Mantua Matters
June 2008


You may have read the recent Record Courier article referencing the proposed Shalersville Industrial Park that is being considered north of the turnpike. I’ve been heavily involved in this project since early January.

There has been considerable strategizing and brainstorming sessions with our Village Administrator, as well as our Village Engineer and Solicitor. Currently, we have begun negotiating with the county to provide wastewater treatment service to the 400 plus acre industrial park.

While this is something many of us have heard rumored over the years, it is encouraging that it is now at the State and County level. And although we have all paid dearly over the years for this state-of-the-art wastewater facility, it is encouraging to hope that it may finally pay off, considering also the Aurora Meadows project. Stay tuned as there are several other exciting factors that may have the potential to impact our Village in a very real and tangible way.

Village Clean-up

After much discussion by Council, it looked like we would have to forego our annual Village Clean-up. It was a welcome set of events that allowed us to have a very successful clean-up at very little cost to the Village. Actually, I am happy to report that the savings was approximately $5,000. I was able to contact the Director of Portage County Solid Waste (recycling) and at no cost to us, they set up dumpsters at the Service Garage. They collected tires, paint, appliances, and much miscellaneous.

We were able to donate many usable items, including a truck load of furniture to Local Family Services. Many thanks to all who made this a great success! Portage County Recycling asked only that I encourage each of us, myself included, to take advantage of curbside recycling. They pick up every other Wednesday on the West side and every other Monday on the East side. The next pickup date will be June 18th. Should you need bins, they can be delivered to your address by calling Portage County Recycling at 330-678-8808.


I must admit I was rather dismayed at the recent article in the Record Courier concerning the vote to pass the ordinance revoking the income tax credit, made by Council on a 4 to 2 vote on May 20th.

I would like to state that I did not make the comments attributed to me at the recent Council meeting. Frankly, it goes against the very reason I ran for this position as your Mayor. These comments came from a State of the Village Annual Mayor’s Address that I am required by the ORC to bring to the January meeting. Wherein I stated: “while I am new to this position, it is clear that we are presently forced to make financial decisions based on past decisions that have placed our Village finances in a highly negative position, unfortunately while at this point in time we have little choice but to act in response to the current situation, it is my hope that with purpose of heart we will turn this situation around. We need to be proactive rather than reactive. Strengthing the Village financial condition will require our leadership. It is our responsibility to prioritize services and set goals.” While I am opposed to the taking away of the tax credit, I do understand the dilemma that Council now faces. The fact that the Village has been operating in the red since 2001, as recently discussed in a Council Finance committee meeting, puts pressure on Council to find a way to make up for the deficit. However, in my opinion, as it can only be my opinion as I do not have a vote (only in cases of a tie) this burden should not rest on the 440 households that comprise the Village of Mantua.


I recognize the concern in the community regarding services. That was one reason I worked so hard to bring about the spring cleanup. I realize that there is a concern regarding our Police Department. Please understand that there have been no layoffs in the Police Department, period!!

There has, however, been a reduction in hours made in the Dispatch Dept. only, while at the same time, retaining the same employees and around the clock, 24/7, Police protection and Dispatch services.

Donna Hawkins, Mayor


I am enjoying my new position with the Village of Mantua! I am meeting people and learning new things everyday. It is a great challenge and I am excited about it.

I would like to take a moment to discuss the dreaded subject of Income Taxes. During the May Council meeting, Council passed resolution to remove the ½ % income tax credit that residents were receiving, if they were paying local income tax to another community were they are employed. This will be retroactive to January 1, 2008, for the taxes you will be paying next spring.

This was not an easy decision for Council to make, but very necessary. Our Village is in desperate financial straits and we are looking at every dollar coming and going. We will be linking up with the State in a program that helps us collect taxes from people that we may have overlooked. Income tax is not a household tax like property tax, it is for every adult who earns an income, including young adults still living at home. This is one of the steps we are taking towards getting Mantua back in the black again.

As your new Clerk-Treasurer, I can tell you that MONEY is my main interest (no pun intended!) I am always looking for ways to save a few bucks, and I am open to suggestions from YOU!! Let’s start by “greening” our water. People in Mantua are really complaining about the water/sewer bills. I have some great suggestions for you that could add up to a savings. Your effort will determine whether you can treat yourself to an ice cream on a hot day, or treat yourself to a weekend on a sunny beach somewhere! I’ll bet you have some great ideas to contribute!

1. No drips- A dripping faucet or running toilet can waste as much as 20 gallons of water a day. Get out the wrench and change the washers on your sinks and showers, or get new washerless faucets. Keeping your existing equipment well maintained is probably the easiest and cheapest way to start saving water.

2. Install new fixtures- Aerators on your faucets can significantly reduce water volume. You may want to invest in a low-flow shower head, or better yet, check out a showerhead with a “Pause” feature. If you don’t want to spend the money or can’t afford to spend the money right now, take a “Poor kid” shower. You just fill up a two gallon dishpan with hot water and set it in the shower. You can then use that to soap up and scrub, shave your legs, (hang a mirror in your shower and men can shave in the shower, too!) then turn on the shower just to rinse off! . Try an egg timer. Set it for five minutes. With discipline, you can learn to take a five minute shower! Changing your shower usage can cut up to 18 percent of your water bill, as well as your water heating bill.

3. Cultivate good water habits Try to turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving and always wash laundry and dishes with full loads. Always have a pitcher or jug near all of your sinks, and save the water that runs while you are waiting for the hot water to arrive. Use this water to water plants or hanging baskets. If you have to water your garden, do it during the coolest part of the day or at night to minimize evaporation. If you fill a 1-litre pop or water bottle with saved water and set it in the toilet tank, you will save a liter of water with each flush.

4. Harvest your rainwater -Put a rain barrel on your downspouts. Rain cisterns come in all shapes and sizes, from larger underground to free standing storage. Then you can water your garden or wash your car with free water.

5. Harvest your greywater -Water that has been used at least once but is still clean enough for other jobs is called greywater. Growing up, our washer had a feature called a “sudsaver” . You simply washed your “cleanest” dirty laundry first, and the rinse water went into a utility sink, and then was pumped back into the washer for the next load. You just had to be sure to wash the dirtiest clothes last. Simple practices such as emptying the fish tank in the garden instead of the sink are other ways to recycle your greywater. The bottom line? One way or another, avoid putting water down the drain when you can use it for something else.

A family of four averages approximately 260 gallons of water per day. You may not want to try all of these ideas, or you might have some great ideas of your own to share. To put things in perspective, take a quick look at your next water bill when it arrives. Stay tuned for more money saving ideas!

Jenny August
Clerk-Treasurer, Mantua Village

Volunteers are also compiling information on resources for existing companies and aspiring entrepreneurs. A soon-to-be completed Resource Guide will include a “wish list” of businesses the town is lacking, contacts for help refining a business plan, and were to go for affordable financing (see info following this article). Also, a building inventory is underway. DMRC officers have made many contacts who offered to help market our empty storefronts!

Did you know that the “Depot” across from McDonalds will soon become the “Made in Mantua Artisans Marketplace”? Those with high-quality, locally-produced goods are invited to contact Charles English at 330-274-2746 regarding space in the Depot. Plus, Mantua Rotary’s Country Market will be held outside the Depot on the 2nd and 4th Saturday, July through October.

If you have any questions or comments about DMRC, contact Edie Benner at 330-274-2747 or



Available at Middlefield Bank in Mantua or Advanced Rehabilitation and Health Specialists for a $20 contribution OR DVDs can be shipped for an additional $2 each. Order form at or send your name, address, phone number, email address and check payable to Downtown Mantua Revitalization Corporation to P. O. Box 111, Mantua, Ohio 44255.


Following a cold, wet and windy weekend of rally racing on May 17th & 18th, the Portage County Soap Box Derby is hoping for much better weather, as we plan our local race. This is a qualifying race, scheduled for June 14th, for the World Championship All American Soap Box Derby race.

Our local race will again be held on the High Street hill in the Village of Mantua. This year we will only be racing two divisions, stock and super stock. Unfortunately, we have not received enough interest in the masters division, which requires a minimum of six racers. The winner of the stock and super stock divisions will then compete against racers from around the United States, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and several other countries.

Several Portage County racers competed in our Spring rally, which is good practice for our Local race. Racing in cold temperatures intermittent rain and strong winds, our racers showed their dedication to the sport without complaint. Mallory Lorence won the super stock race on Saturday and Heather Pahoresky placed second in the stock division on Sunday. Other Portage County racers competing were Dakota Jay, Dakota Roosa, Anna Heritage, Alex and Amber Kachenko, Morgan Giaimo, Emily Turner, Jeffrey Lorence, Kameron Kukasky, A.J. Almy, Lane McCollum, and first-time racers Brady Starkey and Sam Ditirro.

Inspections and impoundment for the Portage County race will be held on Wednesday, June 11th and Thursday, June 12th at Vanguard Laser in Mantua. These inspections are to make sure that every car is built to All-American specifications and that every car is safe to drive. Following our race, we will hold an awards banquet for our racers on Thursday, June 26th, where each will receive a trophy and many other nice prizes.

The two Portage County winners can look forward to a week of Derby festivities, leading up to the Championship race on Saturday, July 26th. Winners of the World Championship win trophies and scholarships. Racers from Portage County became World Champions in 2004 and 2005.

We encourage everyone to come out on Saturday, June 14th, to watch and support our racers.

Barb Sovil



The monthly brush pick-up is underway and will continue on the second Monday of each month, excluding holidays through October 7th, 2008.

All brush is to be placed at the curb with the cut ends facing the street. Branches over 8 feet in length or 4 inches in diameter will not be picked up, nor will thorny bush trimmings or yard waste.

Chipping is intended for brush collection that has been trimmed by homeowners during routine maintenance. The Village crew will spend 20 minutes maximum at a property. The homeowner will be responsible for the disposal of brush and/or limbs from removal of tree lot clearing or cleaning, clearing along fence line or property boundaries and it is not to be placed at the curb.

If a contractor has been hired to perform the work, the contractor is responsible for brush/limb removal and is not to be placed at the curb. (Please see policy in total, available at the Service Department, 4880 E. High St.

Wood chips, while they last, are available at no charge to Village residents at the Service garage located at 4880 E. High St., or you can contact us for deliveries within the Village at 330-274-8188.


  1. After years of major infrastructure construction and replacement in the water and sewer areas, the focus now will be on storm and sewer projects if budget $$ permit. We will also be working in the park, cemetery and along the trails.

  2. We plan to complete the trail from the park pavilion to the river bridge off of Prospect St. later this year. 2. If the budget permits, we will be looping the existing Esker Trail and Rotary Grove located at the Water Plant, to make a complete circle around the wetlands. This will make a wonderful walk of approximately 1.25 miles when completed.

  3. We hope to be moving forward on Phase 2 of a storm sewer project from the west end of Franklin to Prospect St.


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 2008” during the Potato Festival in September. This is a venue sponsored by the Upper Cuyahoga River Watershed Task Force. The Village will join with many other State, County and area agencies who come together with activities that are fun, educational and interactive for all.

Look for time, date and other information in future Mantua Matters and Potato Festival flyers.

What You Should Know For
This Coming Severe Weather Season

More than a decade ago, tornadoes swept across southwest Ohio, claiming nearly 40 lives and devastating the community of Xenia. Man died needlessly because they were not aware of safety tips that could have saved their lives.

Some weather terms that you can expect to hear this season:

Peak tornado season in Ohio runs from April through mid-July, so Chief Buchert recommends the following safety tips:

The Chief also suggested the GET READY, GET SET, GO method of preparation for severe weather. He said, “GET READY, by knowing weather safety rules and having a plan. Listen closely to forecasts and watches to GET SET. As soon as a warning is issued, GO to a safe place.”

The Chief added, “If a tornado should hit your area, remember that they last only about 5 minutes and travel on the ground about 2 miles, so do your best to protect yourself and your family. Then, once the tornado has passes, follow these recovery procedures:

Chief Buchert mentioned that even though Ohio had a relatively quiet severe weather season last year, tornadoes can strike anytime. “Be prepared, your life may depend on it.”


The Mantua-Shalersville Fire District serves a response area of 54 square miles with a population of approximately 13,000.

Department personnel includes 1 Firefighter, 10 Firefighter/EMT, 21 Firefighter/Paramedic and 3 active reserve. The department has a total operating budget of $1,400,000. They donated a total of 65 smoke detectors.

There were a total of 1,379 calls during the year, 25 CO calls, 160 accidents, 259 fire calls and 935 EMS calls. (195 calls for Mantua Village, 516 for Mantua Township and 583 for Shalersville Township.)

There were 21 fatalities, which included, 9 DOA, 7 full cardiac arrest, 1 drowning, and 4 accident fatalities.

Other incidents include 2 motor vehicle accidents with trauma, 6 with major trauma, 5 extrications, 23 air ambulance (20 LifeFlight and 3 Stat MedEvac), 4 S.C.U.B.A., 2 animal rescue, 1 Hazmat and 2 plane crashes.

There were 12 working fires with a total structural loss of $888,000 with 4 civilian and 0 firefighter injuries.

They had 70 multiple run shifts (6 or more calls during a 24-hour shift) and 185 multiple run incidents (2 or more calls in progress at the same time), 7 incidents of automatic aid and 78 incidents of mutual aid.

Some figures were up from last year and some were down. All in all, a busy year for the Department. Our thanks to them for all that they do!

My thanks to Brooke Byers for providing this report.


A spokesperson for the Neighborhood Development Services, said in the midst of the country’s foreclosure crisis, now is the best time to buy a home.

Potential buyers should continue to be cautious. You need to go through the right channels to protect yourself from becoming part of another foreclosure headline. As if buying a home wasn’t intimidating enough, messages of doom and gloom can make new home buyers fearful and confused.

The NDS offers home-buying programs to help people through the process of buying a home. Among these programs are homebuyer education, financial fitness and foreclosure prevention.

We are a one-stop shop for home buyers who want to enter today’s market in the smartest way. At NDS we tell our clients that the most important thing to know about buying a home is that education is the key to reduce the risk of loan defaults.

Other services at NDS include determining the appropriate price range for a home, based on income, understanding rates and terms of mortgage notes, avoiding predatory lending and special low front-end predatory loans, learning what to expect from a real estate agent and how a title company works.

Purchasing a home can be an intimidating process, but it can be a great experience and a major move toward the accumulation of wealth. It’s also important to know that home ownership is not always the right fit for every family.

Dave Vaughn, Executive Director of NDS, said 3.8% of all homes in Portage County are “at risk” for foreclosure.

NDS is a chartered member of Neighborworks America, created by Congress to assist with housing issues. NDS covers a 16-county area of Ohio.

In the past two years NDS has counseled 281 property owners in Portage County who were under threat of foreclosure.

For more information about purchasing a house or learning about state-funded programs, call NDS at 330-297-6400 or visit


Pools, lakes, ponds and beaches mean summer fun and cool relief from hot weather. But water can also be dangerous for kids, if you don’t take proper precautions. Nearly 1,000 kids die each year by drowning. And most drowning occur in home swimming pools.

The good news is there are many ways to keep your kids safe in the water and make sure that they take the right precautions when they are on their own.

Kids need constant supervision around water, wherever it is. They can drown in less than 2 inches of water. Always watch children closely when they are in or near any water.

Any child over the age of 4, should learn to swim. But, don’t assume that a child who knows how to swim isn’t at risk for drowning. It is important to supervise kids while in the water, no matter what their swimming skill levels.

Teach your child to never swim alone. Using the buddy system means there is always someone looking out for you.

The bathroom is also full of dangers for youngsters. Never leave a young child unattended in the bathtub. Put away all hair dryers and other electrical appliances to avoid the risk of electrocution.

Hot water can also be dangerous for kids younger than 5. Their skin is thinner and they can burn more easily. Just 3 seconds of exposure to hot tap water can give a child a third-degree burn. Always test the water with your wrist or elbow before placing your child in the bath. You can also reduce the risk by turning the water heater thermostat in your home down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

*source: American Academy of Pediatrics


Now that school is out for the summer and the kids are out and about, here is a reminder regarding the curfew that exists in the Village.

Children under the age of 14 are not to be out, on the streets, between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am; ages 14 & 15 between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am; ages 16 & 17 between midnight and 6 am, unless they are in the company of a parent or legal guardian.


A REMINDER TO ALL DOG OWNERS IN THE VILLAGE: Ordinance 505.01 requires that all doges be licensed and are to be leashed at all times. This not only for the safety of others, but for your dog’s safety as well.

This Ordinance also provides for impound and fines should your dog be found lose, unleashed and/or unlicensed. In addition, Ordinance 200.14 provides for mandatory clean-up after any and all animals. Mutt Mitts are available at locations in the Park and along the trail. For walking on the street, you can carry a supply of small plastic bags in your pocket.

A few simple steps helps to keep our community cleaner and healthier for everyone. Thanks for your cooperation.


The United States Flag Code states: “The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning”.

American Legion Post 193 will host a flag burning ceremony on Flag Day, June 14th, at 5:00 pm at the Fire Station. This is a very solemn and moving ceremony, so please plan to attend.

If you have a flag that is old, worn, tattered, frayed, and/or faded, please contact any American Legion member.


Christ Lutheran Church, North Main St. in Mantua will be holding Vacation Bible School on June 9th -13th from 9:30 am to 12 noon.

The theme this year is Son Harvest County Fair. We welcome all children from ages 3 through the 6th grade. Pre-registration is not required, but if you wish to register your child, call Diane Lottig at 330-274-2868.

Come and enjoy the week with us. Hope to see you there!

Christ Lutheran Church will be holding its Annual Rummage Sale on July 18th and 19th, from 9 am to 1 pm.

There will be a large variety of items to choose from, probably the very thing that you have been searching for.

Please come and browse through the selection of treasures we have for you.


The Rotary Club of Mantua has been involved with its weekly meetings and activities. In January, the club gave 300 dictionaries to every third grader in the Crestwood School District.

In April, the Variety Show drew a lot of favorable attention to the great combination of individual and single acts at Hiram College Hayden Auditorium.

Getting rave revues were the Geauga Cloggers, Dancer Heather Ristau, Soloist Laura Fedor, Juggler Armbruster, Bagpiper Robert Landies and a flute and bassoon duet by Soya Hermo and Paul Dreisbach. Newcomers Kyra Kelly with a reading on Dr. Seuss and pianist Gail Mangeri were received with much enthusiasm. Added to the popular veterans of the show, it proved to be a wonderful evening of entertainment.

One of the most rewarding club activities is the honoring of graduating seniors at Crestwood each year. Rotarian Pearl Austin presented these Rotary awards to the recipients at the awards ceremony on May 21st.

The Neale Parker Scholarship (of $1000.00) went to Kyle Pearce. The Harold Rendall Awards (of $500.00 each) were given to Anastasis Kalich and Cody Feder.

The top ten seniors and their parents were guests of the club for dinner on May 27th. President Jim Rogers presented each with certificates and Rotarian Bill Fosnight presented an appropriate program for the guests.

One of the most rewarding club activities is the honoring of graduating seniors at Crestwood each year. Rotarian Pearl Austin presented these Rotary awards to the recipients at the awards ceremony on May 21st.

The Neale Parker Scholarship (of $1000.00) went to Kyle Pearce. The Harold Rendall Awards (of $500.00 each) were given to Anastasis Kalich and Cody Feder.

The top ten seniors and their parents were guests of the club for dinner on May 27th. President Jim Rogers presented each with certificates and Rotarian Bill Fosnight presented an appropriate program for the guests.


This summer marks the 5th anniversary of the Mantua Rotary Club’s sponsorship of the Saturday morning Country Market. The club will kick-off the 2008 season on the grounds of the historic Mantua Train Station.

The Market will be held from 8:30 am to noon on the 2nd and 4th Saturday during the months of July, August, September and October. Vendors can rent booth space for $24 for the entire season.

For vendors who are unable to man their own booth, the Country Market offers a unique option; Rotary Club members will man the booth for them. The charge for this service is $48 for the entire season and includes the rental charge for the space. Space is also available under either program on a weekly basis.

The Country Market is the perfect place to “buy local” and fill your market basket with fresh, quality grocery items. In the past, vendors have provided a wide array of locally grown produce, baked goods, jams, vinegars, honey, eggs, maple products, candy, flower arrangements, fresh beef & poultry. Many talented crafters and artisans from the area offer beautiful boutique and gift items such as stained glass, quilts, birdhouses and jewelry.

The Rotary Club is actively seeking new vendors for the 2008 season. If you are interested in participating in the market, please contact Virginia Goodell at 330-274-2376 or Suzi Heintzelman at 330-760-0835.

AUGUST 9, 2008


The faithful gardeners of the Mantua Village Garden Club are busily planting flowers at six locations in the Village. Their hard work and dedication go a long way to beautify our community.

Besides purchasing the flowers, they will also tend to all flower beds by weeding, dead heading and watering all through the summer.

If you want to have a beautiful garden, join them at a club meeting, the first Monday of each month at noon, enjoy a delicious lunch and get some great tips and advice for your garden.

For more information, please call Carol Fenrich, President at 330-274-2343.

We truly appreciate all the hard work done by the Garden Club members.


The hard-working cooks from the American Legion & Auxiliary are taking a much needed rest for the next few months.

They would like to thank everyone involved with the monthly suppers. Those who help set up, clean up, make soup, salad, delicious desserts and all those who support the suppers by showing up to eat.

Because of the dates for Labor Day and the Potato Festival this year, Soup Supper will return to the Park Lodge on September 12th, so mark your calendars now.

During the summer break, give your stove a rest, check out some new recipes and scrub out your soup pot!


The Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate the 2008 scholarship recipients, Laurel Cope and Bethany Guegold. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide monetary encouragement to seniors to continue with higher education. The criteria for the $1000 award are: a senior of Crestwood High School with a GPA of 3.0 or better, accepted to an accredited 2 or 4 year institution located within the United States, and have demonstrated good citizenship, community awareness and be employed during their senior year. The Chamber thanks all those students who applied for the scholarships and hope to be able to choose from a full field next year.

The Chamber will welcome Vicky Hawke as its featured speaker for the June 18th meeting at the fire station.

Vicky is the Executive Director of the Northern Ohio Area Chamber of Commerce and she will discuss how membership in our Chamber, and therefore in the NOACC, can enhance a business’ profitability via group ratings in health insurance, worker’s compensation, payroll processing, and various training opportunities. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Vicky speak on how to improve your business ventures.

Marie Stehli