The Suffield Township trustees met on Tuesday October 27th and discussed several hot button issues.
It seems like forever, especially to those residents of Carriage House Estates, but the Portage County Commons Pleas Court has finally given the trustees the go-ahead to demolish the house at 1560 Carriage House Drive. However, don't expect the wrecking ball for several months at least. It is known that there is at least one party that wants to buy the house and refurbish it to its dreamed-of glory. With that information, the trustees plan to allow the potential buyer a chance to make a legitimate offer to the bank that owns the house and determine if financing is available for the purchase of the house as it currently stands, plus a substantial amount to bring the house up to current code. Estimates are in the $200,000 to $250,000 range for purchase and renovation. But the trustees indicated that they would place this potential buyer on a short leash, and unless the buyers can prove they are capable of buying and restoring the house, the trustees will go ahead with a public hearing as required and make a resolution for demolition. Even if the buyer backed out, the legal proceedings the township must follow will take sixty to ninety days. The trustees authorized Zoning Inspector Adam Bey to consult with the county land bank in hopes of finding funds for the demolition. So while this saga continues, the light at the end of the tunnel for that neighborhood seems to be getting brighter.
The trustees also entertained public discussion on the curbside recycle issue. Bill Steiner of the Portage County Solid Waste Management District (PCSWMD) came to the meeting to clarify items that several residents brought up. A draft proposal of a contact between the trustees and the PCSWMD was brought to the meeting. The contract would be for five years, with the first year costing each resident $2.25 per month, which amounts to $27.00 per year. There had been some inquiries to trustee Jeff Eldreth about how payment would be made. It was made clear that all residents would pay this $27.00 as part of their property tax duplicate once yearly. The PCSWMD will not bill individual residents. It was clarified that for persons who owned several properties, that only those lots with an actual residence on it would be billed. Vacant lots will not incur the $27.00 yearly service charge.
While this is a five year contract, both the PCSWMD and the township have the ability to opt out at any time by giving a ninety day notice. The $2.25 per month cost is only guaranteed for the first year, but any increase, or decrease, would have to be approved by the township trustees. The trustees could at some point terminate the contract and go back to the dumpsters that we currently have. Trustee chairman Tom Calcei pointed out that the Ohio EPA is the driving force in the recycle issue. He said that townships and other political subdivisions have three ways to go; provide recycle dumpsters, have a public agency provide curbside pickup, or have a private company provide curbside recycle services. No private firm has come forward seeking to be the recycler for Suffield Township.
So while the trustees have not yet signed a contract, it was apparent that this would likely happen at the next meeting on November 9th. It should be noted that originally, the PCSWMD had hoped to begin recycle service in Suffield in November, but that has now been pushed forward to January of 2017. Provided the trustees enter into a contract, you can expect to see your new green 95 or 65 gallon recycle "toters" show up at your driveway about January 11th to January 17th. In the recycle bin will be a pamphlet explaining the recycle process and other information, such as what can or cannot be recycled.
Once again, we recommend that you take a few minutes and visit PCSWMD's website (portagerecycles.com). There you can get answers to most any question you have. If you have other questions, you can e-mail or call Bill Steiner. If your personal situation requires some specialized tailoring, get a hold of Steiner and he'll come to your house and work with you. He says that providing top customer service is their number one goal.
In other township business, the trustees accepted two new firefighters to the Suffield Township Fire Department. They are Benjamin Feeman and Russell Vereshack. Both will serve the customary one-year probationary period. Trustee Jeff Eldreth said that Palm Road is done and that he's very pleased with the job done by both Perrin Asphalt and the township road department. He also said that the salt bin is loaded and the trucks, plows and road crew are ready for winter weather.
The next trustee meeting has been changed from the regular Tuesday time to Wednesday November 9th at 8:00 PM. The Zoning Commission will meet Wednesday November 9th at 7:00 PM. The Board of Zoning Appeals will meet on Thursday November 3rd at 8:00 PM.