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Copley trustees amend policy on nonresident burials

10/11/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

Copley trustees amended township cemetery rules and regulations to allow burial of some former Copley residents.

Trustees, at the Oct. 3 regular meeting, amended the cemetery rules to allow burial of former residents who lived in the township for at least 10 years.

“That will cover our life-long residents” who now may be living in assisted-living or nursing facilities or with family members outside the township, said Trustee Helen Humphrys.

Trustees voted Sept. 5 to close the cemetery to all but current Copley residents. At the time, trustees said they planned to allow burial of former residents, but needed time to formulate guidelines for their inclusion. Trustees have been grappling with the best way to use the dwindling number of cemetery lots. At the Sept. 5 meeting, Service Director Mark Mitchell told trustees only 116 lots remain — approximately 220 graves.

Trustees have said several life-long township residents expressed concern there would not be space available in the cemetery when they needed it. The township does not presell lots.

Trustees also approved an agreement to replace a 30-year-old fire engine with help from the Copley Fire and Rescue Association. Fire Chief Michael Benson said the Fire and Rescue Association will contribute $80,000 toward the lease-purchase of the $525,000 Pierce Dash rescue pumper. The fire engine will be purchased through a five-year lease-purchase agreement with equal annual payments. The Fire and Rescue Association will contribute $16,000 per year toward the annual payment. At the end of the five-year lease period, the township can exercise a $1 buy-out option to complete the purchase, according to documents provided by Finley Fire Equipment.

Benson said the current 30-year-old fire engine is “not a safe vehicle to use,” citing problems that include the vehicle’s brakes. He said he expects the new vehicle to “hit the line soon.” It will take six months to build the new engine, with delivery expected in February at the earliest and April at the latest, he added.

Trustees thanked the Fire and Rescue Association for its contribution.

Trustees approved a $15,000 purchase order to Ohio Edison for removal of streetlight poles on Montrose Avenue West. Trustees said the light poles have become unsafe and some have fallen. Trustees asked Mitchell to compile a list of lights that should be replaced for safety reasons. Trustees also said they planned to host a meeting of property owners to explain the assessment process for replacing streetlights.

Prior to the regular meeting, trustees held public hearings on two amendments to the zoning resolution. Following the public hearings, at which no one spoke in favor or in opposition, trustees approved both amendments. The first amendment was an update on riparian setback regulations. The second amendment is a new article aimed at tree preservation. Trustees said new Article 16 likely is the first of its kind in Summit County and they expect it to be used as a model by other communities. The new article prohibits clear-cutting of trees on residential and commercial property that is being developed. Developers are required to preserve 50 percent of mature trees and 25 percent of young trees on the property. The provision does not apply to parcels of 10 acres or less or to property owners who have planted trees to harvest for lumber, according to Planning Director Matt Springer.

In other business, the board:

• approved training for police personnel;

• approved a resolution to have Kimble Industries haul away used tires from the annual Copley used tire and oil collection day;

• noted a site plan has been received from the Winking Lizard, which plans to renovate the property formerly occupied by the Golden Corral. Springer said representatives of the Winking Lizard said they hoped to have renovations complete by the end of the year; and

• approved the purchase of a $1,755 tactical vest by the police department.

The next regular Copley Board of Trustees meeting will take place Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. in the Copley Township offices, 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

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