FROM THE MAYOR‘S DESK
Well, it’s been a very busy first two months, so much to learn and do. From Council meetings to County Commissioners, from finances to flooding, from Robert’s Rules of Order to revitalization. I have toured our water and sewer plants; by the way, did you know there are two separate plants? Did you know that we sit on one of the largest and most productive wells in the state? I didn’t!
Yes, it is true that the Village is in a highly negative fiscal position. There is no question that the loss of Eaton will have an even greater impact on our current situation, and yet, if you look closely enough, you can find good things happening all around us.
Special thanks must go to the Gast Family, whose recent financial contribution, brought by an inheritance tax, will help to ease our financial burden. Plus, we are currently in negotiations with the county to extend sewer service to Aurora Meadows pending EPA approval. This will not take place for sometime, but it is a bright future possibility.
The recent flooding of Middlefield Bank showed us just how important volunteers are to a community. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all who volunteered during the flood. But, also to all those who recognize that we are in an emergency of another type and have offered help, materials and donations. Thank you just doesn’t say enough!! There is so much that we can achieve together.
To see Mantua flourish, it will take our Village community working together in a uniform manner. It is important that I, as your Mayor, have the true heartbeat of our Village. I was glad to see that the last meeting of the Downtown Revitalization Corp, that more Village residents attended. Thank you, your input and understanding are vitally important. Here is where I need your help. I was elected to represent you and when it comes to the revitalization issue, it is important that I understand what the heartbeat of our Village community is.
In order to determine the most effective course of action, I would like to start an ad hoc revitalization focus group committee comprised of Village residents. We all recognize that Main Street must be revitalized.
But, before decisions can be made, there must be a realistic understanding of what the current revitalization effort through the Downtown Revitalization Corporation will actually accomplish and the funding required from the Village to get the job done.
Many of you who attended their last meeting will recall, Rod Garrison of E.G. & G., the consultant hired by the Corporation, clearly stating that it is primarily infrastructure that is being addressed; underground utilities, new water lines, new curbs. He made it very clear that it does not include storefronts, as these are private property and are the responsibility of the business owner.
I must admit that it is very easy to get caught up in all the pretty pictures, who doesn’t want Mantua Village beautified? However, it is important that we realize that the endeavor falls under 2 separate efforts. Curb to curb, which may come through the Downtown Revitalization project, and the storefronts through the good efforts of the individual property/business owners as it is not funded by the Downtown Revitalization effort. Due to our limited financial resources, before we decide what pathway to go down, let’s make sure we know what the path requires.
If you have any questions or comments, let me know. If I am not addressing your concerns, I am not representing you, and if I’m not representing you, I’m not doing my job. Involvement takes everyone, there is no job too small.
Please email me at email@example.com or drop a not to Village Hall if you have an interest in serving on a committee, or would be interested in helping on projects. The Downtown Revitalization Corporation has asked to do a Power Point presentation at our next Council meeting on March 19th. This is one meeting you should attend.
……..Donna Hawkins, Mayor, Village of Mantua
ATTORNEY'S ADVICE -NO CHARGE
Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice! A corporate Attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company.
- Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED."
- When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card Accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
- Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home Phone. If you have a PO box use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. (DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.
- Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to Call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a Name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.
Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my Wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more. But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
- We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card Numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
- File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
But here's what is perhaps most important of all (I never even thought to do this.):
- Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and also call the Social Security fraud line number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchase, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, etc, has been stolen:
- Equifax: 800-525-6285
- Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742
- Trans Union: 800-6807289
- Social Security Administration (fraud line): 800-269-0271
MANTUA -SHALERSVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Below is a list of the remaining Chamber meetings for the year 2008. Some locations and speakers need to be confirmed.
7:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 19
Volunteer Month will bring out the best in us as we listen to Jessica Dunlap who recruits volunteers for Hattie Larlham
Mantua-Shalersville Fire Station
7:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 16
Now that taxes are filed and paid, Bob Tramont will discuss financial planning to give us ideas as to what to do with what’s left.
Mantua-Shalersville Fire Station
7:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 21
Darin Kelly from Mantua Gardens will show us how to spruce up the outside of our businesses with plantings and where to plant what
Mantua-Shalersville Fire Station
7:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 18
Vicki Hawke, Director of NOACC will discuss benefits and perks available through Chamber membership with NOACC
Mantua-Shalersville Fire Station
11:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 16
Networking Luncheon at Main Street Place Visit with neighbors and friends during an informal luncheon. Main Street Place Gardens and Patio on Main Street, across from Circle K (parking at TL Express) The luncheon will be sponsored by Stamm Construction
5:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 20
Chamber-Rotary Picnic at Camp Hi Chamber and Rotary members enjoy a cook-out on the grounds of Camp Hi. Meet at Camp Hi at 2:00 p.m. for a pre picnic canoe trip!
9:00 a.m. Date September 4
3rd Annual Scholarship Golf Outing Graham Harmon is planning a great outing at the Aurora Country Club. Contact him or any member of the Golf Committee for tickets. Also, Dinner Only tickets can be purchased separately for those who don’t want to golf.
7:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 17
Bob Stehli of Wintergreen Tree Farm will discuss science in agriculture with chestnut production Officer Nominations will be coming up soon. A Nominating Committee will be formed
Mantua-Shalersville Fire Station
6:30 p.m. Monday, September 24
4th Annual Oktoberfest: Main Street Place Gardens and Patio on Main Street, across from Circle K (parking at TL Express) The food will be catered by Side Street Café.
Tickets can be obtained at Chase, Cortland and Middlefield Banks for $20
7:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 15
Upcoming ballot issues will also be presented.
Mantua-Shalersville Fire Station
7:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 19
Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department
5:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 17
To be announced
Please plan to attend as many meetings as possible. Your input, ideas and suggestions are important.
Since spring is just around the corner, plans are underway for another planting season at Hillside Cemetery. The Service Department and Cemetery Board are asking for your cooperation in removing all holiday decorations and other items that have become unsightly, by April 1, 2008.
We will begin removing and discarding items left after that date as we anticipate an early start on preparation for Memorial Day activities.
At their annual spring clean-up, the Cemetery Board will be thinning out some overgrown Hosta plants at the cemetery. If any Village residents would like a Hosta for their yard, please contact one of Board members listed below. We will schedule a date and time to meet you at the cemetery.
The Cemetery Board and the Service Department have been working on general “Rules and Regulations” for the cemetery. These have been forwarded to the Mayor and Council for their review and will be presented at the February 19th Council meeting.
John Hall (330)274-8516
Lisa Zamecnik (330)274-2127
Cookie Vanek (330)274-5262
It’s that time of year again! 2007 tax forms have been sent out. Included is the estimated tax form. If you don’t want to be hit with a large tax due amount, file the estimated tax form and pay quarterly.
According to Ordinance 1976-13, “any person of the age of 18 or over who resides, works, or operates a business in whole or in part, for any part of a tax year, within the Village of Mantua, shall, whether or not a tax is due and regardless of whether such person is subject to income tax withholding, make and file a return on or before April 15, 2007 at midnight”.
These tax dollars are used for the general Municipal operations, maintenance, new equipment, extension and enlargement of Municipal services and facilities and capital improvements of the Village of Mantua. This includes, Police operations, maintenance of Hillside cemetery and Buchert Park, Spring cleanup, curbside brush pickup and street lighting.
New businesses in the Village, need to register at the new Administration Building on High St.
NEWS FROM THE LIONS CLUB
CONGRATULATIONS! to the winners of the Christmas tree sale raffle. Items in the raffle included a beef roast, ham, turkey and Cracker Barrel gift certificate. Winners include Bill Massy, Debbie Vogias, Tim Winterich and Dorothy Lallathin. Thank you to all who supported our sales during the Christmas holiday.
200 Club winners for November: Ruby Heldman and Danny Leader- $25, Ed Burn - $50. For December: Robin Popek and Joe Hull - $25, John Kennedy - $50.00. For January: Wendy Ullman and Rick Albrecht - $25, Tim McDermott - $50. Congratulations to all winners!
Lions Fun Calendars are for sale from any Lions member or contact Lion Harold Ullman at 330-274-2516. The cost is $30 each and are good for one year. Each calendar has a 3 digit number and the winners are based on the Ohio Lottery Pick 3 daily numbers. These make great gifts, as you can win several times during one year.
House number signs are available from the Lions Club. Help identify your address from the road for easy finding. Custom signs are available from Lion Jim Spence at 330-274-2346. Cost of the green and white signs is $15 each.
Sight referrals should be directed to Lion Doug McIntosh at 330-274-2384. All information is kept confidential and certain qualifications apply. Referrals should be limited to the Crestwood School District. Lions Clubs are made of volunteers in the community who donate their time and talents to helping raise funds for sight-related needs in the community. Eye exams and eyeglasses are provided at no charge to certain qualified individuals.
If you are interested in learning more about the Crestwood Lions Club, contact Membership Chairman Tim McDermott at 330-274-0837 or check us out on the web at crestwoodlionsoh.lionwap.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
…………John Evans, PR Chairman
Village residents arrived in droves to see sketches of possible improvements for downtown’s commercial district on January 31st at the fire station. E.G.&G., Inc project manager, Rod Garrison, spoke about the Downtown Mantua Revitalization project before asking for feedback and questions from the audience. Part of his presentation, along with the Q&A that followed is below. Visit www.MantuaShalersvilleChamber.com and click on Revitalization for ongoing updates to the project and look for the large sketches displayed in businesses downtown.
Mantua Village has many assets including its status as the traditional center for local government and commerce, its stock of historic buildings, its location along the Ohio River and the Headwaters Trail, and its convenient access to the Ohio Turnpike. These assets and others make Mantua Village an attractive community in which to live and work.
However, the deteriorating, worn out, and unattractive appearance of Mantua’s downtown district street corridors communicate a negative image of the Village to visitors and adversely affect the community’s economic development potential and quality of life.
Economic Development “Truths”:
- Private investment is attracted to areas of perceived opportunity
- The perception of opportunity is heavily influenced by location image
- Downtown is the area of the community most often seen by visitors
- Downtown must project a strong and positive location image in order to attract investment to the community
The Mantua Downtown Revitalization Project is addressing the need to improve the location image of the downtown district. The design drawings describe a comprehensive program of street corridor capital improvements that will help Mantua Village re-establish a stronger and more positive downtown district image, attract new business investment, create jobs, address infrastructure needs, support property values, re-create an environment conducive to economic development, and enhance quality of life for the entire community.
What are prices of bike racks, waste receptacles, benches? Depends on style, material, construction, typical metal bench expected to last 20 years costs about $900-$1,100.
Could we consider artistic alternatives to traditional trash receptacles (ex. Concrete with recycled glass as used in Canton)? Yes; possibly in just a few locations; try to maintain overall historic look in revitalized area.
What portion of costs can be covered by grants vs. local funding? Typically 30% local, 70% grants (ODOD, OPWC, other)
Who writes grant applications? E.G.&G.
How have private owners responded in other areas? Positive response and efforts to keep up with improved look.
Will private owners be charged for upkeep? Decision is usually by choice of the local government; however, that is probably NOT an option in Mantua due to existing financial burdens of many businesses and residents.
If utility wires are moved underground, where will the work start? First phase area; often dictated by available grants.
Whose name is on the grants? Project sponsor – the Village
What about cost overruns; typical in construction? Only if unforeseen; rare because budget anticipates 10% over bids.
How will the project address the floodplain area south of town, east of St. Rt. 44? The project addresses public areas, specifically the street right-of-way areas; the floodplain is private property.
Will there be dealings with the Army Corps of Engineers? Unlikely, due to the focus on public/street areas and not wetlands.
What about annual maintenance costs? E.G.&G. will provide a summary of anticipated costs for upkeep. Revitalized areas often see savings in the long-run because less “band-aid” maintenance is required.
How long will each phase take and who will pay for future phases? Each phase should take 1½ construction seasons and the same funding/grant sources will be approached for each phase; they expect and welcome future requests as they like to give money to successful endeavors.
Will businesses be wheelchair accessible after project? Depends on threshold of each building; sidewalks will be brought as close as possible to level with entrances.
How will traffic be re-routed during construction? One lane will always be open and access to businesses will be maintained. The goal of the project is to improve business, so every effort will be made to minimize inconvenience for everyone.
ROTARY CLUB NEWS
The recent Christmas Tour of Homes in November, 2007, was very successful, thanks to the four beautiful and unique homes of the Osters, the Millers, the Ehlerts, and the Fischers.
The Candlelight Tour at the Fischers was a sellout. The craft show was very popular at TL Express and lunch at St. Joseph’s was delicious. The Rotary Club would like to express their gratitude to home hosts and all others who helped to make this event successful.
In January, Rotary purchased 300 dictionaries and presented them to all the third grade students in the Crestwood Schools. The comment of one little girl last year makes us realize how worthy a cause this project really is. She said, “Oh, thank you. This is the first book I’ve ever had.”
The Club’s next project is the 4th annual Variety Show at Haydn Auditorium at Hiram College. The show will take place on Saturday, April 5th at 8:00 pm. This should be a great program with a variety of local talent and something for everyone. Come for a fun evening and a chance to help with Rotary’s projects in scholarships and student recognition.
Adult tickets are $10.00, student tickets are $5.00 and both are available from club members or at the door.
Many home projects require a Zoning permit and some require both a Zoning and a Building permit.
Some projects that will require a permit are:
- New buildings and/or accessory buildings.
- Swimming pools
- A. Awnings or canopies are considered as signs
If you are replacing a roof and do not change the structure of the roof, you do not need a zoning permit. If you are replacing doors and/or windows in a structure with new replacements, but are not making them any larger, you do not need a zoning permit.
If you are in doubt or have any zoning questions, please call the Zoning Inspector, Bill Zoller, at 330-274-3199, leave a message and your call will be returned.
Zoning permit applications may be picked up at Mantua Village Hall from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday thru Friday.
With any of these projects, you still need to check with the Portage County Building Department to see if you need a Building permit.
A reminder: If you are using a contractor for any project in the Village, the contractor must register with the Village. They can do so by going to the Village Hall office, at 4750 W. Prospect St., or by calling the office at 330-274-8776.
You, as a resident, should check to ensure they have done so prior to allowing them to start on your project.
When planning your project, be sure to allow time for the permit application process, both with the Village and the County (if needed).
…….Bill Zoller, Zoning Inspector
NEWS FROM THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT
SPRING CLEAN UP
The Village is sorry to announce that it WILL NOT be offering a pick-up for your trash items this Spring. If necessary you may contact the Portage County Solid Waste District at 330-678-8808 for assistance in disposing of your items.
Hydrant flushing will take place in the Village on April 15th, 16th and 18th weather permitting. Users will experience discolored water during this period and are advised to run the cold water only until clear. Perhaps it would be a good idea to put off doing laundry for those couple of days until the system is back to normal.
The Village Service Department received many compliments on our snow and ice control this winter. We take great pride in trying to do our best and hope that it is reflected in out service to you. We are very grateful for the courtesies and understanding that have been extended to us by the Village residents.
The brush collection program for 2008 will commence in May and continue monthly until and including October. Pick-up will be on the second Monday of the month except for Village holidays. If a holiday, then brush pick-up will begin on the next day, Tuesday. Please help us continue this successful program by following the instructions below.
Residents may place brush at the curbside for collection, taking care to not block sidewalk areas. Only brush and branches shall be placed with the cut ends at the curb with length not to exceed ten (10) feet and diameter not to exceed three (3) inches. Large diameter branches and trunks will not be taken. Chipping crews will spend a maximum of 20 minutes chipping at each residence.
Piles of brush should be on tree lawn or close to curb with cut side facing the street. This allows the crew to work more efficiently and safe. Avoid stacking brush too high as it may pose a traffic hazard. If brush is too long, it may be placed lengthwise on the tree lawn cut ends facing same direction. Bagged yard waste (i.e. grass clippings, flowers, briars, thorny bushes, and etc.) will not be picked up.
Chipping is intended for brush collection that has been trimmed by homeowners during routine maintenance. The homeowner will be responsible for the disposal of brush/limbs from removal of tree(s), lot clearing; clearing along fence line or property boundaries and it is not to be placed at curb. If a contractor has been hired to perform the work the contractor is responsible for brush/limb removal and it is not to be placed at curb.
If anyone has any questions regarding the brush pickup or would like to obtain free wood chips, please call the Village of Mantua Service Department at 330-274-8188.
During the months of April, May & June the Village will be notifying those resident and business property owners that have sidewalks in need of repair or replacement.
Every year sidewalks needing repair or replacement are selected and processed according to the Village Codified Ordinance sections from 913.03 to 913.05 inclusive.
For further information or questions please contact the Village Administrator, Ed Trego, at 330-274-8188.
MANTUA POLICE DEPARTMENT YEARLY REPORT - 2007
The Police Department handled a total of 196 cases during the last year. A few of these cases are still under investigation, but most have been cleared.
They have dealt with assaults, thefts, phone harassment, criminal damage, disorderly conduct, accidents, vandalism, drug-related problems, and property damage.
There were 40 criminal arrests, 33 accidents, 871 warnings, 361 traffic and parking citations and the cruisers were driven a total of 42,609 miles.
The 33 accidents involved a total of 65 vehicles, 51 vehicles damaged, 8 vehicles required towing, no injuries and no deaths.
Total phone calls handled by the department dispatchers, including 911 calls was 7,209. There were 477 mutual aid calls for other departments, plus 55 meetings, training sessions and seminars attended by various officers.
Other statistics include:
Officer hours worked 10,266 Dispatch hours worked 9,417 Motorist & public assist 582 Open doors/windows 141 Suspicious persons/vehicles 240 Bar checks 503 House checks 1,228
Other Department activities include: security for parades and races, patrol of the school zones, foot patrols in the downtown area, checking lift stations, reservoir, water and sewer plants and Safety Town (for bicycle safety).
Presently, the Mantua Police Department consists of 4 full-time and 7 part-time Officers, 3 full-time and 5 part-time Dispatchers.
It is the policy of this Department to provide the best possible assistance to our citizens, to meet your needs with courteous and professional service - To Serve And Protect.
If you would like additional information regarding any of our programs or have any questions or concerns, please call the Police Department at 330-274-2251.