Mantua Matters
September 2009


I hate to see summer come to an end. Warm, but not too warm days and nights cool for sleeping. Easy on the air conditioning. But now we have the beautiful colors and the scents of fall, the leaves to rake and flower beds to put to sleep for the winter.

I have a correction to make from the Summer edition article on our new Zoning Inspector. John has been blessed with 5 grandchildren, not just 1. My apologies to him and his family. This issue covers September, October, and November, plus a few past events. Please read and enjoy!


Village Hall330-274-8776
Police Department330-274-2251
Fire Department330-274-3535
Service Department330-274-8188
Income Tax330-274-8776
Time Warner Cable1-800-683-1000
Lodge/Park Rental330-274-8776
Water/Sewer Billing330-274-8188
Mantua Township
Marie Stehli330-995-2640
Shalersville Township
Dorothy Caldwell330-274-3655
John Vechery330-274-8776
Mantua Matters330-274-8737
Trash Pickup:
Universal Disposal1-440-286-3173
Waste Mgt. Of Ohio1-800-232-5749
Sunburst Env. Serv1-800-782-2475
P. C. Recycling330-678-8808

Council meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the new Administration Bldg.


Well, it is impossible to believe that fall is almost upon us. It seems like only yesterday we were enjoying the soap box derby, and Art on the Hill. Despite the monsoon that threatened this event, everyone pitched in and helped one another to keep tents from flying away and gathered together through the downpour as best they could. Finally the sun came back out and so did the people. What a wonderful time and what an asset to our community this event was. Thank-you to the DMRC and a special thank-you to Laura Landreath, and Christine Pitsinger for all their efforts to make this a great event.

This year through the efforts of the Garden Girls and many store owners, we had lovely flowering baskets throughout town enhancing our Village. Very soon we will have welcome banners adding a decorative touch to our downtown streetscape as well. These have been graciously donated through the Mantua Shalersville Chamber of Commerce, a special thank-you to them as well as to Signtist, Frank Majni.

As promised, I am happy to welcome Sergeant Bob Reitz back from retirement. I am also delighted to report that on August 20th, 2009 the Mayor of Hiram and I met with Chief Harry Buchert and Chief Lombardi from Hiram in the Village Police Dispatch Center. An agreement was signed authorizing The Village of Mantua to provide twenty-four hour dispatch for police, fire and emergency medical services for the Village of Hiram. This means an increase to the Village of Mantua of approximately $30,000. annually. Chief Buchert and I met several times with Hiram’s Mayor and their Village Council to make this a reality for the Village of Mantua.

The Board of Zoning Appeals is looking for a volunteer secretary to attend all BOZA meetings (approximately 2 to 3 a year) responsibilities would be primarily minute taking. Anyone interested please contact me at or 330-274-8776 Ext. 155.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Potato Festival!

Donna Hawkins, Mayor


We survived the 2007-2008 Audit. At this point, we haven’t seen our final audit report, but one of the members of our audit team felt that our audit went well and was pretty standard. It was a great learning experience for me, as most of this job has been. The auditor’s really aren’t that scary.

This November, the Village has four Council seats up for election or re-election. If you aren’t sure about who to vote for, why not attend a Council meeting? Get to know your Council members and learn about the things they do in the name of true Community Service. They don’t do it for the money, as the pay is minimal. Council people truly care about their community and really appreciate your suggestions and ideas. Council meets the third Tuesday of each month. Call me for details! For any new candidates, thank you for wanting to get involved in your town, and best of luck in the November election!

For all of you crazy go-getters that start their Christmas shopping in September and have all of your shopping done and gifts wrapped by Halloween, I salute you. You are purchasing gifts before all the prices go up for holiday shopping! I wish I could be that way, but whenever I start buying early, I end up giving early! Home-made cards have become quite popular, too! Use your imagination! I have received several homemade cards and I treasure them! Remember not to use square envelopes. They must be rectangular or the Post Office will hit you with a surcharge. Check and in the search bar type in “measuring tips”. There is a list of things that could generate a surcharge. Might as well start now while you can work outside at the picnic table and enjoy the changing leaves.

Speaking of leaves, if you use leaves for treating your garden or mulch pile, our Service department does not mind if you take the bagged leaves that the residents place along the curb throughout the fall season. Please be safe about stopping along the road to collect them.

Finally, I wanted to give a very long distance “Hello” to my friend Sharon that grew up in this area and attended Crestwood, but moved away to beautiful Bozeman, Montana. She reads the Mantua Matters on line as well as meeting minutes and other tidbits from

Enjoy your beautiful Autumn season!

Jenny August, Village Clerk-Treasurer



Mantua Village once again will be participating in the annual events along the beautiful Cuyahoga River. We look forward to this Saturday every year, as we join with you and your families, in celebrating along and on our River.

This year Mantua Village will host “RiverScape 2009” during the Potato Festival in September. This is a venue sponsored by the Upper Cuyahoga River Watershed Task Force. Mantua Village, along with many other State, County and area agencies who come together with activities that are fun, educational, and interactive for all.

Look for these activities which includes displays, demonstrations on the river, scenic , kid’s contests and much more On Saturday, September 12, 2009 from Noon-6:00pm.


The monthly brush pick-up is under way and will continue on the 2nd Monday of each month unless a holiday.

The last brush pickup this year will be on Tuesday, October 13th. Remember, wood chips are available to all Village residents. They can be picked up at the Service Department at 4880 E. High St., beyond the river or contact us at 330-274-8188 for delivery.


Phase 1 The first phase of the Glacial Esker Park Trail is under way. The proposed trail improvements will extend the existing Glacial Esker Trail which ties into the Headwaters Trail and the construction of three (3) observation decks. This project will be located behind and adjacent to the Village Water Treatment Plant just off of Orchard and Line Streets.

The project will promote recreational activity by providing safe access to new types of environment, providing residents and visitors access not only woodland but wetland and other riparian habitat, while linking to the Village, Township, Charles A. Tummonds Scenic River Preserve and beyond.

Many hours of donated labor and materials along with a large State ODNR grant will have made this possible. The observation deck of this project will be completed in the near future by three (3) local area Boy Scouts for their Eagle Badge project. We hope to have the project completed by late November or early December.


The leaves will soon be falling. Remember to get your CLEAR leaf bags, free of charge, from the Village Police Department, Village Service Garage or the Fire Station. Fill them with leaves only, (no brush, bushes, etc.) and place them on the tree lawn. The Service Department will then pick them up. We will not pick up other colored plastic bags.

The Village is proud of the fact that the bagged leaves from past years have been recycled into nurseries and other area agricultural uses. This approach has saved the Village quite a sum of money. The key to the program’s success is the effort put forth by you, the citizen. The disposal of yard waste, like solid waste disposal is quite an expensive alternative to a little elbow grease.


The Village of Mantua will NOT be having a Fall clean-up this year.


We all remember how burdened we were with heavy snow fall in past winters. The snow caused great concern for the safety of our children.

Many areas of the Village had sidewalks that were impassable – blocked by built-up plowed snow. Out citizens, then, and especially our children, were forced to make the unsafe decision to walk in the street.

So this winter, as you clean your driveways and lots, remember to keep the sidewalks clear. Don’t push snow into the roadway, and be especially careful to keep traffic corners clear for visibility.

We must all work together to keep our sidewalks clear and snow piles low for safety. This is a community problem that needs our collective attention.

Ed Trego, Village Administrator


“The yellow school buses are on the road again with the start of school,” says the Mantua Police Department.

The Chief offers the following list of safety rules for children who are riding those buses to school:

When waiting for the school bus:

When getting on the bus:

When riding on the bus:

When leaving the school bus:

“Be a safe passenger, who sets good example and obeys all the school bus safety rules, and all of our children will get to school and back safely.”

H. W. Buchert, Chief of Police


Congratulations to the Crestwood Thunder Baseball Team. They finished in second place in the Great Lakes Baseball League, 16U Division, regular season and playoffs. They finished the regular season with a 12-3-1 record. At the GLBL championship game, the Thunder was defeated 2 – 1 by the Jefferson Baseball Academy in Jefferson.

Players include Cody Miller, Tony Sargiovanni, Aaron Jackson, Kyle Fisher, Darren May and Andy Aubie of Crestwood, Trevor Ross of Champion, Alex Zeman of Bedford, Bill Hickey, Jared Berger, David Brock and Ty Hegedus of Aurora. The team was coached by Jeff Jackson and Jim Sargiovanni. Congrats guys on a great season!!

Safety Tips for Potato Festival

As the Village of Mantua prepares for the thirty-six annual Mantua Potato Festival, we, as residents of the Village should take note of a few safety tips that can help you during this weekend. Chief Buchert recommends for your safety and welfare the following tips.

  1. Always lock your home and vehicles, and if not at home leave a few lights on around the house along with the TV or radio. This will give the effect that there is someone home.

  2. Park in designated areas of the village, preferable lighted areas.

  3. Don’t park on the roadway or on the sidewalks. This will result in citations to the owner and possible towing of the vehicle.

  4. Don’t leave personal property out for the taking such as bicycles.

  5. Be aware of when and where the roadways well be closed off to the public for festival activities such as the foot race on Saturday and the parade on Sunday.

  6. Don’t let anyone you don’t know into your house to use the phone, bathroom or whatever they may request. You should call the police and we well provide what ever assistance they may need.

  7. Don’t let your small children attend the festival by themselves and your older children should check in with you periodically.

This weekend should be a successful weekend for all of us when we work together. The Police Department is here to serve you and remember to Buckle-Up and Don’t Drink and Drive.

H. W. Buchert, Chief of Police


As flower gardens begin to fade in autumn, gardeners wonder if their perennials will survive the winter. Most of them will be back for another summer even if you do nothing to them.

But, if you like a neat, clean garden, some pruning can be done after blooming is over. Of course, there are exceptions – hydrangeas for example, are best left alone. Some gardeners let a 3 or 4 inch top growth remain to catch the snow, which will hold winter mulch in place.

Tender bulbs that cannot tolerate freezing should be dug up after the first frost. Some familiar ones are gladiolas, tuberous begonias, cannas and caladiums. They should be air dried and store until spring in a temperature not above 50 degrees. A woven onion bag can be used or a cardboard box with holes to allow air to circulate. Layer the bulbs with vermiculite to allow air to move through the box. Replant in early spring for lovely, decorative flowers in a wide range of colors and sizes.

A little care and attention in the fall will reward you with a beautiful garden next spring.

Emma Leferink, Publicity
Mantua Village Garden Club


Current styles of children’s clothing, especially items with drawstrings bring new injury risks. You might want to consider removing drawstrings on hoods or around the neck of clothing. If there are drawstrings at the waist or bottom of an article of clothing, trim them down to no longer than 3 inches.

Also, items such as backpack straps, dangling key chains, scarves and belt buckles can also be a danger. They can catch in a small gap in playground equipment, a bus handrail or a nail or bolt.

Another problem is backpacks. How much weight is your child toting back and forth each day? Textbooks, notebooks, lunch, etc, can add up to a lot of weight on young spines.

Kids can experience chronic shoulder, neck and back pain, especially if they are carrying more than 10-20% of their body weight, if they have to walk to school or carry their backpack on only one shoulder.

Buy a backpack that has wide, padded shoulder straps, limit the weight your child is carrying and make sure that you child wears it over both shoulders.


The subject of public records has been a much-discussed topic at the last few Council meetings. Robin Rose of the State Auditor’s Office, Open Government Section, will be presenting an Ohio Public Records and Meetings Seminar – The Sunshine Laws, on November 18, 2009, from noon to 3:15 pm, at the M-S Fire Department Community Room.

This free seminar will satisfy requirement of officials elected November 3, to attend a Public Records/Meeting class. Registration is only required for those who wish to receive the certificate of completion at the end of the seminar. A handout of the Power Point presentation along with a 2009 Sunshine Laws book will be provided to those who register.

While registration is not required, it will be helpful to know, so that extra books are available. The information need for registration is: name, address (both street & mailing), telephone number and email address. Attorneys attending to receive CLE hours also need to provide their attorney ID#.

Knowledge of Public Records and Meetings laws are for those who conduct meetings and maintain public records, as well as those who attend meetings and make public record requests.

To register or ask questions, please contact Dawn Pechman at 330-274-7187,, or call Jenny at Village Hall.

Dawn Pechman


This report covers the months of May, June and July, 2009

Total Cases:239
Traffic/Parking Cites:133
Criminal Arrests:24
Calls to Dispatch:1942
Total Mileage:9489
Mutual Aid Calls:63
Officer Hours Worked:2018
Dispatch Hours Worked:2286
Citizen/Motorist Assists:57
Open Doors/Windows:11
Suspicious Persons/Vehicles:34
House Checks:102
Bar Checks:42
Water/Sewer Plant Checks:81
Reservoir Checks:102
Lift Station Checks:383


Hiram township resident Ellie Monroe through her organization, Quilts for Causes, has donated a beautiful, handmade Queen-size quilt to the DMRC (Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation) to be raffled off as a fundraiser. The handmade quilt is on display at the Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce / DMRC / Mantua Rotary office on Main Street.

Try your luck at this beautiful quilt valued at over $1,000! Ticket sales will go though the close of the Mantua Potato Festival on September 13th. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5 and can be purchased at the Middlefield Bank, Mantua Branch, Advanced Rehab in Mantua or by calling Christine Pitsinger at 330-414-6486 or at communityjournal  

The DMRC formed three years ago with the mission to implement a consensus-based plan to enhance the appearance of downtown Mantua. This plan’s intent is to bring shoppers, pedestrian traffic, and residents downtown to enjoy Mantua’s historic district, featuring eateries, professional offices, niche shops, and downtown living spaces, which support the river and planned growth to preserve the community’s rural character. 

The organization has planned various events since it began, including the well attended "Walking Through Mantua’s Past" last fall as well as "Mantua's Art on the Hill" which was held in July and featured over 60 artisans displaying and selling their handmade art.

For more information about the DMRC, call Becky Newell at 216-990-5086 or visit

Community Journal


Mantua Township has awarded a contract worth $452,603 to Ronyak Bros. Paving, Inc. of Burton to pave the township portions of Hillcrest, Coldbrook, Ambler and Fernway Drives. 60% of the contract will be paid for by Ohio Public Works grant funds, with the township paying $135,781.

Tree work has already begun and is being done by Mantua Township workers. Work to be done will include ditching, paving, berming, striping and tree removal.

Please give all road workers, be they from the Village, Township or contractor, your utmost consideration and respect as they work to improve the condition of these roads.

Marie Stehli, Clerk
Mantua Township


The lack of hanging flower baskets in the Village this year is no accident. Instead of flowers that have to be maintained constantly, the Chamber has decided to donate banners featuring the emblem from the Village Hall. These banners will be up for the Potato Festival and will be put up annually, every summer from Memorial Day until the end of the season. Six banners will be installed initially, with six more in reserve.


Mark your calendars for Friday, September 4th! Soup Suppers are back at the Village Park Lodge beginning at 6:00 pm, on the first Friday of each month.

The American Legion and Auxiliary will be serving a huge variety of homemade soups, desserts, salads and the very popular hot dog bar with all the trimmings plus beverage (coffee, tea, lemonade or water). After everyone has been served, you are welcome to return and have all you can eat.

The cost remains the same - $6 for adults and $3 for children. Soda is available at 50 cents per can. There is no tax and no tip. These suppers are open to the public. You can’t beat the price, the delicious food and the chance to visit with friends and neighbors.

The first Legion meeting of the year will be held on Thursday, September 10th at 7:30 pm, at the Post Home (4808 E. High St.). Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month.

Officers for 2009-2010 are: Commander – Joyce Hannum, 1st. Vice Cmdr – Bob Gharky, 2nd Vice Cmdr – Bob MacLearie, Adjutant – Mark Gray, Finance Officer – John Kowalchik, Chaplain – Jesse Crate, Service Officers – Roy Mayfield and Mark Strekal, Sergeant-At-Arms – John Hitti, Historian/Web Mgr. – Chris Vince.

Legion Auxiliary meetings begin for the year on Monday, September 14th at 1:00 pm, at the Post Home on High Street. Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of each month.

Officers for 2009 – 2010 are: President – Dorothy Brady, Vice-President – Ruth Balge, Secretary – Rose Hitti, Treasurer – Eileen Kinter, Chaplain – Virginia Gharky, Sergeant-At-Arms – Sharon Steiner, Membership Chairman – Marie Smith.


On June 20, 2009, a Dedication Ceremony was held at the Mantua Center Village Green, for the receipt and placement of an Ohio Historical Marker. This event was a result of much work by many people, Linda Ehlert President of the Mantua Historical Society, Past President Dottie Summerlin, the Mantua Center Christian Church, Steve Hurd and the Ohio Women’s Ministry. The Mantua Township Trustees, the Mantua Center Garden Club, American Legion Post 193, Virginia Goodell and the Community Choir, Ronnie Kotkowski and Sam Bixler for providing the stagecoach and carriage, Ed Haney and Debbie Weinkamer for their portrayal of President and Mrs. James Garfield.

The Marker was placed on the Village Green which is surrounded by the Mantua Civic Center, formerly the Methodist Episcopal Church, Eastlawn Cemetery, with a burial that dates back to 1816, the 1840 Township Hall, which once served as a schoolhouse, later as a Grange Hall and now is home to the Mantua Historical Society.

The Mantua Historical Society wishes to thank the many individuals and organizations that made today’s event possible.


February 23, 2009 Marketing Mantua Workshop #1

Michelle Barnauskas, Vice President of DMRC & owner of Business Image Solutions, helped 20 local business owners learn how to keep customers coming back & simple, inexpensive ways to market their businesses.

April 11, 2009 DMRC Emergency Meeting

Officers & Board met to discuss how they could help the Village meet its financial obligation to match $15,000 of a 2007 Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) grant by August 2009. Due to the Village’s financial situation, DMRC has been able to cover all but $4,000 of this obligation.

April 20, 2009 Marketing Mantua Workshop #2

Each participant from Workshop #1 gave an “Elevator Speech” & Michelle offered pointers. Attendees learned how to target their message and use various forms of low-cost advertising, then did online research for partnerships and cross promotional opportunities.

May 4, 2009 DMRC Annual Strategic Planning Meeting

Goals were revisited & Board member qualifications reviewed. Michelle distributed copies and reviewed the DMRC Bi-Annual Report for 2007-2008. The report includes details of DMRC accomplishments since its inception in 2007.

May 9, 2009 DMRC & Mantua-Shalersville Area Chamber of Commerce “Spring Spruce Up”

About 20 volunteers pulled weeds, planted, spread mulch, swept, washed windows, and operated weed eaters & leaf blowers throughout the town to spruce it up for spring.

June 11, 2009 Town Meeting to Finalize Streetscape Sketches

Though lacking funds to begin construction, the Village must submit final concepts to ODOD in August; the project will proceed as funds become available, with infrastructure upgrades then aesthetic improvements. Meeting participants were asked to consider parking needs, accessibility and visibility…connectivity with the river, parks and trail…village walk-ability/bike-ability…crosswalks, bike racks, bike lanes, sitting areas. While awaiting infrastructure funding (typically from federal and state grants with matching funds from local our communities), minor enhancement projects such as pocket parks and moveable items such as benches are being discussed.

July 11, 2009 Mantua’s Art on the Hill

Despite inclement weather, hundreds of guests enjoyed Mantua’s Art on the Hill, part of Get-A-Way to Mantua which also included the Headwaters Adventure Race and Lenape Indian Pow-Wow. Over 50 artisans and about a dozen food vendors sold their handmade goods amid activities including hand-led pony rides, face painting, historical building tours, a Chinese Auction, and live music. Downtown merchants saw new faces and those who were prepared for the day’s events were rewarded with increased sales.

Coming up…September 2009 Mantua Potato Festival Booth & Parade

DMRC volunteers will highlight downtown Mantua’s assets with a parade float and festival booth where visitors can view historic photos, concept sketches, and pictures from recent events as well as make donations for t-shirts, Mantua Past & Present DVDs, and Walking Through Mantua’s Past DVDs.


January/February - Business Seminar co-sponsored with Chamber

March - Town Hall Meeting

April - Annual Board Meeting

May - Spring Spruce-Up with Chamber

July - Art on the Hill

September - Potato Festival Booth & Parade

October - Walking Through Mantua’s Past

Streetscape Fast Facts:

Cost breakdown for typical streetscape revitalization project:

58% Street/Walk Infrastructure
17% Underground Utilities
16% Street Lights
9% Furniture/Enhancements

Source of funds for typical streetscape revitalization project:

51% Federal Appropriation/Earmark
21% Ohio Public Works/Issue 2 Grant
15% Government (bond borrowing*)
5% Community Development Block Grant
8% Private Sector Memorial Drive


The Potato Festival Committee would like to remind you that Festival time is getting closer every day. Entry blanks for the Cook-Off will be in Crestwood area businesses and churches, the first week of August. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned cook, start looking for those potato recipes for your entry.

You may enter one dish in each category of Soup, Appetizer/Snack, Salad, Vegetable dish, Main dish, Bread, Dessert/candy, and Sweet Potato. Each must be made with real potatoes, no flakes or mixes.

Also, the Festival Parade is always searching for entries. The parade will step off from Crestwood High School at 2:00 PM, Sunday, September 11, and will honor those who helped on that terrible day eight years ago.

Entries and rules can be emailed to or by calling the Festival phone line at 330-274-0770 and forms will be mailed to you. We hope to have a large variety of entries and make this the biggest and best parade ever.


The Mantua Village Community Action Group has been formed with the idea of “bringing together local citizens”.

We believe that the Village of Mantua should be and can be a wonderful place to live, raise our children and to make friends and memories. Let’s work towards improving and maintaining the quality of life in the Village of Mantua. Our goal is to come together and stay connected to promote open dialogue between the citizens of Mantua and our Village officials.”

Their meetings are held on the last Thursday of each month, at 7:00 pm, at the Crestwood Special Services Building on W. Prospect St. All Mantua Village residents are welcome to attend, we need your input, ideas and suggestions!

For more information call: Linda Clark, 330-274-8448


4 C’s has had a very busy summer. The number of people using the food pantry has risen from 283 in January to 418 in July. The need for support is greater than ever. We have been very fortunate in that the Crestwood Community is very supportive. However, the numbers keep increasing and more people are in need of help every month.

Please consider contributing food or money to this vital cause. Some members of the community have used the occasion of birthday celebrations to encourage family members to donate food to the pantry instead of giving presents. Creative ways of helping the food pantry are always welcome. For over two decades, 4 C’s has provided emergency assistance to thousands of families and it is all accomplished with the help of many volunteers and the generous donation of the space by Hilltop Church of Mantua.

Please think of us if you or your group would like to help out. Donations may be taken to 4 C’s on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, between 1:00 and 3:00 pm. We are located at 4572 Prospect Street in the Mantua Hilltop Christian Church, rear entrance.

In November, Crestwood 4 C’s puts on a craft show to benefit the food cupboard. This year it will be on Saturday, November 21st at the Shalersville Town Hall from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Tables are still available, call Mary Ann Painley at 274-8580.

Barbara Pancost, Publicity
Crestwood 4 C’s Food Pantry

It has been awhile since I thanked everyone who makes this paper possible. The Village employees, groups and organizations who send me articles, to Jenny and Sue for copying and stapling, to the stores and banks who make it available for the residents, and my husband, Marty, who proof reads and finds my mistakes and is in charge of distribution. And, to you, the residents of the Village who read and hopefully, enjoy it. Please feel free to contact me with any ideas, suggestions, complaints or criticisms you may have. Your input is important to me.

If you have anything you would like to see in future issues, or any news about our town or your group or organization, please let me know. Contact me at 330-274-8737, Village Hall at 330-274-8776, email at

Bye for now, see you in December!

Diane Hura, Editor