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Copley seeking EPA grants

2/13/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

At the Feb. 5 meeting, the Copley Township Board of Trustees decided to submit a grant request to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help pay to remove old tires that had been used as backstops at a former police range.

Out of use for around the past eight years, the former range is located at 2101 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, said Trustee Helen Humphreys. If awarded for the project, the grant would pay $10,000 for the cleanup, according to Humphrys, an amount which would need to be matched by the township.

Humphrys said the township five years ago was awarded grant funds to clean up the site; however, they were unable to complete the project at that time and the grant expired. Since then, the township has reapplied for the grant money without success, she said.

Another Ohio EPA grant request may help fund surface water improvements to prevent pollution at the township’s new police station, currently in the planning stages.

Service Director Mark Mitchell said the state is anticipating distributing $1.5 million, with grants to individual communities being awarded in amounts up to $150,000 per project.

Mitchell said he thinks the township’s proposed project would be a good fit for the funding request.

“They are looking for shovel-ready projects,” he said.

If they are awarded the funds, grant money could pay for a bioretention cell for filtering stormwater as it runs off the parking lot, and possibly other improvements, noted Mitchell.

“This is a perfect opportunity with the new police facility,” said Trustee Dale Panovich.

Also at the meeting, trustees approved two memorandums of understanding for increased wages in the Police Department. Retroactive to Jan. 1, the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, representing both part-time patrol officers and sergeants, will receive 2 percent raises. The union agreed to the proposals Jan. 23, according to Fiscal Officer Janice Marshall.

In other action:

  • trustees renewed an agreement with Summit County for its Employee Assistance Program for township employees at a cost of $15.30 per employee for 2014;
  • Corey Sanzone, who was hired conditionally as a part-time firefighter in October, was removed from the hiring process as he took a full-time position with another fire department;
  • trustees approved a change order for the completion date for the Janwood Drive culvert replacement project from March 15 to May 30 due to weather; and
  • trustees approved Aug. 2 as Heritage Day for 2014 and, in related action, added event volunteers to its liability insurance policy.

In other business, trustees discussed recent safety issues arising from METRO Regional Transit Authority placing bus stops and layovers in the Montrose area without first seeking permission from the township.

Police Chief Michael Mier said the agency should approach trustees to seek permission to establish new stops and layovers within the township’s boundaries.

“I don’t think that’s always been done,” he said.

Once a request is made, Copley police, fire, service and road personnel would work together with trustees to determine the safety of the proposed changes, suggested Mier.

METRO officials are willing to work with the township, though a stop on Springside Drive was established without trustees’ permission and is close to an intersection and has been causing a sight distance hazard when buses layover there, he added.

METRO officials need to come to trustees with a proposal to determine optimum locations for stops and layovers, said Mier.

At the close of the regular meeting, trustees held an executive session, with no action following.

The Copley Board of Trustees’ next regular meeting is set for Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Copley Township offices, 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

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