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Hiram Village Council Meeting

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Hiram – On the eve of September 11, the Hiram Village Council held their monthly meeting. After the meeting was called to order, Mayor Lou Bertrand read a synopsis of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. A moment of silence was observed in respect for those who lost their lives. The council began regular business after the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Todd Peetz from Portage County Regional Planning, presented the plan for “Visioning in Portage.”  Mr. Peetz stated that the county-wide comprehensive plan will be created to “Protect Portage County’s natural and cultural heritage, while preserving and promoting livelihoods in a sustainable manner to support economic growth throughout our communities.”
The Regional Planning office is looking to create community partnerships townships, villages, cities, schools and organizations to participate in the process of identifying a Vision for the growth and development of Portage County.   The goal is to seek grant funding to create a County-Wide Comprehensive Plan document that will help county entities together  leverage new opportunities. Local governing officials are invited to represent the individual goals for each community. Those interested in helping shape the vision of Portage County are invited to attend a planning meeting on Wednesday, September 19 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Family & Community Services, 705 Oakwood in Ravenna.
In Department Reports, Police Chief Ed Samec detailed that his Department responded to 250 offense reports in August. Individual officers and the department have participated in training on a variety of topics, including special training to counter domestic violence, violence against women, and DARE elementary school updates. The Hiram Police Department has been accepted to participate in the DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Program, which will take place at the Hiram Municipal Center before the end of the year. Hiram is one of only six local police departments to participate in this program, which encourages people to drop off unneeded or outdated prescription drugs for safe disposal 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Portage County Solid Waste Management District purchased large steel disposal boxes through a grant from the Federal DEA. The first box was delivered to Streetsboro, and other boxes will be given to Aurora, Brimfield, Kent, and Kent State University departments, in addition to Hiram. Both Ravenna and the Portage County Sheriff’s office have purchased collection boxes through a previous grant. Drugs left in the boxes are collected by the local police departments and incinerated, preventing prescription medications from getting into the solid waste stream or drinking water. Also, thanks to a new program called “Teddy Bear,” every Hiram PD patrol car is now stocked with stuffed animals for comforting  children involved at scenes where Police are responding.
Fire Chief Bill Byers reported that average response time for the Hiram Department is three minutes and fifty seconds. He reported that commemorating Former Fire Chief Wally Ellenberger is the reason the Department flag was at half-mast. He also noted that the flag flying that day (September 11, 2012) originally flew over Afghanistan on September 11 last year. It will be placed in a display case for viewing at the Fire Department. Chief Byers also noted that his department received additional Rollover/Flashover training from the State Fire Marshall in August.
Village Administrator Bob Wood reported that a stirring device has been added to the water tower to improve the water quality. The initial device installed failed, but a subsequent device, installed at no additional cost to taxpayers, is working well. Mr. Wood updated the trustees on roadwork planned for Plum Ridge, and the drive located at the wastewater plant.
As a part of Mayor Bertrand’s report, he eulogized Former Chief Wally Ellenberger. After his kind remarks, the Mayor noted that donations in memory of Mr. Ellenberger are being accepted at the Hiram Fire Department at the request of Ellenberger’s family.
In other matters, it was decided that Hiram Village will have their legislation “codified.” According to County Solicitor Thomas Reitz, “This document will make it easier for taxpayer and village officials to research legislation, and will also help cases move through Portage County court system more expeditiously.” Legislation and updates are currently housed in a less organized manner, making it more difficult for officials to find needed documentation, causing countless losses in time and resources. Council then voted on several amendment appropriations to the general fund, and then convened in Executive Session to discuss  personnel matters pursuant to O.R.C. section 121.22.
The next Hiram Village Council meeting will be at the Village Hall on October 9 at 7 pm.