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Copley trustees explore options for abating Janwood Drive flooding

5/10/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

COPLEY — Township trustees are exploring options to correct a drainage problem that has caused flooding on Janwood Drive.

Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker appeared before trustees at the May 2 meeting to give an assessment of the drainage problem, which he described as two-fold. Brubaker said the 45-year-old culvert under Janwood is undersized, and the marshy area downstream is unable to adequately drain, as it has become filled with silt and vegetation over the years.

Brubaker said the township could replace the culvert, but that would do little good if the downstream channel were not cleared. The downstream channel is on private property, and neither the township nor the county has an easement that would allow them to clear it, trustees said. Brubaker said the downstream channel needs to be lowered by 2 feet to correct the problem and it is the responsibility of the individual property owners to maintain the proper water flow and restore the channel.

However, restoring the channel could be costly, and it is difficult to determine what a fair share of the cost would be for each affected property owner, Brubaker said.

In the event individual property owners are unwilling or unable to correct the problem, the township could file a ditch petition with Summit County, Brubaker said. A ditch petition would allow the county to clear the channel and assess individual property owners for the cost, he said. However, a ditch petition could take up to two years to implement, he said. Once a ditch petition is approved, the county has a permanent easement on the property to maintain the channel, and an annual maintenance fee would be levied on the affected property owners, Brubaker said.

Trustees briefly discussed using nuisance abatement procedures to correct the problem. Under Ohio law, a township can, under certain conditions, declare a property a nuisance, expend township funds to correct the problem and then assess property owners for the fix. If allowed, use of nuisance abatement procedures would allow correction of the problem much more quickly than the two years estimated for a ditch petition, according to the trustees, who said they would explore the option with the township’s legal counsel.

Trustees also approved the purchase of two new police cruisers. Police Chief Michael Mier received permission to purchase two 2012 Ford Taurus Interceptor police cars from Montrose Ford at a cost of $25,496 each. Trustees approved another $6,000 per vehicle for change-over costs. Mier said the police department usually replaces its vehicles every two years. After two years, maintenance costs become prohibitive, and it is more cost-efficient to replace the vehicles than to try to maintain them, he said.

Resident Gary Turner, of Copley Road, asked trustees if a home rule form of government would allow the township to have more control over firearms discharged in the township. Turner said owners of property adjacent to his frequently fire weapons close to his property.

In other business, the board:

• accepted a $4,192 D.A.R.E. grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office;

• accepted reimbursement of $3,394 for overtime incurred by participation in the Summit County Drug Task Force;

• approved a purchase order for $11,680 to the Summit County Emergency Management Authority for annual services;

• adopted a new organizational chart that will be posted on the township website;

• agreed to donate unused cell phones to the Battered Women’s Shelter and the Wounded Warriors organization;

• recognized Girl Scouts Stephanie Nagy and Allison Martin for receiving the national Girl Scout Gold Award;

• recognized Fire Lt. Jim Carter for graduating from the Ohio Fire Executive course;

• gave permission for Fire Chief Michael Benson to sign for final acceptance of the Bath-Copley-Fairlawn-Norton P25 radio system project, which was funded by a grant. Trustees also authorized Fiscal Officer Janice Marshall to issue final payment of $77,365 for the project. Copley Township served as fiscal agent for the grant project, which totaled $773,646, according to township officials;

• approved a two-year annual maintenance agreement with Adelsys Inc. for service coverage of fire department defibrillators/monitors and associated equipment at a cost of $6,205; and

• approved a $7,500 purchase order to zoning consultant Alan Weinstein for work not covered by the original contract. Trustees said they planned to meet with the Zoning Commission to review work on the zoning resolution revisions and see what it will take to wrap up the project.

Also at the meeting, the trustees were presented with results of the cemetery survey conducted by Service Director Mark Mitchell, and they said they will discuss it at a later meeting.

The next trustees’ meeting is set for May 16 at 6 p.m. in the Copley Township offices, 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

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