Hiram – At the last Village Council meeting, Portage County Treasurer Brad Cromes presented information on the county’s Home Improvement Program. Through this special program, financial institutions can provide low-interest rate loans to eligible borrowers for the purpose of home improvement. Loans under the program range from a minimum of $1,500 to a maximum of $40,000. Prospective borrowers may sign up for the program by completing a loan application and program application at any participating financial institution. According to Cromes, the program is designed to benefit owners of single-family dwellings. For more information, visit the Treasurer’s page at www.co.portage.oh.us.

Next, Police Chief Ed Samec reported that his department raised over $1,000 at the Pancake Breakfast they recently held. These funds, in addition to a $2,000 grant from the Hiram Community Trust, will benefit local children during the annual ‘Shop with a Cop’ program this fall. In related news, Chief Samec deferred to Mantua Police Chief Harry Buchert on the issue of a potential dispatch contract.

According to Chief Buchert, the Windham Fire Department has decided to maintain their dispatching services through Ravenna City, meaning that the projected costs for combines services will be spread among the entities remaining in the proposed program. Council will discuss the matter during their upcoming Finance Committee meeting; Chief Buchert asked for their decision on participation in the program by the beginning of June.

In other news, Village Administrator James McGee reported that he is working with engineers at CT Consultants to estimate costs for water meters, infrared scans, and listening devices to help diagnose potential leaks within the village’s underground water system. He’ll be discussing potential options at the upcoming meeting. In related news, he shared that Hiram Farm’s tie-in to the village water line is completed. Lastly, Mr. McGee reported that the appropriate paperwork had been filed for the sidewalk project, and that ODOT will be accepting bids for the project on June 13th.

In his report, Mayor Lou Bertrand invited council and the community to attend the annual Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 30th in the Village. That day, Hiram College President Dr. Lori Varlotta introduced keynote speaker US Army Lieutenant Colonel Jason Kerr, who recollected the many past and current sacrifices made by military personnel and their families. Many residents were in attendance, and helped to distribute red geraniums to the graves of local veterans at Hiram’s Fairview Cemetery, where the official ceremony was held.

In other news, Council President Tom Wadkins suggested setting aside time during future council meetings to recognize the outstanding efforts of members of the police, fire, service and administrative departments. It would also give Council members the opportunity to meet and thank those who serve the village and its residents. This idea was unanimously approved; it will begin at July’s council meeting.

The next village council meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 14th at 7 pm. Residents are encouraged to attend.