NORTHFIELD CENTER — Township trustees made it official July 15: A bond issue to finance the purchase of the FirstMerit Bank branch on Olde Eight Road will head to voters at the Nov. 5 general election.

At a special meeting, trustees adopted a resolution to send the tax issue to the Summit County Board of Elections for placement on the Nov. 5 ballot. The building would be transformed into the new Township Hall.

After determining that the township’s tax valuation is around $163 million, the county fiscal office set the rate for the bond issue at 0.47 mills, which would raise $1.4 million to purchase the former bank branch.

The bond issue would run for 30 years, and cost the owner of a property valued at $100,000 about $16.46 per year. Over the 30-year period, the township would pay around $922,000 in interest.

Also at the meeting, trustees agreed to pay Roger Sowers $2,800 for appraisal services in connection with the former bank building’s purchase.

If passed by voters, the bond issue would commence in 2019, with first collection in 2020.

Because the current Township Hall is 114 years old and has some pressing issues, trustees have determined the best thing to do is find another location for township offices. No decision has been made on the fate of the existing Hall.

Trustees have talked for the past several weeks about whether to renovate the building, built in 1905, or to buy or build another facility. The meetings included a forum for the public to express opinions.

Many members of the public said they would hate to see the old Hall demolished, which is one option available to the trustees. Earlier this summer trustees awarded a contract for asbestos and mold abatement in the Hall’s basement.

While trustees are pursuing the purchase of the former bank, they have put plans for fire station improvements on hold. A new fire station eventually could be erected, or the existing facility could be revamped or expanded.

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