Northfield Center continues talks with Summit Count Sheriff's Office for police protection

Ken Lahmers
Correspondent
Northfield Center Town Hall

NORTHFIELD CENTER – With no surrounding communities interested in providing police protection to the township, trustees are focusing on talks with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office toward getting a new contract hashed out.

At the trustees’ Sept. 8 meeting, Trustee Russ Mazzola said Summit County has provided some requested data to the township, but more details and discussions are still needed.

If a new contract is not approved by the current contract’s Dec. 31 expiration date, Mazzola said the sheriff’s department is willing to offer policing services on a month-to-month basis.

Trustees said one of the major stumbling blocks is the rate per deputy and sergeant that the county wants to charge. Trustees are not certain what types of services/costs that amount includes. “I don’t understand how they got to that rate,” said Trustee Paul Buescher.

Mazzola said if certain services that are offered to the township are built into the proposed rate, it may be more feasible for the township to pay separately for them if and when they are needed.

As for a new fire/EMS services contract, trustees said talks with Macedonia are going well, but there still is a way to go before a final proposal is made. The current contract runs through September 2021.

OTHER BUSINESS

Improvements at Beacon Hills Park are continuing, but trustees said not all of the work they are planning to do there will fit into the budget under the $114,885 Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks grant.

Service Director Rick Youel estimated about $56,000 more than the $114,000 would be needed to put an asphalt topping on the tennis and basketball courts and stripe them, plus do some additional work. The $114,000 also wouldn’t cover installation of a proposed bocce ball court.

Trustee Rich Reville said the township could seek another grant worth about $100,000 next year to cover the additional cost, but he warned “there’s no guarantee we would get the money.”

Trustees OK’d purchase orders for concrete walkways and the parking lot at the park, with $10,100 going to HGE Concrete Supply and $10,000 going to Sterling Concrete Construction.

Township Administrator Steve Wright said talks are under way with the Thrasher Group, which is the concept architect hired to design a new safety building beside the service department facility on Valley View Road.

Wright said four administrative offices, a meeting room, lunch room and restroom could be some of amenities in the building. He said he recently visited the Richfield Township administrative headquarters to get some design ideas.

Wright said Macedonia’s fire chief and some of his assistants are being included in discussions of the building’s plans.

Meanwhile, trustees recognized and congratulated Jeff Cole for his 38 years of service to Cable 9 (now Community Focus) and Greg Yakich for 12 years of service on the township’s zoning commission.

Wright reported the township is considering applying for a Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant to address potential flooding and related hazards, plus a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.

He said the township must have a hazard mitigation plan in place before applying for the HMA grant, so the application will have to wait until next year. Deadline to apply for this year’s LWCF grant is Nov. 16.

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