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Springfield preparing for boating season

3/29/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Springfield officials are preparing for the coming boating season on Springfield Lake.

This past August, several area residents questioned the lack of patrol of boaters and others on the lake and raised concerns about the safety for all lake users. The issues raised involved excessive speeds and flaunting the posted rules of use.

At that time, Springfield Police Chief John Smith acknowledged decreasing funding assistance in the past few years has resulted in decreased lake patrol, and Springfield trustees subsequently asked Smith to create a plan to tackle the problems.

Earlier this year, Smith presented a number of suggestions. He stated the department has applied for an almost $14,500 Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Watercraft Division grant to help fund patrol and boat safety inspections. The results of that application are due sometime in April.

Smith also said he would work with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and ODNR’s Watercraft Division, both of which have responsibility to increase patrol of the lake.

In addition, he suggested a number of actions, including: allocating almost $5,000 to a marine patrol fund to train two officers; adopting a boat launch fee similar to what Lakemore officials charge on the other side of the lake; and revising current regulations on speed.

At that meeting, attending ODNR officials told township officials that any changes to lake rules would have to be approved by ODNR.

At the trustees’ March 22 meeting, they agreed to close the boat launch on the township’s side of Springfield Lake as of April 1 and direct all lake users to the Lakemore side. They also agreed to adopt a boat launch fee of $7 for daily use or $45 for a seasonal pass.

“We have discussed issues of safety and ways to control the activities of boaters,” said Trustee Dean Young. “We hope to improve safety and supervision. One point of entry manned by boat inspectors will be more efficient.”

Young added trustees plan to adopt increases to funding for lake patrol in the coming month.

In other business, trustees approved the following:

• to amend a certificate of estimated resources to reflect an increase of $292,771 in tax settlement collections;

• a contract with Davey Tree to fertilize the JEDD Park on Pickle Road and soccer fields at Klages Avenue for an amount not to exceed $1,400;

• a payment of $1,570 to Maranatha Fence Co. to replace netting on the baseball backstop at the JEDD Park;

• the purchase of a parade wagon for use at the Rock the Docks Festival at a cost not to exceed $1,050; and

• a receipt of $243 for 9.8 tons of recyclables in January and $209 for 8.37 tons in February.

Trustees also announced the Friday evening Concert in the Park events at the Vincent J. Mealy Bicentennial Gazebo would begin this year June 8 with Rudy and the Professionals.

Trustees also issued a proclamation recognizing the Girl Scouts of America’s 100th anniversary March 12 and recognized the contribution local participants make in their community through service projects. Leaders and girls from Troop No. 1153, meeting at the Boyd Esler Senior and Community Center, and No. 90284, meeting at Milheim Church, attended the meeting to accept the proclamation.

Trustees adjourned into executive session to discuss the employment of an employee and to review annual evaluations of township personnel.

The next trustees’ meeting is scheduled for April 12 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, 2459 Canfield Road.

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