Hiram Twp. – In his Fire Report, Assistant Chief Baynes reported that the department hired two new firefighter/EMTs. He also noted that Chief Bill Byers is working on a potential grant application that, if accepted, would be used to purchase joint dispatch radio equipment. In police news, Kathy Schulda agreed to talk with Police Chief Samec about increasing the visibility of his department’s patrols on township roads.

In other news, Steve Pancost provided the annual report for Portage County Regional Planning. As an aside, Mr. Pancost reported that the Regional Planning board has been asked to review plans for a $3.7 million movie theater complex to be built in downtown Ravenna.

Tom Matota inquired about the survey project at State Route 305 and Wheeler Road. He noted that the survey appears to be complete because it is staked, but he isn’t aware of anyone being notified of the results by ODOT. Zoning Inspector Rich Gano was asked to follow up. In other news, Mr. Matota received a very general estimate regarding the installation cost of an underground electric line at the new property. The line would be used to light a pavilion, and eventually, other structures at the property. He recommended having Ohio Edison install a transformer for an existing structure before installing an underground line. Mr. Matota suggested that 200 amps would probably be sufficient. No decisions were made; the topic of electric service for the property will be discussed at a later date.

In similar news, Steve Pancost inquired about the Norton Road Bridge. Mr. Matota said that a box culvert is being installed for the bridge. Jack Groselle made a motion to approve $10,000 for hot sealing material to maintain Village Gate and Rolling Meadows this year. The motion was unanimously approved. The 2016 chip and seal program was discussed. Mr. Matota recommended planning to provide single layer chip and seal application on ten miles of township roads. The township is currently taking bids for materials. In other Road Department news, the trustees approved a motion to hire Brian Collins as a permanent part time employee, pending the completion of a drug screen and background check. Next, it was announced that township residents are welcome to drop off used tires on May 21st from 7 am until noon at the Hiram Village Hall during this special spring clean up day.

Lastly, Tim Kasper from the CEAC invited trustees to the Bio Blitz event at the township park property (6352 State Route 82) on Saturday, May 21st. That day, residents from Hiram and surrounding communities are invited to join with area amphibian aficionados, birders, and friends of flora to experience the new park property. Activities will be scheduled throughout the day including hikes, scavenger hunts for the kids, and an opportunity to share the amenities and activities the new park property should include. “Mark your calendars — more information on the Bio Blitz will be coming soon,” Kasper shared.

The next meeting of the Hiram Township Trustees will be held on Tuesday, May 3rd at 7 pm in the Township Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend.