It was just at the last Suffield Township Board of Trustee's meeting the trustees voted to have one of their monthly meetings changed to a 7:00 AM start. Again at Tuesday's meeting the trustees changed the meeting schedule, but on a more gentile and temporary basis. Summer vacations, work travel and even the 159th Portage County Randolph Fair figured into the need to reschedule the next three trustee's meetings. The regular meeting for August 8th and been changed to Thursday August 3rd at 8:00 PM. The regular meeting for August 22nd has been changed to Tuesday August 15th at 8:00 PM, and the regular meeting for September 12th has been moved back to Thursday September 7th at 8:00 PM. Beginning on Tuesday September 26th, the second trustee meeting of each month will be held at 7:00 AM. Palmyra and Randolph are the only other of Portage County's eighteen townships that have a morning trustee meeting.
Fire Chief Bob Rasnick's monthly report was read by trustee Tom Calcei. In June, the Fire Department responded to 75 calls for service, bringing them up to 335 calls during the first six months of the year. The fire truck that was wrecked about two months ago, is due to be returned to service sometime in the next week, and the Chief has asked that Ross Harmon, a Suffield Township resident, be hired. The trustees voted to hire Ross with the normal stipulation of completing a one-year probationary period.
Trustee Jeff Eldreth said the Road Department is moving along doing its normal summer work, including some mowing and patchwork. He asked for $5,000 to buy asphalt, which the trustees agreed to. Eldreth also commented on the road projects being done by the Portage County Engineer' Office and the ODOT. For those tired of bumps at driveways and intersections along State Route 43, they will be glad to know that there is one more layer of asphalt to be applied and with that layer, all those bumps will go away. Eldreth mentioned that the Portage Line Road project is nearing completion, and the rebuilding of Pontius Road, from Congress Lake Road to the east township limits is also nearly completed. Resident Jim Lutz commented on a dead tree on Martin Road near Randolph Road that presents a danger to motorists. The trustees asked Eldreth to get a price for removing this tree and some tree work further down Martin Road near Etter Road, where low hanging branches create a view obstruction.
Trustee Chairman Dave Vartenuk asked the trustees to approve spending $5,255.30 for work by the Portage County Regional Planning on writing the 2020-2040 Land Use Comprehensive Plan that the Zoning Commission is working on. The trustees also appear to be taking a more aggressive tone towards getting the derelict property at 1560 Carriage House Drive demolished. The Prosecutor's Office had asked the township to hold off on demolition until the property was offered at a Sheriff's Sale, but no auction date has yet been set. Since money for the demolition is available from the Portage County Land Bank, the trustees want to move forward with this. Construction in earnest began on this house in 1996. While the structure looks fairly complete, the builder has failed to get building department inspections and code violations are many. No work has been done on the house in many years. The Portage County Auditor's Office valued the property in 2006 at $295,500. This year the valuation has dropped to $91,900, and according to the Auditor's website, as of today, the property taxes are about $19,000 in arrears. While the Prosecutor's Office feels that the Sheriff's Sale auction is a necessary step in the condemnation process, trustee Tom Calcei wants to schedule a second public hearing to move forward with demolition.
The next trustees meeting will on on Thursday August 3rd at 8:00 PM. The Zoning Commission does not meet in August. The zoning inspector stated that the Board of Zoning Appeals would be called into action for a hearing on a variance on the size of an accessory building, but no date has been set.