No on likes to hear about the possibility of a tax increase, no matter how small, but the Suffield Township trustees are on the verge of suggesting just that. Reluctantly, the trustees voted to begin the process of considering a one mill levy for general operating expenses. The first step is to get Janet Esposito, the Portage County Auditor, to give a quote on how much such a levy would bring in. This past year, based on property taxes and other monies paid to the township by the county treasurer's office, a one mill levy would have generated about $137,000 per year. Prior to the regular trustee's meeting the trustees held the required annual budget hearing. At this meeting they learned that there would be only about $52,000 to carry over from this year to the first quarter on 2017. This carryover has steadily dropped over the past six to eight years. For example, the carryover in 2013 was $171,000. This carryover is what the township uses to make payments and pay salaries during the first quarter until the county treasurer releases the township's money from property taxes and other county-paid funding. While the township has cut its spending to the bone, costs for the township have soared, much like most people's household budgets have. Trustee chairman Tom Calcei said that Suffield should remain in the black for 2017, but from 2018 forward, some help is needed.
The eleven person gathering also heard that the Fire Department has taken delivery of the new "Jaws of Life" hydraulic cutters. Fire Chief Robert Rasnick managed to get a sooner delivery than expected and the cost was little less than what had been projected. The final cost was $6,569. Some good news was announced by zoning inspector Adam Bey for the residents in Carriage Hill Estates. The derelict house at 1560 Carriage House Lane will be going to "Sheriff's Sale" soon, perhaps as early as the beginning of August. The property at the old Copeland's Landing is being cleaned up a little more each month, according to Bey. Trustee Dave Vartenuk mentioned that the Board of Zoning Appeals had a meeting last Thursday in which they approved a variance to Gary McFarland of 1738 Meander Way to build a slightly oversized accessory building, which would also be four feet closer to the lot line that the Zoning Resolution normally allows. The vote was 3-2 in favor of the variances. This split decision was the closest vote seen at the Board of Zoning Appeals in at least the last eight years.
Trustee Jeff Eldreth said that the Road Department is in the process of erecting some new signs in hopes of preventing trucks from using Shaffer Road. The problem there is that tractor-trailer rigs get hung-up on the road surface when trying to pull from Shaffer Road onto Waterloo Road. He also mentioned that a new flagpole has been erected in front of the Administration Building, but it still needs to have some sort of lighting installed. Cost of the flagpole and the new township sign was paid for by the insurance settlement from the driver who destroyed the old sign and pole. Eldreth also said that the cards on the recycling issue that residents have submitted to the Portage County Solid Waste Management will be counted up to August 1st. If you still have your household card and have not sent it in, there is still time.
While the trustees had been expecting, or at least hoping for, bids on the Palm Road paving project in the $55,000 to $60,000 range, the two bidders who would like to do the work came in with much higher bids. Perrin Asphalt costed it out at $76,000 and Shelley Materials came in at $95,293. The trustees voted to accept the bids and postponed making any decisions on who to award the work, or whether or not the project will move forward this year. Trustee Eldreth said that the .6 mile of proposed paving on Palm Road from Trares Road to Randolph Road has never actually been paved, but rather chip & sealed over the years.
The trustees will meet again on Tuesday July 26th at 8:00 PM. Prior to the regular meeting, the trustees will hear from a representative of KLM Risk Management, concerning the township's insurance coverage. The Zoning Commission has postponed its regular monthly meeting from July 13th to July 20th at 7:00 PM.