Mantua Twp. – At the last meeting, Trustee Victor Grimm shared that the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which many localities have been recipients of, is being shifted to a two-year cycle instead of given annually. Mr. Grimm asked Fiscal Officer Jodie Thompson to make copies of that letter available to members of the Grants and Funding Committee. In other business, two letters were signed: one to the Portage County Engineer regarding the county’s maintenance plans for parts of Chamberlain, Diagonal, and Infirmary Roads, and the other pertaining to bid books for chip and seal and crack seal work on township roads this season.

The township’s proposed road improvement plans are split into three phases, and will be addressed as budget permits. Phase 1 includes crack & seal work on Meadow Creek and Mill Creek, Quail Crest, Parkwood, Ladue Reserve, and Blue Stone Lake. Phase 2 plans will include work on Mantua Center Road after State Route 82, and Skinner. Phase three includes work on Pioneer Trail from the Aurora line to State Route 44, and Loris Avenue. Potential County projects include widening Mantua Center Road between State Route 82 and Mennonite.

It was noted that the township’s spring clean up day will be held on the second Saturday in May — May 13th — from & am – 4 pm, or until dumpsters are full. It was noted that some restrictions apply, since the waste removal company cannot accept fluorescent or other light bulbs, transformers, and other household hazardous waste. Details are available on the township’s website.
In public comment, residents of Robin Park asked Trustees for assistance with the upkeep and beautification of their park. Their spokesperson stated, “We are being called the slum of Mantua.” She noted the presence of several abandoned trailers that have remained vacant for some time. She also showed a bottle of off-color water, stating that it was tested and apparently safe to drink, but shared than she and her neighbors use bottled water. In addition, the group noted problems with rats, skunks, and mice.

Trustee John Festa noted that since the community is a private enterprise, the owner is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance. He suggested contacting the health department regarding the water issue. Mr. Grimm suggested the Health Department would also be the contact to resolve the rodent issue.

“You can talk to them about the water, but they just changed some of the drinking water rules last year. It depends on how many people are using the wells, whether you contact the Health Department or the EPA.” Mr. Grimm advised. The resident thanked the trustees for their suggestions and noted, “When we first moved in, it was beautiful.”

Mr. Grimm noted that the Township cannot provide services (like plowing) because it is private property. He noted that as a Regional Planning alternate, maybe something could be done at the county level to help clean up the community. For instance, if the taxes are outstanding on the vacant trailers, perhaps there is something to be done at the county level. The residents offered to help in any way they could.

Later, Terrie Nielsen, the Grants and Funding Committee co-chair, gave an update about the funding for the elevator. Ms. Nielsen shared that she had been in touch with Senator Eklund’s office regarding the release of the funds from the State Capital Fund that would complete the elevator project and fund renovation of the bell tower on the school building. She presented copies of the official paperwork, which required a signature from a township official.

She noted that the group is working on a grant that will be submitted to Chemical Bank, seeking $25,000 for the elevator project, noting that other grant opportunities were also being pursued. She noted that the vestibule project would most likely go out for bid later in the month, with possible completion by the end of the year. “Hopefully, we will have a big celebration when that is done,” she beamed.

Lastly, it was noted that annual meeting of the Mantua Restoration Society will be held on Saturday, April 22, at the Mantua Township School building. The event will begin at noon with a light lunch; Hal Stamm, John Zeit, and Jay Schabel will speak about the structural integrity of the building, the elevator project, and the work so far in creating a community center in the building. The business portion of the meeting will follow promptly at 1:00 pm, where officers will be elected and memberships will be renewed.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Mantua Township Trustees will be held on Thursday, April 6th at 7:30 pm in the Township Hall.