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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.


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. 

Garrettsville – Village Council met on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.   The public hearing that had been scheduled at last month’s council meeting to discuss proposed restructuring of the Design Review Board (DRB) was postponed due to an error in publishing the announcement.  Instead, proposed Ordinance 2013-01 was presented for second reading.  The Mayor stated that the Planning Commission, at their last meeting, voted to give their support and recommend passage of the proposed ordinance as well.

Windham - Last week, the Board of Elections (BOE) approved the Referendum Petition circulated by Windham Village Residents Bob Edwards, Jim Moore and Lloyd McPherson. The Referendum petition was filed in response to council’s passage of Ordinance 2012-50 that repealed the tax credit given to those who work outside of the village. The referendum needed 41 valid signatures from registered voters who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election (November 2010) in order to be approved by the BOE. The BOE approved the referendum petition claiming they had more than enough valid signatures on the petition, so it can now move forward. The approval leaves the village council with two options, rescind the tax credit repeal ordinance (2012-50) they voted on in December or certify the tax credit issue to be placed on the ballot in November. 

Hiram – Sue Skrovan was sworn in by Hiram Village Mayor Bertrand as the newly appointed Fiscal Officer at the last Village Council meeting. Skrovan, who was officially appointed by a unanimous vote of the Hiram Village Council on December 27, started in her new role on December 28. Skrovan, a 20-year resident of Mantua, has served as the Assistant Clerk for the Village of Mantua for over six years before being hired by Hiram. “It was a great opportunity for me,” states Skrovan. In larger communities, the Fiscal Officer position is usually an elected one. To run for office, applicants must generally live in the community they wish to serve. The opportunity in Hiram was an appointed position, and residency was not required. 

Windham –  Windham Village residents sent a strong message to council last week saying they were not happy with a decision council made in December by enacting Ordinance (O-2012-50) to repeal the village’s .5% tax credit given to residents who live in the village and work in another municipality. Residents felt they were being punished for having a job outside of the village. So in response to council’s action, the residents collected signatures for a referendum petition which will send the issue back to the voters in November. Before that can happen, they have to collect 41 signatures,  which is 10% of  the registered voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election (2010) and have the referendum petition turned into the fiscal officer of the village within 30 days of the decision council made on December 18, 2012.

Garrettsville – Village Council met on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 for their first regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the new year.  The first order of business was to ask for nominations and elect a new Council President.  2012 Council President Steve Hadzinsky, who was elected to fill the spot when former Council President Rick Patrick acceded to Mayor, was the only nominee for 2013 and was unanimously elected.  

Windham – Twenty-five residents filled council chambers for the last council meeting of the year to voice their opinion on council’s plan to repeal the tax credit given to residents that work outside the village. Residents claim council is rushing it through in one month’s time   (November council meeting was first time it appeared on the agenda) by holding special meetings to get the required three reads in before acting on it. Several residents questioned what the hurry was and why it was so important to do it now. Another resident questioned the legality of it, since the tax credit was part of a ballot measure that was voted on by the residents 1995.