage County Sheriff’s Office of any illegal activity. In addition, residents are encouraged to photograph the license plates and drivers of the tanker trucks engaged in this activity. According to Mark Bruce, Public Information Officer with the ODNR, if anyone sees a spill or other environmental crime happening, they can call the Ohio EPA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-282-9378. If they come across circumstances they think may require an Oil & Gas specific investigator, they can contact ODNR’s regional office at 330-896-0616.

Hiram – The Hiram Police Department is excited to announce that we are now a donation drop of location for People Care Pet Pantry. The People Care Pet Pantry is an organization that provides families, who have pets, the needed resources to keep the pets in their homes during financial crisis and hardships. By doing so this reduces owner surrenders to overtaxed animal shelters, reduces medically unnecessary euthanasia, and help families honor their responsibility to provide life long, loving homes for their pets. Portage County currently has several drop off locations that folks can donate cat/dog food, pet toys, pet health care items, etc; now the Hiram Police Department is a drop off location.
Those who wish to donate essential pet supplies to families in Portage County who have fallen upon financial hardships.

“I am excited and proud to be part of this program”, Chief Ed Samec said. “There are many area families who are in financial crisis and have pets, this program helps keep the pets in the homes and provides food, healthcare items, and toys to the family pets, who by the way are part of our families”. Chief Ed Samec added.
Donations can be dropped off at the Hiram Police Department lobby 27/7 located at 11617 Garfield Road Hiram, Ohio 44234. People Care Pet Pantry will be in attendance at the Hiram Police Department “Fill-a-Police Car” food drive/ Pet Adoption event on September 21st from 9am-4pm at the Hiram Police Department, please bring items to help support your neighbors and their furry family members.

Hiram Twp. – At the recent Township Trustees meeting, Chairman Kathy Schulda shared that the township had been in talks with representatives from Pander Trucking regarding damage to Allyn Road where Pander’s storage wells are located, based on increased truck traffic to the wells. In the process of her discussions with Pander, Ms. Schulda learned that wells had been sold to Nuverra Environmental Solutions. In spite of the sale, the Pander family issued a check to the township in the amount of $15,000 to cover the cost to repair the road in question.

Nelson Twp. – Residents gathered at the Nelson Community House on Wednesday, August 7th for the first trustee meeting of the month. All trustees and officials were present and accounted for.

 
Dave Finney presented the board of trustees with the minutes from the budget meeting; the minutes were approved as presented.
Finney mentioned that he was attempting to get in touch with Vicki Cline or Janet Esposito to obtain clarification on current estate tax rules, so that he can better anticipate where the township stands. He also received a letter from ODOT indicating that road salt prices were expected to drop by ten dollars per ton, lowering the township’s cost to $27.50/ton this winter.      

Hiram – After calling the July 30th Special Village Council meeting to order, Mayor Lou Bertrand took the opportunity to recognize the EMS crew responsible for the 2012 Save of the Year Award. The EMS responders recognized were: Chief Bill Byers, Assistant Chief Mark Kozak, Captain Gary Bott, Firefighter Kevin Sponaugle and Firefighter Nate Miller. Chief Byers and Firefighter Miller were not present to receive their awards.

Mantua – As noted previously, Ms. Linda Schilling resigned from her seat on Council at the June 18th meeting. That same evening, John Clark, husband of Mantua Mayor Linda Clark, was appointed to Council and sworn in that night. Since that meeting, several other key positions in the Village have been filled. Brian Rooth has been hired as a part-time service worker and Joe Urso has been hired as a seasonal employee.

Nelson Twp. –  The Nelson Township trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm at the community house. Chairman of the Board Tom Matota called the meeting to order and asked if anyone would like to address the trustees with any issues.
Nelson resident, Ted Lysiak introduced himself, gave a brief biography and announced that he is the new superintendent of J. A. Garfield Schools. He also stressed that he has an open door policy and looks forward to the school year.

Windham Twp. –  The Windham Township Trustees met for a rescheduled meeting on July 9, 2013 at the town hall. The meeting was rescheduled due to the Fourth of July Holiday. The trustees present were Brian Miller and Dann Timmons, Trustee Jesse Wirick was absent due to an unforeseen event.  The trustees approved the minutes from the last meeting, the expenditures, and the proposed budget for next year.

Hiram – A visitor from the Governor’s Office, Tim Ross, was in attendance at a recent Hiram Village Council meeting. Mr. Ross, the Eastern Ohio Regional Liaison for Ohio Governor Kasich, presented some findings from a recent governmental report entitled, Beyond Boundaries: A Shared Services Action Plan for Ohio Schools & Governments. Beyond Boundaries is a comprehensive study of public policy recommendations, potential collaborations and needed changes to the overall way of doing business in Ohio’s public sector. The June 2012 report states that, “The per capita cost of government in Northeast Ohio rose nearly 70 percent between 1992 and 2002, more than twice the rate of inflation for the Midwest.” Mr. Ross shared that among all regions studied, Northeast Ohio was in the top two regions with the highest governmental expenditures.

Hiram – On July 4th Hiram Police Department held its annual “Bicycle Safety Rodeo” for children. There were 36 participants in the event. Bicyclists were taught the correct use of hand signals, proper bicycle helmet fitting and use, and general safe practices when riding a bicycle.

Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all trustees and fiscal officer in attendance.  Chairman Tom Matota opened up the floor for comments or questions. A Nelson resident asked Trustee Jim Turos  if he would address the residents of Nelson, who pay him $9,000/year plus free medical, on why he [Turos] felt attending a tractor show was more important that attending the last trustee meeting.  Turos was asked by the chairman if he had a response and Turos said “Not really,” to which the resident replied,  “I didn’t think you would, but I had to ask.”  Turos added, “That’s my life.”

Garrettsville – –  Minutes from both the regular May 8, 2013 meeting and the June 1, 2013 special council meeting which authorized the mayor and clerk to enter into an agreement for the provision of dispatching services for the Windham Village Police Department were approved.  Immediately after, discussion ensued about the state of the village’s finances.  The current report shows that approximately $94,000 has been expended more than current revenues.  Councilman Matson asked clerk/treasurer Nancy Baldwin, “Are we in trouble?” to which she replied, “We could be”.

Garrettsville – The Garrettsville Board of Public Affairs and JD Environmental Consulting, LLC are pleased to invite the public to a presentation of the 2012 Baseline Report for the Village of Garrettsville’s Ground Water Monitoring Program.  The presentation will be given in the Council Chambers of the Village Hall at 8213 High Street in Garrettsville at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 8 following the regular BPA meeting.

Windham – The WVFD Joint Fire Board met for their regularly scheduled meeting on June 13, 2013 with all board members and fiscal officer in attendance. The board approved the minutes, bank reconciliation and expenditures.  The board voted to ratify the amended contract with Ravenna City Dispatching Services.

Fire Chief Iwanyckyj reported that since the switch on May 29, 2013, the use of the new dispatch center is working well. There were a few minor glitches, but all of them have been resolved. The chief also stated that calls to date (6/13) are 313 and reminds residents to use 9-1-1 for emergencies.  He also reported that he has not heard anything about the grant application, so for now, the WVFD is still in contention for it.

Questions were asked about how much the dispatching outsource has cost the fire board and if they had resolved the dead zone issues with the radios. Chairwomen Linda Rininger said she would have more accurate figures on the cost of the service and would present them next month.  Chief Iwanyckyj said the dead zone issues have been resolved with the purchase and use of repeaters.

The WVFD Joint Fire Board would like to thanks Jason Purdy for the donation of labor and his equipment to help get underground lines installed/repaired. The fire Board meets on the second Thursday of each month at the fire station at 7pm.

Mantua – At a recent Mantua Village Council meeting, Mayor Linda Clark announced that Council has selected Steve Chapman as Mantua Village Zoning Inspector. The position was vacant since the death of the previous Inspector, John Vechery, in late December 2012. Mr. Chapman resides in Ravenna, but has roots in the Mantua community as the co-owner of both the Iron Eagle Martial Arts Studio and Poloskey Meats in the Village. In addition, Mr. Chapman also serves Mantua as an auxiliary police officer. 

Windham – Windham Village Council met for their regularly-scheduled meeting Tuesday May 28, 2013 with all council members, fiscal officer, the mayor and the village solicitor in attendance.

Council approved the fiscal report, the minutes from the previous meeting and special meeting, and the fire, police and dispatchers reports as well. 

Nelson Twp. — The Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting on May 15, 2013 with all trustees present. Chairman Tom Matota opened the meeting with guest recognition. Mark Russell from Ellerhorst Russell Insurance presented the trustees with a rebate check from their insurance company OTARMA.  The township received a rebate of $1075.14 from the 2012 insurance premiums. Each year OTARMA board of directors evaluate their assets and liabilities; if they are in good balance they offer rebates to their customers.

Hiram – The Hiram Police Department is educating children on the importance of wearing a bike helmet. Chief Ed Samec announced that the Hiram Police Department is participating in the AAA Helmet Smart Program this year. Helmet Smart is a unique program for promoting bicycle helmet usage through positive reinforcement.  Hiram police officers will issue “safety citations” when they see children wearing a bike helmet while riding a bicycle. The “safety citations” can be redeemed at Hiram PD, also AAA will also be holding drawings throughout the summer for children who mail a portion of their “safety citation” back to AAA. These children will have a chance to win new bicycles.

Garrettsville –  Village Council, by a unanimous vote, approved the appointment of Matthew Noah as a new full-time police officer for the village.  Noah’s appointment fills the position left vacant by the retirement of Officer Mark Rich.  Councilman Kaiser, a member of the village’s safety committee, stated that there were two great candidates for the position, and it was a difficult pick.  Noah brings great experience with him including his work with the Portage County Drug Task Force.

Hiram – This year the Hiram Village Spring Clean- up at the curb is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2013. Old  tire drop off from 8:00 a.m. until noon at the gravel parking lot just south of the Rosser Village Building will take place on that day as well.

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met for their regularly scheduled meeting with all trustees and fiscal officer in attendance. The trustees approved the minutes and expenditures. They also signed cemetery deeds. Mr. David Finney presented a letter from their insurance company, Ohio Township Association Risk Management Authority (OTARMA) questioning some items the township didn’t list on their policy. After some discussion, the trustees thought they should insure the Civil War Memorial on the town circle and Jay Pixley Field Sign on the ball field. The other item, the insurance was concerned about was Pixley Park playground equipment. The township had the equipment removed so there is not a need to insure them.

Windham – The originally scheduled WVFD Fire Board meeting for April 11, 2013 was postponed until April 18, 2013.  The postponement was done to allow more time to research dispatching options. After researching their options, the WVFD Fire Board has decided to use Ravenna City Dispatching starting June 1, 2013. Captain David Rarrich from Ravenna City Dispatching Services presented a tentative contract written by Ravenna’s mayor, Joe Bica. The contract outlined the services they would provide, payments etc. Discussions were held on the specifics of the contract. Dann Timmons will discuss a few revisions and questions on the contract with Bica before it will be inked. They expect to have a signed contract by early May.

In the meantime, Chief Iwanyckyj will work with Capt. Rarrich on getting all the radios, walkie talkies etc. ready for the switch over.  The chief and the captain have already done some radio testing to ensure they would be able to communicate in all regions of the township. More testing will be done over the next month.

Fire Chief Mike Iwanyckyj reported that truck 2815 had $600 worth of repairs and the red rescue unit needs some work as well. Sedensky will do the repairs. Iwanyckyj also reported that the switch to Ravenna City Dispatching will cost the department $1688 to have their communications system compatible with Ravenna’s. The chief said if they have to have a repeater system it could cost and additional $2000. This does not include the actual costs for dispatching, which is estimated to be $18,000 a year. The WVFD will be charged on a per call basis. He also reported that Windham EMS participated in the “None for under 21 program” held at Hiram College.

In other fire news, the board approved the minutes, bank reconciliation and expenditures for the month of March. The board also approved the use of Mitchell Communications to update and service their communication system.

The WVFD Joint Fire district Board meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7 pm of each month.

Newton Falls – For many Americans April 16th was a day to breathe a little easier now that their government-required financial filing is done for another year. But Newton Falls Mayor Lyle Waddell had more to celebrate last Tuesday than just the end of tax season.

Members of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and their guests gathered at Ciminero’s Banquet Centre in Niles for a congratulatory dinner commemorating the accomplishments of the graduates of the 2013 Mahoning Valley Local Government Leadership Academy, a nine-week course that helps students become more effective leaders in their communities. 

Garrettsville –  Representatives from the James A. Garfield Historical Society and all three Portage County Commissioners, Kathleen Chandler, Maureen Fredrick, Tommie Jo Marsilio, were present at the last regularly scheduled Village Council meeting held April 10, to present their ideas on the old Paul’s Feed Mill building at the east end of downtown and elicit cooperation and support from Village Council.

James Mayer of the historical society gave a brief history of the 1852 structure and of its importance to the village.  He also stated that though the historical society hoped to save the original structure, they had yet to develop a clear-cut plan of how to do so.  He presented a rough sketch of what the property could be transformed into.  The plan showed the front building at the intersection of Main and Center Streets, and a parking area with a scenic overlook behind the structure where currently buildings two and three of the feed mill are located.  Mr. Mayer went on to say that they had just begun to look into grants to finance the project.  Many of them required some sort of matching funds and or needed to be submitted by a government agency.  He asked for a formal commitment from council to support the society’s endeavor.  He also asked for financial support if council was able to provide it.  Mayer stated that in addition to funding issues, the current owner of the property intends to have the building razed by June 10, 2013.  

Nelson Twp. – Nelson Township Trustees met last Thursday with all trustees and fiscal officer in attendance. There were four employees and ten guests in attendance as well. After the approval of the minutes, expenditures and permanent appropriations, Chairman Tom Matota opened the floor up for guests to speak. Mr. Bill Steiner from the Portage County Solid Waste District presented the recycle program to the trustees and asked them to approve the five year plan. After some discussion the trustees decided to do nothing with the proposal. 

Mantua – Last Tuesday’s Mantua Village Council meeting marked the momentous occasion of the Village being removed from Fiscal Watch by Nita Hendryx, a representatives from Ohio’s Auditor of State’s Office (ASO). According to Jenny August, Village Clerk-Treasurer, Mantua met the criteria of ‘Fiscal Watch’ at the end of 2007, but was not officially listed as such until August of 2008. Loss of business within the Village contributed to its financial difficulties.

Garrettsville – A Public Hearing was held prior the regularly scheduled Village Council meeting March 13, to discuss proposed restructuring of the Design Review Board (DRB).   Residents and business owners discussed the opinions and asked questions about the proposed ordinance.  Mayor Patrick assured everyone that if these changes were made the Historic District would not be affected.  Solicitor Stuck added that the existing laws and rules pertaining to zoning would still be in effect.  Mayor Patrick also explained that the DRB as it is now, is only an advisory committee.  The Planning Commission makes the final decisions.  These proposed changes would only streamline a currently cumbersome process.  The proposed new legislation does allow for the re-establishment of the DRB in the future if it is deemed necessary.

Hiram – There will be a pancake breakfast on April 20, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.  The breakfast will be held at the Hiram College Kennedy Center, Dix Dinning Hall.  It is an all you can eat and will be $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children under 10.  The proceeds go to benefit the Hiram Police Department “Shop with a Cop” program.

This year spring clean-up at the curb will be on May 18, 2013.  The date for drop off, at the Village Building, for tires will also be May 18, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  The drop off spot will be in the gravel parking lot beside the Village Building.

Windham – Windham Village Council met for their regularly-scheduled meeting February 26, 2013 with  five of the six council members present, along with the Mayor Rob Donham, Fiscal Officer Lloyd Billman and Solicitor Tom Reitz in attendance. Council woman Deb Blewitt was excused from the meeting.

Middlefield – The Middlefield Chamber of Commerce invites all to a luncheon with Middlefield mayor, Ben Garlich.

When Ben Garlich took over as mayor of Middlefield Village on Jan. 1, 2012, his primary goal was to build the economic base of this community.

Under Mayor Garlich’s leadership, the Village of Middlefield now offers to residents, a state-of-the-art Web site, is experiencing positive results from a strategic international marketing campaign and has increased in size by 11 percent. Local industries report record sales and are enthusiastically supporting the momentum.

Mayor Garlich will present the State of the Village at noon on March 12 at the Middlefield Fire Department community room, upstairs.

Enjoy a homemade, hot lunch of soup, hot and cold sandwiches, pie, cake and a beverage. $12 per person. Please RSVP for this annual meeting to 440-632-5705 or by e-mail mccinfo@middlefieldcc.com. Call the chamber office if you have any questions. The Middlefield Chamber has part-time office hours; so if there is no answer, leave a message with your name, phone number and information needed. Lynnette will call you back.

TOWN HALL MEETING WITH STATE SEN. JOHN EKLUND

On Friday, March 1, 2013 AT 8:30 A.M., State Sen. John Eklund will be at Koritansky Hall to exchange ideas and discuss the state’s new proposed 2014-2015 budget and any other matters of concern to our community. Koritansky Hall is located in the heart of Hiram at the intersections of SR 700, 82 and 305. All are invited to attend.

Windham - The WVFD Joint Fire District Board met for their regularly scheduled meeting on February 14, 2013 at the fire station. The entire board and fiscal officer were in attendance. The board approved the minutes, the expenditures, yearly appropriations of $623,413 and the monthly bank reconciliation before moving on to the chief’s report.

Hiram Twp.  – As of January, 2013, Kathy Schulda was voted Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Steve Pancost was voted Vice Chairman and Regional Planning Commission Representative. Meeting minutes from the past two meetings were approved, and are now available to view downloaded at the Hiram Township web site, hiramtownship.org.