County roundup: Hiram Village proposes ban on phone calls while driving, plus Hiram Township, Mantua, Garrettsville, Windham and Freedom

Village of Hiram

The Village of Hiram proposed a resolution that would make the use of cell phones (actually holding a phone to one’s ear) and computers while driving a minor misdemeanor for the first offense.


The village is trying to get three or four blighted residential properties — properties that aren’t being taken care of — fixed up.

“They’re probably in violation of state fire codes and building codes,” Mayor Lou Bertrand said. “We’re trying to get the owners to fix them up so they’re habitable.”


The Hiram Police Department held a pancake breakfast April 15 at Hiram College’s Kennedy Center. About 200 people attended. The event raised $1,500 for the police department.

Hiram Township

Hiram Township passed a resolution for the Portage County engineer to do bid specs for chip and seal for 10 miles of roads.


The township applied for the NOPEC grant for 2023.

Mantua Township

The Mantua Township Flood Study has finally concluded. The township trustees will consider the flood prevention suggestions proposed by the Osborn Environmental engineers at a special meeting. The date for the meeting has yet to be confirmed.


The township recently purchased and received a brand-new Kubota compact tractor with a 72-inch belly mower attachment. “The smaller-sized tractor is a much-needed piece of equipment for smaller projects,” township Chair John Festa said, “especially in our three township cemeteries and on our two ballfields.”


The Mantua Township Park Committee met recently with a goal of improving and sprucing up the township’s parks, its ballfields with new playground equipment and, if funds are available, a walking path, a pavilion with restroom facilities, and other amenities. More details will be released soon.


A new business recently opened in the township. The Pramukh Mini Storage Facility and Postal Services Store had its grand opening April 22. The facility is located at 11580 state Route 44.


The village passed a resolution to add to its employee manual the requirement of first-aid training for village employees.


The Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual community garage sale Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21, starting around 8 a.m. each day. Residents can buy a permit from the Chamber for about $15, and they will get a number for each of their houses. “There’s a map that tells people where all of the yard sales are,” Mayor Rick Patrick said. “We’re expecting 150-200 yard sales.”


The Friends of the Garrettsville Library Book Sale “Members Only” Preview will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 26 at the library at 10482 South St. A Friends membership costs just $5 per year and may be purchased at the door or in advance at the library. The sale will then be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 27 and Friday, April 28. Cash donations are always welcome and appreciated. All proceeds directly support the library. For more information, email

Windham Township

The Windham Township and Village of Windham annual Clean Up will take place Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until the dumpsters are full both days. Residents can take items to the Windham Waste Water Plant at 9958 E. Center St. adjacent to the American Legion. Accepted items are appliances, batteries, furniture and up to four tires per household (no rims). Items that will not be accepted are paint, shingles, building debris, garbage and tires with rims. Residents of the township and the village only are invited, and identification will be required.


The zoning commission proposed a resolution that a non-conforming structure would be allowed to have a 20% increase in size of the base square footage of the original size of the structure, but the motion did not pass.

Freedom Township

Freedom’s annual Spring Clean-Up will take place during the first week of May at the Township Garage at 9302 state Rte. 700 (north side of the Turnpike). Drop-off days will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 4; noon to 6 p.m. Friday, May 5; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 6. Batteries, motor oil, refrigerators and freezers will be accepted along with normal items. No tires, paint, garbage, yard waste, barbed wire, building materials, shingles or fencing materials will be accepted. A loader will be available to assist in the drop-off. Proof of residency is required. For more information, call 330-527-7414 or 330-620-3555.


The Hankee Road culvert replacement project is almost done. “All that’s left is installing two catch basins and guardrails and paving the road,” township Chair Jeff Derthick said. “It should be finished by late May.”


The engraved stones for the township’s War Memorial outside Town Hall have been put in. “The only thing we’re waiting on is the branches of service plaques, which have been on backorder,” Derthick said. “We’re hoping to have them by the end of May.”

Roger Gordon
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