Documenters: Hiram Village Council meeting March 12, 2024

Hiram Village Council

March 12, 2024

7 p.m.


Anne Haynum Mayor

Chris Szell Council President

Beth Greenwood Council Member

Ed Frato-Sweeney Council Member

Chris McCreight Council Member

David Smith Council Member

Jennifer Kangas Berendt Solicitor

Susan Skrovan-DeYoung Fiscal Officer

Bill Byers Fire Chief


Steve Schuller Village Administrator

Brian Gregory Police Chief

Documenter’s Notes

Prior to the council meeting, new fire department hire Carl Bartlett was sworn in by Mayor Anne Haynum. Several of Bartlett’s family members were in attendance for the brief ceremony, and Bartlett received rousing applause from the crowd.

Mayor Haynum called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. and opened with the Pledge of Allegiance. Minutes from Feb. 13 and the evening’s agenda were approved without modification by general consent vote. Haynum opened the floor for public comment. A man who did not share his name indicated that he was interested in the vacant council seat. A student reporter from Hiram College inquired about communication between the village and college regarding a parking lot issue.


Chief Bill Byers reported on the previous evening’s malfunctioning warning siren. Only one siren was affected. The siren is scheduled for repair in May, but Byers indicated that since it is out of commission, he has asked for expedited service. 

Administrator’s Report

Haynum read portions of the written report filed by Village Administrator Steve Schuller. EPA violation work continues with plumbing getting underway for Well #1. Once finished, the village will address the well house, as required by the EPA, and then move on to Well #2. The women’s restroom in Village Hall is completed. The Constance Road lift station bid opened March 6. There will be legislation in April to accept the winning bid. The project budget is $366,500 and will be funded by a grant of $243,000, a 0% interest loan for $50,000, and a capital cost to the village of $73,500. Streets are being swept and parking areas striped. The village is fixing all fire lanes that are not properly marked. All crosswalks are being given a 30-foot clearance to comply with ODOT regulations. Street cleaning will take place monthly. The new water department truck has arrived, and it is being outfitted with decals and proper safety lights. Cracked-road repair and storm basin maintenance are on the docket for the village crew.

Mayor’s Report

The mayor’s office has been working to review the employee handbook. The mayor expects proposals to be reviewed by council in April. The village departments will be moving to electronic reporting. Council President Chris Szell recommended that the village adopt a naming convention for the files for ease of access. Schuller and the chair of economic development met with Brad Ehrhart of Portage County Economic Development and Todd Peats of Portage County Planning to understand how the village can best use these bureaus. The Communicator will be printed later in the week, but it will not be mailed. Copies will be available at various community sites, and electronic access is in the works. Deb Wordell has completed a preliminary round of fiscal efficiency assessments, and Haynum authorized next steps. A website committee suggested various upgrades to the village website. The Trail Town Task Force hopes to connect a loop through the college, village and Hiram Township.

Fiscal Officer

Reconciliations have been completed. The 2024 budget appropriations are ready for permanent mode, pending council approval. Kush Creative Outdoors paid $403.75 for their oversized load, reimbursing the village for raising traffic lights. A new fund was created for Hiram Patrol Services for policing in Hiram Township. The township fire levy is collecting additional monies; a total of $16,250 has been paid to the village fire department. Fiscal Officer Susan Skrovan-DeYoung’s report was approved and the bills were accepted for payment.


Chief Brian Gregory was unavailable for the meeting. Officer Anthony Yoder appeared in his place. Yoder reported 267 offense reports in the month of February: 51 traffic stops, 12 public assists, six public record requests, three welfare checks, one lost person found on the hike and bike trail, one cow in the roadway, and one wandering horse on Udall Road. The department issued 26 parking tickets. The Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser is scheduled for March 30; tickets are by donation. Signage for the speed cameras has been installed, and Yoder reported that speeds have already been reduced. The extermination of a pair of rabid raccoons received significant attention from Officer Yoder and council. Traffic cameras are expected to arrive the last week of March or first week of April. Yoder discovered 10 street light outages and reported them to Ohio Edison for replacement.


A long-proposed ordinance regarding the keeping of chickens in the village was taken off the table, amended and adopted. An amendment concerning impounding and penalties for village parking received its second reading without motion, as did a related amendment concerning street parking. Automated speed and traffic enforcement was passed as amended. An amendment raising base rate compensation ranges for village employees was adopted. Permanent appropriations were adopted as presented by the fiscal officer. A resolution to approve the internet sale of unneeded, unfit or obsolete property was approved. 

The council entered executive session to appoint a member to council and to discuss pending litigation at 8:17 p.m. This documenter learned that Justin Bisutti was appointed to the open council seat in a follow-up phone call.

Ryan Lind
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