As trustee meetings around Portage County go, Suffield's are generally one of the better attended. Typically about a dozen locals show up to listen to the wheels of local government turn here in Suffield. Due to some scheduling conflicts by several board members, the regular meeting had been moved from next Tuesday, back to tonight. Perhaps that played into the smaller than usual crowd. But regardless, the trustees met and talked and gave their individual reports.
Tom Calcei said that the Fire Department is doing well and that the Memorial Day Parade was a huge success. He also mentioned that someone had tried to steal a trailer from his driveway. This took place in broad daylight at 1:00 PM. The thieves were in a medium sized SUV that was dark in color and had light colored interior. Two males were involved. Calcei suggested residents be on the watch for suspicious activity and to call the Portage County Sheriff (297-5100) when spotting this activity.
Jeff Eldreth reported that the Road Department had been busy putting in several driveway culverts, mowing and preparing for patching roads. He also mentioned that the State of Ohio was quick to cut down some tall weeds which obstructed vision on Swartz Road at State Route 43, after he had advised them of the problem. He also said work is under way on the repaving projects along Portage Line Road, Pontius Road and State Route 43.
Dave Vartenuk noted that the Zoning Commission was proceeding with the new 20-year land use plan, and that there was nothing new to report on the saga at 1560 Carriage House Drive. The County prosecutor had told the township that this property would be offered at Sheriff's Sale, but so far the sale date has not been set.
Some discussion was had on revenue that affect the township's budget. Over the past decade some of the funds that the township had once counted on have been reduced or eliminated. The estate tax was eliminated completely. This income varied from year to year, but Tom Calcei estimated that the township lost somewhere between $25,000 and $60,000 per year by losing the estate tax alone. When the estate tax was still available to townships, the budget allowed for about $240,000 in general spending, so losing that revenue was quite a hit. Suffield now relies on about $170,000 in unencumbered funds each year. The Local Government Funds, which are monies that the State of Ohio provides to cities, villages, townships and counties was been reduced over the last decade as well. For example, in 2017 these funds for Portage County totaled $3,732,533. Suffield and 16 other Portage County townships each received $29,487, while Brimfield, because they had a police department, received $33,966.
Tom Calcei had attended a meeting of the Portage County Office of the Budget Commission at which interested parties discussed how to divide the Local Government Funds for the next ten year cycle. At tonight's meeting, Calcei was appointed by the Suffield trustees to represent the township in further discussions. Calcei said he is hoping the townships will come to an agreement on a formula that uses criteria, such as road mileage and population, to divide the money more equitably. This ten year plan must be adopted by the end of the year.
The next trustee meeting is Tuesday June 27th at 8:00 PM. The Zoning Commission meets on Wednesday June 14th at 7:00 PM. Both meetings are in the Administration Building.