Brimfield police officers awarded Life Saving Award after bridge rescue

Brimfield police officers Matt Kennedy and James Carrozzi each received a Life Saving Award after rescuing an allegedly suicidal woman who was hanging from an interstate bridge.

Responding to a call on April 8, Kennedy and Carrozzi arrived to find that the woman had scaled the chain link fence and was teetering on the outside ledge. The officers repositioned their cruiser so they could stand on the hood to get close to her.

According to the department’s website, the officers held the woman’s hands on the fence when she got tired. They improvised a sling they fed through the fence and around her body so she could stay upright until a fire department ladder truck arrived. To do all this, the officers closed the highway underneath. Afterward, they ensured she received the mental health intervention she needed.

Police Chief Roy Mosley told trustees the department has another officer involved in crisis intervention training. His intention is to have all of Brimfield’s officers trained in this aspect.

Police and fire

Groundbreaking for the township’s new fire station is anticipated for June 25.

Upcoming events:

  • Trustees set May 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for “Lemonade with a Cop,” which will take place at Meijer on Tallmadge Road. The public is welcome to meet and greet Brimfield’s officers, including Recon, the township’s K-9 officer.
  • The police department is participating in National Take Back Day, an opportunity for residents to safely and conveniently dispose of unused prescription drugs. The event is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24 at the Brimfield Police Department, where a disposal box will be located in the lobby. No liquids or syringes are permitted.
  • The police department is eyeing June 9 for a paper shredding event. Residents should keep their eyes on the department’s Facebook page for more information.
  • Covid may put the kibosh on this year’s Safety Town event, but as with all things Covid, nothing is definite yet. Trustees expect to make a final determination within a couple weeks.

Parks

May 8 is a big day in Brimfield, with a park cleanup event planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cranberry Creek and Lions parks and a general spring cleanup planned for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Residents who wish to help clean up the parks may come to either park, or just one, Parks and Recreation Director Cassie Weyer said. Trash bags and gloves will be provided.

For the spring cleanup, residents may bring scrap metal and other items they no longer need to bins that will be set up at Lions Park. They will not accept tires, fluorescent bulbs, petroleum products, freon, batteries, items containing asbestos, biohazard materials, or anything volatile, corrosive, highly flammable or explosive.

Participants must be able to lift their items into the collection bins as no assistance will be available.

Cranberry Creek Dog Park will reopen May 18. Weyer will post a survey on the park department’s Facebook page to gauge dog park usage. Responses will guide the township’s ability to apply for a Pet Safe Dog Park grant.

The township’s sand volleyball courts at Lions Park will be renovated. Weyer said she has seen them being used and is considering re-establishing sand volleyball leagues. At the trustees’ urging, Weyer will post a video of the new Lions Trail as a way for residents who cannot physically use the trail to still enjoy it.

Road construction

It’s spring, so the I-76/Tallmadge Road project is in full swing. That means motorists will have to find new ways to get where they’re going. 

Here are the affected areas: 

  • Tallmadge Road between Cascades Boulevard and Sunnybrook Road will be reduced to two lanes. Westbound traffic will shift to the eastbound lane in early May.
  • The south leg of Mogadore Road will be closed through July 2023. Motorists should plan on detouring from Mogadore Road to Old Forge Road to state Route 43 to Tallmadge Road.
  • Beginning in early June, the north leg of Mogadore Road will be closed for 45 days. The detour for that one is Tallmadge Road to state Route 43 to state Route 261 to Mogadore Road.
  • Exit ramps from I-76 to Tallmadge Road will remain open.
  • Starting May 10, the Mogadore Road/Old Forge intersection will be a 4-way stop. There will be signage to alert motorists.

Open government

It’s only April, but trustees are considering the state’s July 1 deadline for returning to in-person meetings. Trustee Nic Coia is concerned that nine township officials attend the meetings, leaving only one space in the small meeting room for community members to attend.

Trustees are considering creating an overflow room for attendees to view meetings on a large screen, or having the various department heads rotate in and out of the actual meeting room as they present information to trustees.

Coia assured trustees he is working with the county health department for guidance. No matter what, the cost of technology will be an issue. They may have to add a large-screen TV and increase the number of microphones in the trustees’ meeting room.

What is definite is that trustees will not be able to use Cares Act funding for either or both options. Somehow the federal law makes no mention of townships, which Coia said “are more of a Midwest thing.” Ohio lawmakers are supposedly trying to adjust Cares Act language to include townships, and some counties are searching for ways to funnel funds to the townships, Coia said.

Trustees will continue livestreaming their meetings even after they return to in-person meetings but are looking for even more ways to keep residents informed. With an eye toward transparency, trustees will mail postcards to township residents four times a year to update everyone about township issues.

“Talk of the Township” postcards will include QR codes residents can scan for local updates and trustee meetings and Nixle signup information for local emergency alerts, weather advisories and community notifications. The postcards will also include trustees’ phone numbers and email addresses.

“We have to be able to do more marketing, get the word out, because we’re really on the go right now,” Trustee Sue Fields said.

Trustees settled on the quarterly mailers after learning that the township’s Facebook posts only reach about 30% of the community, Trustee Mike Kostensky said.

Land use plan

Trustees are considering a draft of a comprehensive land use plan. The plan will be posted on the township website, and residents may submit comments for township economic development planner Mike Hlad to consider. Anyone concerned with what buildings or businesses come to Brimfield should take a look, but be warned that it’s not exactly light reading.

“It’s a lot of reading. You don’t need sleeping pills,” Kostensky quipped.

Trustees squashed rumors that another grocery store, a Sheetz gas station or a Chick-fil-A are coming to the township, at least not at this time.

Grants for community events

The Hill Church was approved as this year’s NOPEC Community Event funding recipient. The church will sponsor a Back to School backpack event to provide all attendees with a backpack loaded with school supplies. The free event will include booths hosted by representatives from various public agencies. No date has been determined yet. Trustees pledged to work with members of The Hill Church to ensure a successful event.

Other applicants for the grant were the Kelso House, which has received funding twice for its movie nights, and the Girl Scouts, which submitted a proposal trustees felt was too narrow in scope.

Energy efficiency

With a different $24,000 NOPEC grant in place and a $4,000 carryover from last year’s grant, trustees are zeroing in on ways to make township buildings more energy-efficient. Say goodbye to the fireplace at the community center, and say hello to a new generator and new windows and doors there. Trustees authorized new LED lighting at the police department’s sally port, as well as upgrades to the heating and cooling system at the station. The road department is not forgotten as trustees gave the nod to new appliances and a new exterior door.

Development district representative

Trustees re-appointed County Commissioner Sabrina Christian-Bennett as the township’s employer representative to the Kent Joint Economic Development District. Christian-Bennett owns Brimfield’s Bennett Land Title Agency and has been a champion of the township’s needs, trustees agreed. They have yet to name an employee representative to the JEDD board.