Hiram – At the last meeting of the Hiram Village Council, Chief Bill Byers reported that the Hiram Fire Department has received a grant of $14,250 from  the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. The money will be used to purchase firefighter protective gear, which is subject to a federally mandated 10-year replacement cycle. The grant money will purchase six sets of turn out gear, each of which includes a specially designed helmet, jacket and pants to protect the fire fighter from exposure to heat, hot or polluted water and debris.

In his Police report, Chief Ed Samec shared that his department logged 354 offense reports in the month of July, up from 265 in the previous month. He attributed the increase to an elevated number of traffic stops made during summer weather. Several members of the department underwent training in July for topics ranging from sexual assault, drug operations, and trauma. In addition, the Hiram Police Department held several successful community events, including a food drive and pet adoption event, a car show, and a Cops and Kids fishing day. At the pet adoption event, the department’s newest officer, a certified mounted unit named Charm, was sworn in with her partner, Officer Scott Dean.

Village Administrator Bob Wood reported that the sewer fund is doing well, but that the water fund “needs some help”. He recommends Council to plan for capital improvements, which will eventually be needed at the water plant. He also reported that the cement and concrete that will be removed during development of the village’s park property at the former site of village achool will be used by Hiram Township in construction of a helipad on the township’s property, saving the village on transportation and disposal costs. In related news, the village was notified of the award of a Land & Water Conservation grant in the amount of $108,779 for the new park property from the ODNR.

In legislation, Council President Tom Wadkins proposed that Council pass Ordinance 2015-18 to make village legislation in line with federal and state legislation relating to fair housing. After much discussion, Council approved the proposed ordinance, which removed the limitation for occupants in a B&B or rooming house, on the second reading. Council did not approve Ordinance 2015-19, an amendment to the Hiram Village Zoning Code, which includes amendments needed to establish a Group Home as a conditionally permitted use in the R-3 zoning district. The matter will be considered on third reading at the next regularly-scheduled council meeting.

Lastly, Portage County, together with Hiram College and the Village of Hiram, plans to construct a new pedestrian and bicycle trail within the Village. Likely trailhead locations may be near the intersection of Hinsdale Street and Winrock Road or at SR 305. Phase One of the proposed trail will span approximately 24,000 feet. To read the complete report, visit the village website at hiramvillage.org.

The next regularly scheduled Council meeting will be held at 7 pm on Tuesday, September 8th.