Northfield Center Twp. seeks grant for Bayberry reconstruction

Ken Lahmers, Correspondent

NORTHFIELD CENTER – The township has submitted an application to the Ohio Public Works Commission for a design/build grant for the repair/reconstruction of Bayberry Drive. The application had to be filed by Nov. 3.

At the trustee’s Nov. 2 meeting, Service Director Rick Youel recommended the township seek a 70/30 grant instead of 50/50. The estimated cost of the project is $840,000, so if funds are received the township would be responsible for about $252,000.

The money the township would save by seeking the extra 20 percent would go toward additional costs incurred for this summer’s Springwood/Natalie project. “Not many townships are applying for grants this year, so we should have a good chance to get the funding,” Youel said.

If the state money comes through, the project would be budgeted for and done in 2021.

In other action, trustees OK’d paying Greensman Inc. $3,505 to set up the holiday lights display at Township Hall and around the gazebo. Youel said contracting out the service would allow township service crews to concentrate on other work such as finishing up leaf collection.

Trustee Paul Buescher voted against awarding the contract, saying it would be prudent to save the money in a year when the community is faced with the coronavirus crisis.

But Trustee Russ Mazzola said he believes it is important to give residents something positive for the holidays after a difficult year. The lighting will be scaled down from its usual format, and could be returned to normal once the virus dilemma passes.

It was noted most of the work at Beacon Hills Park has been completed, and Mazzola praised the job done by the parks-recreation committee and township crews.

Trustees likely will decide at their December session whether to charge a deposit and/or a rental fee for reserving the park’s pavilion. Officials also must decide what rules and regulations will be posted on signs at the park.

Mazzola reported on the progress of talks with the Summit County Sheriff’s Department for a new policing contract and with the architect designing a new fire station.

“We have talked about the coverage model for the policing contract, and hope to have information available for trustees soon,” he said. The current contract expires at the end of the year.

Mazzola said the fire station architect has advised that it would not be prudent to put money into renovating the existing fire station, and has done some preliminary drawings for a new building on the service department grounds.

Mazzola said trustees must decide whether to fund the project with low-interest bonds or financing through a bank, and the architect will provide recommendations on which path to take. “We are looking to build the facility next year,” he said.

Trustee Rich Reville reported officials are looking into selling a township property on Laurie Lane, which is no longer needed. The money brought in would go toward the fire station project.

Reville also said officials are working to solve flooding problems in the Marwick area, while stormwater management committee member Rick Patz said the panel recently talked to a consultant about stormwater problems at Crestwood Park. Patz said grant opportunities may be available for the latter project.

The township has been asked to donate toward the ongoing upgrade of Veterans Memorial Park in Macedonia. Buescher suggested trustees find out what type of amenity memorial officials would want, and consider providing money for it.

Trustees appointed Reville as a representative to the Akron-Summit County Special Improvement District’s board of directors, scheduled a public hearing on zoning resolution text amendments for Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. and declared the first week in November as Stormwater Awareness Week.

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