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Coventry trustees discuss finances

3/16/2017 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

COVENTRY — Coventry Township has “tightened the belt” on spending, said Trustee Tom Seese.

The Board of Trustees briefly discussed the township’s finances at the March 9 meeting.

This year, Coventry continues to operate as “lean” as possible, Board Chairman Ed Diebold said.

At the meeting, the board adopted the 2017 appropriation resolution, a step in the process to finalize this year’s spending. Fiscal Officer Robert Saffian said the appropriation resolution would yield Coventry’s certificate of estimated resources from Summit County.

Seese specifically pointed out Coventry currently is $200,000 short the amount needed to continue to contract with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for policing services.

Voters will see on the May 2 Primary/Special Election ballot Issue 7, a five-year 2.5-mill levy renewal, with an increase of 1.5 mills, which would cover the township’s current contract for policing.

The contract keeps one deputy on duty in the township, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Also on the ballot is Issue 8, a renewal of an existing 2.5-mill fire and EMS levy.

If Issue 7 is not approved, Trustee Richard Kutuchief said policing in the township would have to be “cut.”

Seese encouraged residents to educate themselves on the importance of the two ballot issues before voting on them.

In addition, the board agreed to ask the Summit County Engineer’s Office for insight concerning measures the township could take to alleviate two areas of flooding in the township. Road Superintendent Lael Stouffer said the area of Proehl Drive, Bevan Street and Manchester Road, as well as the Steve Drive and Mansfield Drive area, flood regularly due to poor drainage within areas of private property. Because the issues are on private property, it inhibits the road department from making the necessary repairs and upgrades, Stouffer said.

The board also approved the application for the 2017-18 State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire and Transportation Services grant administered by the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Fire Chief John Dolensky said the funds are made available to eligible agencies in Ohio to purchase equipment and training items. The funds are provided through vehicle seat belt violation fines collected in the state, he said. If a grant is awarded, Dolensky said the fire department would not need to contribute matching funds for the grant opportunity.

Also concerning the fire department, the board approved an agreement with Physio Control to service and maintain the station’s defibrillators. Dolensky said the $2,832 contract covers the cost of service calls and major system component replacements, if needed.

In other meeting news:

• The board heard a brief presentation by Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda. The role of the Board of Health is to adopt policies and secure funding through appropriate budgeting for programs and services to be carried out by the health department. She shared some of the health department’s services available to Coventry Township and its residents, including various health and dental screenings.

• The board also heard a resident’s concern with all terrain vehicles riding through the streets and people’s properties and the noise they are creating in the area around Ingleside Park. Trustees said they would have the Summit County Sheriff’s Office look into the issue.

• The board heard from Mike Gaugler, vice president of Coventry Youth Soccer, concerning the upcoming season and improvements the organization would be making to Logan Field.

• Kutuchief also asked for community input concerning his desire to have the U.S. Postal Service change the postal code designation from Akron to Coventry for the township.

At the close of the meeting, the board went into executive session to discussion International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2286 contract negotiations, with no action taken.

The next regular trustees’ meeting is set for April 13 at 7 p.m. at Coventry Town Hall, 68 Portage Lakes Drive.

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