Portage County roundup: Hiram police will use part-time help, plus news from Hiram Township, Mantua, Freedom and Windham

Photo via Hiram Police Department

Village of Hiram

The Village of Hiram is looking for ways to save money, including relying more on part-time officers to fill the third shift.

“We’ve had a substantial cut in local government funds,” Mayor Lou Bertrand said. “Local government funds to our community seven or eight years ago were $135,000. Then they went down to $50,000. That’s a substantial cut. It’s come back up somewhat, but the problem is that the state is flush with taxes. We’re not counting out the third shift within the police department, though. We’re going to cover it, but we’re just going to reapportion our people accordingly. It’ll be covered but in a different way. We’ll try to fill in with part-time people.”


Parking permits have been proposed in legislation to generate income that the village is losing due to the fact it is no longer generating the money from a contract it had with Hiram College that called for police protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The college is going to do this a la carte,” Bertrand said. “If they need a service, they’re going to privately contract it. There’s a proposal to have parking permits in certain designated areas, probably the business areas and the college areas. We need to replace that income that we’re losing.”

Hiram Township

The Hiram Township Fire Department, in conjunction with the Village of Hiram, purchased a brand-new ambulance, which replaced an older ambulance, in December.

Mantua Township

Mantua Township held an emergency meeting Jan. 19 to purchase a brand-new, small Ford F-350 snowplow pickup truck to go with its two larger ones. The old snowplow truck had a transmission problem. The cost of the new one was about $38,000.


The township should be finalizing its sewer project soon, probably sometime in February.


The township received its draft copy of the flood study by Osborne Environmental LLC. It still has to be approved.

“We got a $147,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” township Chair John Festa said.

Village of Mantua

The Downtown Mantua Revitalization Committee, along with the Buckeye Trail Town, Portage Parks and a couple other entities, are trying to put together a very exciting event called Triple Trail Fest that would be held at Village Park June 2-3. There would be activities on the water and on the trails and different things like that.

“The event planners sat down with me so they could find out exactly all the things they have in place are done the right way, making sure all of their i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed,” Mayor Linda Clark said. “They have to fill out a special event form and let us know if they’re having vendors and if they’re proposing camping. They’re anticipating – if they can get all their ducks in a row – more than 1,000 attendees, which would be great for a first-year festival.”


The village passed legislation to advertise to hire for the position of village administrative assistant for the first time in quite a while. It is a 25- to 30-hour-a-week job. If anyone is interested in applying for the position, visit mantuavillage.com.

Freedom Township

Freedom purchased a brand-new Western Star single-axle snowplow truck in December. The new snowplow truck will eventually replace a 1995 Kodiak.

“The new snowplow truck has a lot more technology on it than the old one,” township Chair Jeff Derthick said.


The Hankee Road culvert project has begun and is well underway.

“The old culvert has been removed,” Derthick said. “We foresee the project being done by early spring.”


The township trustees meetings will be held once a month instead of twice a month beginning in February. The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of the month.

“A lot of what the township does is pay bills, and they’re all automated. Our fiscal officer is able to do that. We’re going to try it and see if it works for us,” Derthick said. “We’ll still have special meetings as needed.”

Windham Township

Windham Township is close to obtaining the old Windham Alloys property at 9145 State Route 303. It is the only industrial-zoned land in the township.

“Our use for it remains to be seen,” township Chair Rich Gano said. “I’ve been the advocate for that working with the Environmental Protection Agency. We’ll find out once we look at the building, get inside and see what kind of work they’re going to need to do. We may rent it out, we may give part of it to use for recycling. We don’t have a lot of money to put into it.”


The Lions Club will hold a pancake breakfast fundraiser with the fire department from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, Feb. 5. Presale tickets are available at the fire department. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children younger than 5 get in free.


The fire department will likely hold its annual picture/family portrait fundraiser sometime in February.

“With a donation, you get a free picture or family portrait,” Gano said. “Most people just send in a donation. Letters will be going out to all township and village citizens very soon. A professional photographer will take the photos.”

Roger Gordon
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