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Copley holding police station plans

8/29/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

COPLEY — The Copley Township Board of Trustees first approved and later rescinded a three-phase agreement with an architect for a new police station at the Aug. 21 meeting, ultimately deciding they aren’t yet comfortable with the documents.

Trustees returned to the discussion twice during the meeting. First, trustees approved a request from Fiscal Officer Janice Marshall for permission to enter into a nearly $500,000 agreement with the architect, as well as a purchase order for $56,000 for the first phase of the project.

The architect for the project is David King, of Horne and King Architects, of Dublin, who was given the go-ahead to draw up plans in January. During a special meeting July 31, trustees balked at a portion of the contract that would allow King to act as construction project manager.

However, after the agreement was approved Aug. 21, Trustee Helen Humphrys expressed misgivings and asked that the motion be rescinded, sticking on the same point of contention.

Marshall advised trustees the agreement before them was a redlined copy, showing text that had been deleted from the original. The section in question was a deleted portion, she added.

“I’m sorry — I’m just not comfortable,” said Humphrys. “We’ve heard the horror stories, and especially about keeping it local.”

Trustees unanimously rescinded the contract, in favor of viewing “clean” copies of the document prior to considering the agreement once more.

The contract in question is composed of three phases, the first of which is for design and development. A condition of the agreement is that trustees be able to void the contract following either of the first two phases, they said.

The new police station would be almost three times as large as the current station, trustees have said. The proposed building, to be located along Sunset Drive on property the township acquired when it purchased the Copley Community Center, would be the largest construction project the township has ever taken on, according to township officials.

Also at the meeting, trustees approved the purchase of three new marked police vehicles. The expenditure is part of regular fleet replacement, said Lt. Luke Marchmon.

The new cruisers will be Ford Explorers, purchased from Montrose Ford, for $27,500 each. The board also approved spending $5,800 per vehicle to have the cruisers outfitted with necessary hardware and equipment, including rear seat and dividers to provide for the safe transport of prisoners, from Fallsway Equipment Co. Inc.

In addition, the trustees approved the purchase of laptop computers for each of the cruisers, plus one extra, with mounts and three-year warranties, from Brite Computers, for a total price of $11,600.

In other business, trustees adopted a text amendment to the township’s zoning code regarding fences, following a public hearing, despite Summit County Planning Commission’s advice not to approve it.

The change, which will become effective 30 days from adoption, will authorize the township’s Architectural Review Board (ARB) to approve fences higher than 6 feet tall in commercial and industrial zoning districts.

The Planning Commission’s recommendation was based on the objection the ARB could act arbitrarily, said township Planning Director Matt Springer.

However, the ARB is composed of a civil engineer, planners, architects and an arborist, and they are a team competent to handle matters fairly on a case-by-case basis, said Springer. The amendment will allow unsightly outdoor items to be adequately screened, he added.

In other news, the township declared two properties nuisances, in order to remove vegetation and debris, at 1656 Centerview Drive and 1395 Lakeland Ave. Certified letters directing the properties be cleaned up were sent to the owner, who owns both properties, with no response, according to the action. The cleanup costs are assessed to the property owner through liens recorded on property tax duplicates.

Trustees also approved applying to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for a scrap tire remediation program in the hopes of cleaning up approximately 3,000 tires dumped illegally at 1666 Collier Road. The property owner is deceased, and no heir to the property has come forward, according to Springer.

The township is continuing to participate in the Moving Ohio Forward program to raze blighted homes, noted Springer.

The owner at 895 Rothrock Circle has signed a waiver to allow the house to be torn down, he added. That home will be demolished in the coming months, and the township is pursuing getting signatures on waiver forms for about five other properties in the township, he added.

In other action, the board approved:

  • purchasing a new wireless Internet system for township buildings from CDW for $6,400 to replace an outdated system;
  • a blanket certificate for $3,500 for a wellness fair for township employees; and
  • continuing the Senior Snowplow Program for the next winter season and using the $24,500 remaining from last season.

Also at the meeting, Humphrys offered an update on the creation of the Wolf Creek Conservancy District to help alleviate flooding. The project is moving forward, she said. The city of Barberton is the lead on the project and has hired an engineer, she noted.

In other business, trustees held an executive session to discuss hiring and contractual issues in the Service Department; the potential acquisition of real estate; and pending litigation, with no action taken.

The board’s next regular meeting will take place Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Copley Township offices, 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

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