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Copley trustees considering redirecting inside millage

6/12/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

The Copley Township Board of Trustees began a discussion of moving just under 0.5 mill of inside millage from the Road and Bridge Fund to the township’s General Fund at the June 4 meeting.

“We need to strengthen the General Fund,” said Trustee Helen Humphrys. “We’ve lost the inheritance tax and, of course, the Local Government Fund has been cut almost 50 percent.”

Inheritance taxes formerly yielded $1 million annually on average, and state support of local governments formerly was around $500,000, she added.

The state permits townships to levy up to 10 mills in property taxes without voter approval. Just under 0.5 mill of this “inside” millage currently is assigned to the Road and Bridge Fund, Humphrys said.

The General Fund is healthy and moving the inside millage from the Road and Bridge Fund to the General Fund will keep it that way, Humphrys said. Shifting the millage will direct an additional $232,000 a year to the General Fund, Humphrys said. The Road and Bridge Fund is supported by a levy. Humphrys said she and Service Director Mark Mitchell determined the road and bridge levy adequately supports maintenance and repair. Trustees will continue the discussion at their next meeting.

Trustees noted the township road and bridge levy and fire levy are due to expire at the end of 2014. Trustees agreed to meet in a workshop before the end of July to discuss placing the levies on the ballot.

Also during the meeting, Copley Circle will be spruced up for summer, with trustees approving an $1,800 expenditure to Graf Growers for beautification, landscaping and planting. They also approved $8,900 to defray costs of the 11-week summer concert series at the circle bandstand. The concerts, which began June 8, take place at 7 p.m. each Sunday through Aug. 17. A schedule of bands can be found on the township website, www.copley.oh.us.

Trustees also passed a resolution honoring the Fairlawn-Bath Branch Library on its 50th anniversary. The branch serves Bath, Fairlawn and Copley residents.

In other business, trustees:

  • approved a salary increases of $4,500  for Police Chief Michael Mier and Fire Chief Michael Benson. The increases will maintain the salary differential built into the police and fire labor contracts, said Fiscal Officer Janice Marshall;
  • agreed to award a three-year contract for electricity to IGS. The township’s current contract with FirstEnergy is expiring, said Marshall. The three-year contract will guarantee electricity at $6.59 per kilowatt hour, an increase of nearly $2 per kilowatt hour from the current contract;
  • approved a resolution declaring August as Summit Kids Month, at the request of the Summit County Executive’s Office;
  • issued a $5,925 purchase order to Environmental Design Group for a boundary survey, additional site survey and easement documents for the proposed extension of water lines from the township property on which the new police station is to be constructed east to South Cleveland-Massillon Road;
  • approved applying for a wellness grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The grant, worth $300 per employee for four years, would reimburse the township for wellness assessments and biometric screenings. The township would be required to institute wellness programs such as a weight loss management club or a walking club, said Marshall;
  • had no objection to naming a stream running under Idlebrook Drive. Bath Township requested naming the stream Idle Brook as part of an ongoing project to name all streams in the township;
  • approved an agreement for a private fireworks display July 28 on Sugar Road. A professional fireworks company has been hired to manage the display, said Benson;
  • declared 864 Wallwood and 1701 Medina Line Road nuisances and ordered the removal of vegetation and/or debris from the properties. The cost of clearing the vegetation on the two unoccupied properties will be assessed to the owners;
  • approved the resignations of firefighter/paramedic John Paul Paxton and patrolman William Kettler;
  • made a conditional offer of employment as a part-time police officer to Samantha Hose: and
  • hired Clemans Nelson and Associates to provide management consulting for labor and human resources issues, Marshall said.

The board’s next regular meeting is June 18 at 6 p.m. at Copley Town Hall, located at 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road.

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