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Time coming for Clock Tower renovations

9/20/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Plus, Coventry trustees comment on Olde Harbor Inn closure

The Olde Harbor Inn has closed its doors.
Photos: Lew Stamp
COVENTRY — A visual improvement is planned for one landmark in the Portage Lakes while the future of another still is unclear.

Discussion during the Sept. 13 Coventry Township Board of Trustees meeting focused on pending renovations to the Clock Tower and the recent closing of the Olde Harbor Inn, 562 Portage Lakes Drive.

Time is ticking down to when Trustee David Calderone personally will get up on the Clock Tower roof to do something about the deteriorating copper plating.

People are not happy about seeing the “ugly roof,” he said.

Calderone plans, with assistance, to put a dark tarnish on the roof Oct. 23.

Sully’s Tool and Party Rental is donating supplies for the project.

Trustee Gary Zoldesy said he appreciates Calderone’s willingness to make the top of the Clock Tower more attractive.

Also concerning the Clock Tower, the board agreed not to move forward with a beautification project at the site with Lucas Landscape & Nursery Inc.

Last month, the board approved a proposal by Lucas in the amount of $6,190 for Clock Tower renovations. The improvements were going to include the installation of about 600 square feet of washed river stone around the Canada May trees, weed treatments, installation of shredded mulch around the daylily beds, gradation of soil from the Clock Tower to the bridge and hydroseeding in the rocky bank area.

Board Chairman Tom Seese explained Road Superintendent Lael Stouffer suggested a better method for handling the area. After meeting with Lucas and in light of the grading and erosion issues around the Clock Tower, Stouffer realized the township was not going to be able to accomplish exactly what it first planned. He then came up with his own cost-effective plan that could be executed in-house.

“We went a different route and think it will look better,” Stouffer said.

He explained rock will be placed on the bank, with weed and erosion protection placed under the stone work. Stouffer said a complete proposal will be presented at the October regular meeting. He said the new plan will require less regular maintenance and save the township money in the future.

Zoldesy thanked Stouffer for his work on the project and expressed excitement for the completion of the project.

He then expressed sadness concerning the closing of the Olde Harbor Inn, a longstanding Portage Lakes restaurant.

“The closing caught me off-guard,” he said. “It was one of the best places around. I do not know what the issue was.”

On the restaurant’s website, owner Steve Burroughs posted this message: “After five years of great food, great entertainment and great dockside dining, we regretfully announce our closing. This decision does not come lightly. We have poured our hearts and souls into making this location one of the best spots for seafood and entertainment in Summit County. Unfortunately, the tough economic times we are all experiencing have finally caught up with us, and we are no longer able to remain open for business. We will truly miss the wonderful patrons and staff who have become our friends and family over the years.”

Zoldesy called the closure a “wake-up call.” He asked residents to commit to shopping and dining in the township.

“Spend your money here, locally,” he said.

Seese said the owner would like to reopen, if possible, but he does not know when that would be. He added the owner would honor all purchased gift certificates at that time.

Also during the meeting, the board:

• approved the purchase of a network server for the township computer network at a price not to exceed $3,960 and additional software upgrades for the system;

• agreed to draft a letter of support for Barberton’s Save the Wells program. Seese explained the program also will be offered to Coventry residents who need assistance with a malfunctioning well and can’t afford the repairs;

• urged voters to approve the 2.25-mill fire/EMS levy renewal on the Nov. 6 General Election Ballot, which provides about $512,000 annually to fund the department’s service to the community;

• decided to draft a letter to local government officials encouraging them to support Senate Bill 364, which would establish a new formula for the distribution of the Local Government Fund;

• announced the township soon would be collecting bids for the reroofing of the Coventry Senior Community Center; and

• discussed a request by a resident of Whitefriars Drive, located off South Main Street, to have the development annexed into the city of Green. Seese said he feels “taken advantage of,” since the township recently contributed about $50,000 for the Whitefriars Drive sewer project.

“We will fight it,” he said.

At the close of the meeting, Council held an executive session to discuss a personnel wage matter.

The next Coventry Board of Trustees meeting is set for Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, 68 Portage Lakes Drive.

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