TWINSBURG TWP. — A state commission has approved a grant application to fund a portion of additional street upgrades in the Heights neighborhood, and the township will soon apply for another grant for the next phase of improvements.

Township Administrator Rob Kagler reported the Ohio Small Government Capital Improvements Commission has OK’d a grant for Heights phases 14 and 15, which would include the western dead-end blocks of Rugby and Buchtel streets.

"We should receive formal notification and grant agreements in July," said Kagler. "Pending review of local funding, we will look at completing phases 14 and 15 in 2020."

Meanwhile, Kagler said the township plans to submit an application for a state grant for Heights phases 16 and 17 in June. Those phases would include three blocks of Case Street.

Kagler added engineering is under way for the final phases of the Heights improvements — phases 18 to 20 — which include all three Stanford Street blocks and the southern blocks of Harvard and Yale between Stanford and Case.

Earlier this year, trustees approved $248,942 to be spent for engineering and surveying for phases 18 to 20.

The township is pursuing other grant options as well, including an Ohio NatureWorks grant to improve the basketball court at the Harvard Road property. Trustees OK’d submitting that application May 15.

The Rotary Club of Twinsburg is seeking a grant from the Rotary Foundation to build a "shade structure" at the township’s Holly Smith property north of Robertson Park.

"It would be about a 20-by-20-foot concrete pad covered by a roof, where parents could sit in the shade while their kids play nearby," explained Kagler. 

Other Matters

Kagler said officials are looking into the possibility of buying a new bucket truck to replace one which is no longer safe to use. The vehicle is used for changing street lights, tree trimming and repairing building roofs.

He said the old truck will be sold online, and the township plans to trade in a 10-year-old utility truck to lower the purchase price of the new truck, which he estimated at between $110,000 and $125,000.

"We’re still tweaking the specs for the new truck, and I hope to have further information for the trustees at the June 19 meeting," said Kagler.

He reported township officials recently tested a turbo blower attachment, which may be purchased for about $6,000. It is a tow-behind implement which can be used to clean off paths, trails and streets, plus blow leaves from public properties.

Kagler reported the price for road salt this year through the Communities, Universities, Education purchasing consortium will be slightly lower than the past winter.

"The bid came in at $71 a ton, compared to about $79 this past year," he said. "But that’s still up from about $50 two years ago."

The township has been allotted 1,000 tons, and must commit to at least 80 percent of that. "With the salt we have on hand, we should be in very good shape heading into next winter," Kagler said.

In other action, trustees approved an amended planned residential development agreement for Blue Jaye Farm, and adopted the Summit County hazard mitigation plan, which has been updated for the next five years.

The township will dispose of various audio visual and furniture items via auction on the website govdeals.com.

Kagler reported the township is looking at creating a new entrance from Oxford Street to the Harvard Road property.

He added the Twinsburg Baseball League is interested in using the ballfield at the Harvard Road property for games. A memorandum of understanding between the township and league would be needed.

Trustee Jim Balogh announced Kagler recently was awarded "credentialed manager" status by the International City County Management Association. He is one of 32 in Ohio to be so honored. "It’s quite a great recognition," said Balogh.

According to the ICMA website, the designation indicates a member is qualified by a combination of education and experience, adherence to high standards of integrity, and an assessed commitment to continuous learning and professional development.

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400, ext. 4189 or klahmers@recordpub.com.