Garrettsville supports rural development grant application, electric car charger installation

Carter Eugene Adams/The Portager
Carter Eugene Adams/The Portager

Garrettsville supports rural development grant application, electric car charger installation

Notes from the Garrettsville Village Council meeting of Sept. 9, 2020

Garrettsville will be among the Portage County communities applying for a USDA economic development grant, designed to support infrastructure and workforce development in rural areas.

Garrettsville Village Council agreed to support the Portage County Regional Planning Commission in the application process at their meeting Wednesday. The USDA has allotted $1 million in grants to fund initiatives aimed at building infrastructure, diversifying economy, supporting the workforce and improving overall quality of life in rural communities through its Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge.

The county plans to form a board of representatives from 10 villages and townships in its northern region to oversee the project if it wins the grant money, said Todd Peetz, director of the Regional Planning Commission. He has received support letters from nine of those villages and townships so far.

“When I look at all the different positives and opportunities in those 10 communities, there’s a lot going on,” Peetz said. “I think we could really, you know, do a really cool project through a collaborative effort that we’d need to do, and honestly Garrettsville is a huge part of it.”

The council approved a motion to send an application for a state-funded electric vehicle charging unit to be installed in the parking lot near Garrettsville’s clock tower. The unit and its installation would be paid for by the state of Ohio and would feature two charging ports.

Peetz wasn’t the only guest speaker at Wednesday’s meeting. Portage County Court of Common Pleas Judge Becky Doherty spoke about presiding over significant trials, her work on an addiction treatment team and her work on a job placement program for select county jail inmates. She asked for the council’s support in the upcoming election in which she faces Ravenna attorney Michael Noble.

Council agreed to contribute $1,803 to purchase disinfecting ultraviolet lamps for the Community EMS District. The lamps sterilize rooms after approximately 30 minutes in them.

During its roundtable discussion, the council decided it will probably cancel the village’s fall cleanup, opting to wait until spring. It also addressed growing concerns over garbage piling up around the recycling drop-off bin, discussing rumors that Freedom Township residents may be to blame for it since their drop-off bin was removed. The council spoke about potentially removing Garrettsville’s drop-off bin as well but postponed any action until the village’s recycling contract expires.

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Michael Indriolo is a visual journalist based in Kent. He is a contributor at The Portager covering a range of topics, including local government and community.

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