Hiram – At a recent meeting, Sarah Maybey, Hiram College Associate Professor of Environmental Studies shared with council the plan for Hiram students to make trail improvements to the ‘social trails’ near Kenyon and Plum Ridge. She noted that the trails students will be working on are all on Hiram College property, noting that trailheads are located at Bonnie Castle and on Kenyon. She noted that she’s the appropriate contact, in the event that residents have any issues, questions, or concerns. In related news, Parks Board chairman Chris Szell let Council know that most of the planned installations at the Reign Hadsell Hiram School Park have been installed, including several play structures and a gazebo. Spring plans include skim coating the parking area, since weather did not permit that during this fall. He noted that the Park Board is planning a spring celebration to officially open the park, although he noted that children began enjoying the facilities as soon as installation was completed.
Similarly, Village Administrator James McGee shared that the Hike/Bike Trail located on the eastern end of the Hiram College campus, has been completed and is open for use. That portion of the trail creates a loop that connects to State Route 305, west to State Route 82 and continues south along Hayden and Dean Streets heading east to Hinsdale, creating a two+ mile paved path. In other news, McGee noted that sewer work on State Route 82 is progressing. He also shared that planning for the proposed Constance Avenue project is underway as well. Although a firm timetable has not been established, in the best-case scenario, bids would be accepted as early as June, with work to tentatively begin in July, 2018.
In his report, Mayor Lou Bertrand announced that an official swearing-in ceremony would be held at Koritansky Hall on Friday, December 22nd at 7 pm. He invited newly-elected or re-elected officials from neighboring communities to participate in the event, which will be officiated by Congressman David Joyce. The public is encouraged to attend.
In his report, Fire Chief Bill Byers noted that the new squad is in service and is working well. He highlighted that response time was roughly five minutes, with the majority of calls for EMS services. He noted that his department worked together with the township road crew and ODOT to clean up the damage from the last big storm which hit the area.
Next, Police Chief Brian Gregory noted that the new cameras have been installed at all entrances and exits of the Municipal Building. He noted that the new system enables the department to store one month of video, versus the previous system limitation of one week. He also noted that the department was awarded $7,300 from Ohio Criminal Justice Services Justice Assistant Law Enforcement; the funds will be used to purchase 11 bulletproof vests. The chief also shared that his department recently received the AAA Platinum AWARD Community Traffic Safety for the sixth consecutive year. He noted, “We have dedicated much emphasis and attention toward the area of traffic and community safety,” Chief Gregory explained. “We have implemented programs to educate, demonstrate, and enforce traffic and pedestrian safety issues, including areas of bicycle safety, seat belt use, impaired driving awareness, and the importance of properly using child passenger safety seats,” he shared. “Our goal is to continue to educate and encourage safety related practices in our community and do everything we can to create a safer roadway environment for everyone who may travel upon our roadways,” Chief Gregory acknowledged. “We are honored to be recognized by AAA for our efforts toward traffic and pedestrian safety.” Only two departments in Portage County received AAA awards this year; the Aurora Police Department received a Bronze Award.
Lastly, he remarked that officers participated in No Shave November, with participating officers’ donations benefitting the 4Cs Food Pantry. He also shared that the annual Shop With a Cop program will be held on Saturday, December 16th at Target in Streetsboro. The program provides deserving children in the Crestwood and Garfield School Districts and their families the opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts, have them gift-wrapped, enjoy lunch together and to enjoy the holiday season.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 9th at 7 pm; residents are encouraged to attend.