Mantua Twp. – At a recent meeting, Trustee John Festa raised the zoning issue regarding local business, PJC Enterprises. In spite of multiple conversations and meetings with business owners by Zoning Inspector John Dickey, Trustee John Festa, and Township Solicitor Chris Meduri, the company has remained in violation of zoning requirements for over two years. Trustees Festa, Jason Carlton and Victor Grimm have unanimously agreed to direct the township’s solicitor to take the next steps in the process. If the company doesn’t comply, file an appeal through the BZA, or come to an agreement with the township through mediation, the matter will go to court.

In other news, resident Ray Kasicki attended the meeting to learn the details of a project to correct drainage in his neighborhood. He asked to be kept in the loop, since changes in water flow from one property would most definitely impact neighbors. He implored trustees to, “be mindful that when you solve one resident’s issue, you don’t pass it along to other residents.” Trustees assured Mr. Kasicki that he would be notified as plans to address the issue are finalized.

Next, Mark Russell from Ellerhorst Russell Insurance Agency in Garrettsville was present to review the township’s current insurance needs and update policy information, based on new equipment purchases and anticipated needs in the coming year. Trustee Carton posed the question regarding the township’s liability in the instance of damage to a resident’s vehicle due to potholes or other road damage. Mr. Russell noted that under Ohio Revised Code, if a municipality takes action to repair the damaged road in a ‘timely manner,’ the municipality is not liable. According to Trustee Grimm, he noticed the damage on a Sunday, the next business day, the Road Crew patched the area in question. Mr. Russell directed Mr. Carlton to have the resident contact Russell’s office if they would still like to file a claim, although Russell noted that, “in all probability, the claim would most likely be denied.” In similar news, Mr. Russell was asked to look into providing professional liability insurance on behalf of the engineer who is donating his design work time on the Center School elevator project. Mr. Russell will research the circumstances and report his finding back to Trustees.

In his Park Committee report, Jim Aldrich shared that the committee would pick up the costs of any surveys needed, as well as building permits, should they receive approval to construct a gazebo in the township-owned green space referred to as the ‘bullpen’. Trustee Victor Grimm raised several areas of concern regarding the project, including pedestrian safety and issues with erecting a berm to delineate the park space from vehicular traffic, “the same concerns that were brought up three years ago,” stated Mr. Grimm, referring to the concerns which eliminated the bullpen site from consideration as a location for the Veteran’s Memorial. After some discussion, it was agreed that the committee would follow up to locate survey points of the property.

In new business, Rich Gould, representing the Summit Freewheelers cycling group, requested permission to hold the group’s annual championship road race and USA cycling event in Mantua Township again this year. The event will take place on Sunday, August 7th from 7 am through 3 pm. The group will rent the Center School facility, where registration will occur in the morning; an awards ceremony will take place in the afternoon.

In other news, Portage County 4H participants Emma and Rian spoke to Trustees about the Portage County Fair, which will be held Tuesday, August 23rd through Sunday, August 28th at the Portage County Fairgrounds in Randolph. Emma and Rian, who raise hogs as a part of the Portage Prime Producers group, will be auctioning their animal projects on Wednesday, August 24th starting at 6 pm. They encouraged Trustees, as well as any interested businesses and individuals to attend the auction and bid on an animal, which represents many months of work by each student. They shared that it takes an estimated investment of around $1,000 to purchase, raise, and house a hog for the Fair. Any profits received during this hands-on learning project is put toward next year’s 4H Fair project and/or added to the student’s college funds.

Lastly, Mr. Carlton shared valuable information on how to reach a live agent at First Energy, in the event of a service outage. First, dial 1-888-544-4877 to reach the Ohio Edison Outage hotline. At the prompt, say, “another type of emergency.” When prompted for a phone or account number, say, “I don’t have one.” When the automated operator says. “Do you have an account number, “ say “No,” and you will be directed to a live agent. According to Mr. Carlton, “The information will be helpful during seasonal storms, especially when reporting an outage of downed lines that aren’t at your residence.”

The next township Trustees meeting will be held on Thursday, June 2nd at 7:30 pm.