County roundup: Mantua Township prepares for winter, plus news from Freedom, Garrettsville, Nelson and Hiram

Mantua Township trustees meet in January 2023.

Mantua Township

The Mantua Township Service Department has begun winter season preparations. Trucks have been serviced for cold weather, snow removal equipment has been cleaned and prepped, salt spreaders have been readied and fitted onto removal equipment, and tires and brakes are good to go.

“We are pretty much ready for ‘Old Man Winter,’” township Chair John Festa said. “We would also like to remind our residents to please drive with caution when approaching or following heavy snow removal equipment because, during heavy snow events, you may be able to see them, but they may not see you. Mantua Township’s number one priority is safety!”

Township facilities, the salt shed, the Veterans Memorial and the cemeteries are also on the agenda winterizing-wise. And to that end, West Lawn Cemetery clean-up is a priority. West Lawn’s rules state that artificial flower arrangements and decorations must be removed by April 15 and Nov. 15. Remaining items will be removed by township personnel and discarded to allow for clean-up and grounds maintenance.

Said Festa, “Please do your part in keeping our cemeteries beautiful.”

Halloween in the township went off without a hitch. The weather cooperated, most of the children were dressed in reflective attire, parents were keeping an eye out and, most importantly, the kids went home with plenty of goodies.

“Everyone stayed safe,” Festa said.

Village of Mantua

Shop Small Saturday will be Nov. 25. Just like the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday when everybody goes out and gets their sales items and does all their big shopping, the next day has been designated by the small business community nationwide as Shop Small Saturday.

“We encourage everyone to go to their local businesses and do their Christmas shopping there,” Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce President Randy Ellis said.

Downtown businesses will have their annual Christmas Open House during business hours Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17-18. There will be a number of sales. The businesses will be decorated for Christmas and will have their Christmas items out by then.

The Crestwood High School Drama Club will present the play “Clue” from Friday to Sunday, Nov. 10-12 at the high school at 10919 Main St. Show times are 7 p.m. Nov. 10 and 11, and 2 p.m. Nov. 12. Pre-sale tickets are $10. Tickets at the door are $12.

The Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Portage Faith United Methodist Church at 9922 state Route 44. Judge Patricia Smith will speak about the juvenile courts in Portage County.

Refreshments and coffee will be served. The public is welcome.


The Asbury Road culvert project, funded with Ohio Public Works grant and loan funds, will begin the first part of December.

Freedom Township is working on the Community Development Block Grant Program with the county commissioner’s office for concrete and ADA work at the one-room schoolhouse. The job is currently out for bid until Nov. 15.

The township’s board of trustees recently rescinded a motion from 2019 for curbside recycling. The board will not be moving forward with it after the survey was completed.

The war memorial plaques are finally in and are being put on. A dedication will be planned for a future date.

Improvements to the township flag pole will be completed in spring 2024.

The Freedom Park Committee will host “Cookies with Santa” on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Town Hall at 8966 state Route 700. A time is to be determined.


Garrettsville will hold its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25 by the clock tower in town. Santa Claus will come by fire truck, and he will give little gifts to the kids. Mrs. Claus will be there too, and she will go to the Cellar Door Coffee Co. at 8138 Water St. to read stories to the kids. The Garrettsville High School choir will sing Christmas carols. There will also be free cookies and hot chocolate provided by McDonald’s.

“We started this back in 2001 right after 9-11,” Mayor Rick Patrick said. “We did it to bring some spirit back into the town, and every year it gets a little bigger. It’s pretty festive.”


The Pritchard Road ditch-work project was recently completed. The Norton Road project was recently completed, too. The Norton Road project consisted of regrinding the surface of the road and compacting and adding new gravel.

Village of Hiram

There is a proposal for village council to allow residents with smaller lots to have chickens on their properties.

“We haven’t determined how small the lots would have to be,” Mayor Lou Bertrand said.

Roger Gordon
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