The Portage County Township Association meets quarterly to allow members and associates to dine, network with other county officials, listen to noteworthy speakers and occasionally hear some news, both good and bad. For the Suffield Township trustees, of which all three were in attendance Saturday evening, heard Portage County Engineer Micheal Marozzi announce that three roads in the township would be paved this summer.
Mishler Road, from Waterloo Road to the south township limits will be paved, thanks in part a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission. Grant money in the amount of $271,000 is expected to be released on July 1st, and work on Mishler Road is expected to commence shortly thereafter. The county will match the grant money with another $271,000. This $542,000 project will mark the first time this road has been paved since 1996, according to project engineer Mike Collins. Township trustees have often been asked when the road would be paved, but were forced to defer the complaints to the County Engineer's Office, as Mishler Road is one of several roads in the township that is maintained by the county road department. Collins said that the grant money from the Ohio Public Works Commission is money that was once distributed and known as "Issue 2" money.
Also on the paving schedule is Portage Line Road from U.S. Route 224 to the south township limits. This road to jointly maintained by the Summit County Engineer and the Portage County Engineer. Summit County will oversee the project. Collins said that the new pavement will be a cross between regular asphalt and a process similar to chip & seal. Pontius Road is also a joint project between the Portage County Engineer and the Stark County Engineer. This road will be resurfaced from Congress Lake Road to the east township limits. The Stark County Engineer will be the project leader. No township funds will be required for any of these three projects. All are expected to be completed by the end of summer.
The PCTA dinner was held in the main garage of the County Engineer's Office, where "Mickey" Marozzi has annually hosted it in May it many years. In his remarks to the attendees, Marozzi said that the ability to repave roads is getting tougher as his office maintains 370 miles of roadway, and as costs have increased, his operating budget has not increased at the same rate. His office also is in charge of maintaining 85 bridges, as well as the signage, mowing, patching of roadways and snow removal on those 370 miles of roadway.
Also speaking at the PCTA dinner was Mathew DeTemple, Executive Director of the Ohio Township Association, who talked mostly on legislative matters. His assessment was that the Ohio legislature would keep their funding of townships in the new state budget at the same level as last year. Chris Gilmore, President of the Portage County Regional Airport Board of Trustees, spoke on the importance of the airport and its future. The Portage County Regional Airport is located along State Route 44 in Shalersville Township.