Brimfield trustees approved the first new township position in 11 years

Zoom meeting featuring 6 Brimfield trustees and officials
Brimfield Township trustees

Brimfield trustees met Wednesday to approve adding a new firefighter/paramedic to the township’s fire department roster. While employees have been hired as others moved on or retired, this will be the first time in 11 years that the township has actually added an employee.

“This weekend we were at minimum staffing levels. Our staffing level was two, and we ran 30 calls,” Trustee Nic Coia said. “That’s why we need additional staffing. We’ve reached that point now.”

Full staff is considered four per shift.

Development

Trustees will send a letter to the Portage County commissioners expressing concerns over a part of the proposed changes to county subdivision regulations. Changes had been attempted in previous years but never materialized, Coia said.

Though Brimfield trustees broadly support the proposed changes, they are concerned about a stipulation that would require property developers working in the county’s townships to post a cash bond with the county engineering and water resources departments. The amount of the bond would depend on the size of the project, and the money would be held until project completion.

“We already went through this once and we almost lost out on a development,” Coia said. “DeHoff Development and Lemon & Lemon Development, Menards and Meijer’s property developer had to freeze about $4 million to pursue that project. That’s a lot for a developer to put up. That’s a lot of difference in cash flow.”

Trustees are not pleased that the subdivision regulation will only affect townships, not other communities that have their own planning departments. Those communities can put up bonds instead of cash, allowing developers to obtain insurance bonds from bonding agencies. That way, large amounts of cash are not frozen, Coia explained.

Trustees expect to review the township’s comprehensive land use plan during next month’s meeting and expect to finalize the plan by the end of April. The plan is a snapshot of what trustees and community stakeholders envision being developed in the township in the next 50 years. Through it, community leaders determine what can be built where, lot sizes, zoning districts, development locations, necessary infrastructure updates and more, Coia said.

Trustees are moving forward with a long-overdue, large-scale paving project in the township’s Sugar Maple development, off Meloy Road. The projected cost is about $280,000; work is expected to begin this summer and should be done by fall.

Reopening

Rental facilities (the township’s community center and open air shelters) are tentatively reopening June 1, Coia said. The spaces have been closed because of Covid, but trustees are working to reopen them by working with the county health department to ensure Covid-conscious regulations are followed.

Anyone desiring to use the community center or open air shelters may reserve them by calling the Parks and Rec office at 330-678-0739. Trustees and residents alike are still awaiting new playground equipment and fencing at Lion’s Park.

On deck:

  • Trustees are planning May 8 as Park Clean-up Day: an opportunity for community members to volunteer to clean up Lions and Cranberry Creek parks. Anyone who wishes to participate should contact Brimfield Parks Director Cassie Weyer at 330-678-0739.
  • The township is also preparing for its annual Touch-a-Truck event, set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 19 at Lions Park. Coia started the event three years ago as an event for people to see and touch all the equipment “that makes Portage County go,” and as a welcome Father’s Day weekend activity. Participants can explore ambulances, tractors, dump trucks, police cruisers, Metro SWAT vehicles and more. Excepting purchases from food trucks, the event is free and typically includes a craft table. However, due to Covid, this year it may be more of a take-home project instead of one made on premises, Coia said.
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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.