Mantua Twp. – At their last meeting, trustees discussed whether or not to continue the Township’s membership in the Cuyahoga River Watershed, part of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. The organization helps conserve and restore natural land and working farms for residents and communities across Ohio. During the 2016 fiscal year, Western Reserve Land Conservancy permanently preserved another 54 properties, bringing the total preserved properties to 622 properties totaling 46,726 acres in the organization’s over thirty year history. After some discussion, Trustee Victor Grimm asked that the trustees talk with Lynne Harvey of the Zoning Commission, since she has used some of the organization’s resources on behalf of the township in the course of her duties.

In Old Business, Trustee John Festa reported on the results of the meeting with the Fire Department and County Building Department regarding the elevator project. The Building Department requested that the township add a supplemental device to prevent smoke from entering the elevator shaft in the event of a fire. The estimated additional cost for such a device is roughly $14,000. The project engineer, architect, and trustees did not feel the added measure would be necessary. They proposed adding additional smoke detectors to the areas nearest the elevator shaft and stairwells to remedy the situation. After some discussion, the trustees agreed unanimously to pay $200 to appeal the building department’s decision through adjudication. That hearing will be held on March 6th.

Moving ahead, Trustee Jason Carlton shared a spreadsheet, which outlines the services shared between the Township and the Mantua Center Christian Church. He estimates that in the past, the township has paid roughly two thirds of the expenses for things like electrical services, trash and recycling service, and parking lot maintenance, while the church has paid one-third of these costs. The township is currently reviewing the shared costs to determine if the split is still fair and equitable to both entities.

In other news, Trustee Festa recommended the township put a moratorium on the cultivation of medical marijuana within the township until appropriate Zoning guidelines can be written. Highlighting his concerns regarding a potential increase in crime that type of business may attract, he explained, “I don’t think that as a Township we’re prepared to deal with this issue.” Mr. Festa will follow up with Solicitor Chris Meduri to request a draft document for trustee review at their next meeting.

The next regularly scheduled trustee meeting will be held on Thursday, March 2nd at 7:30 pm; residents are encouraged to attend.