At the start of the October meeting, Mayor Lou Bertrand congratulated several members of the Fire Department on their recent promotions. Those promoted include: Captain Sanchez, Lieutenant Groselle, and Lieutenant Wilde.
Moving forward, Fire Chief Bill Byers presented the Fire/EMS Levy brochure to council. He also reported that his department had just completed an ISO inspection, which required 60 – 70 hours of prep work. According to Chief Byers, departments usually go through ISO inspections every five to ten years. Results from this year’s inspection are expected in the early part of 2015. In addition, he reported that the new emergency siren has been installed, so that there are three emergency sirens in Hiram Township and one in the Village. He also shared that in preparation for the coming storms, his department has undergone transformer and electrical safety training with Ohio Edison to learn how to safely deal with situations that include downed wires and electric pole accidents. Lastly, all in attendanceenjoyed the Halloween party at the station.
In his report, Police Chief Ed Samec shared that his department received Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training. This specialized training shows officers how to more accurately identify drivers who are impaired by narcotics. The training was held in Hiram, and hosted officers from Garrettsville, Mantua, Aurora, and the Portage County Sherriff’s office. According to Chief Samec, “I felt it was extremely important to bring this training to Hiram. I’m pleased that neighboring departments could participate, as well.”
In addition, Chief Samec reported that in the course of his department’s September patrol hours in the township, officers made six traffic stops and issued three citations. In the four months of this arrangement, the number of traffic stops has reduced, while the number or citations has remained steady. Lastly, Chief Samec shared that the recent car show raised $1,000 for the upcoming Shop with a Cop program, where the area’s underprivileged kids have the opportunity to purchase Christmas gifts for themselves and their families.
Next, Village Administrator Bob Wood announced that work has begun in the cemetery, repairing headstones, some of which date back to the 1800’s, in Sections A and B. The work is estimated to take one month. Lastly, Mr. Wood reported that his department is working to collect some of the Village’s past due water and sewer bills, and shared that he may work with the Village Solicitor to resolve a few. When asked by council to comment about the widespread road salt price increases — from summer cost of $40/ton to fall/winter cost of $108/ton, Mr. Wood replied, “We’re anticipating it to be a beautiful winter, but we’re ready for a bad one.” He noted that the majority of salt would be used on hills, curves, and intersections.
In his report, Mayor Lou Bertrand asked that Council approve Dr. Willard Greenwood as a member of the Zoning Commission. Council approved his appointment. Further, Mayor Bertrand discussed the proposed ordinance to combine the Village Park Board and the Beautification Committee, which includes constituents from both Hiram Township and Hiram College. The Mayor shared an email with Council from Park Board member Chris Szell, in which Mr. Szell clarified that the Park Board had not voted to combine the two groups, as may have been previously assumed. After much discussion, the proposed resolution remains tabled at its second reading, the Beautification Committee has been seated, and an organizational meeting of the Beautification Committee was scheduled for October 28th. Committee members from the college, the township and the village were invited to attend. The next Park Board meeting will be held on Friday, November 14th at 8:30 am.