by Laura Bednar
July 11 township trustees meeting
Bath Township trustees held a budget hearing before their regular meeting to outline proposed expenditures for 2023. Township Administrator and Police Chief Vito Sinopoli outlined township finances by department.
He said property valuations in the township remain stable, and the township has no outstanding debt. Bath received over $1 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, created to aid local governments affected by the pandemic.
The budget for the general fund is $2.9 million and includes computer replacements, improvements to North Fork Preserve on Everett Road, HVAC heat pump replacements and Summit County Public Health fees. The police department budget includes computer replacements, three cruiser replacements, fuel expenses and hiring another full time officer for a total of $4.1 million.
Sinopoli said the fire department budget is almost $3.1 million and includes money for fire apparatus, protective clothing, a wage increase per the International Association of Fire Fighters and hiring an assistant fire chief.
The service department’s budget of $2.6 million covers a five-ton dump truck and construction projects including crack sealing, concrete panel replacement, paving, catch basin repair and any service requests.
A budget of $716,590 is planned for the parks department, including parking lot improvements, trail improvements, athletic field rehab and equipment purchases to be determined later.
Trustees approved the total 2023 budget of $16.7 million. Sinopoli highlighted the most significant expenditures with the remainder of the budget appropriated for areas such as the Bath Center Building, zoning services, road and bridge fund and capital improvements.
Trustee Sharon Troike reiterated that the projected budget for each department includes a “wish list” of items. “It’s not what we propose to spend,” she said, adding that the approved budget must be sent to Summit County.
Trustee Elaina Goodrich swore in Bath’s newest firefighter/paramedic, Rachel Rexroad. She is the department’s only female firefighter, and her appointment was effective July 19. “I am so thrilled we have the opportunity to have a female firefighter in our midst,” Troike said.
Trustee Sean Gaffney echoed her excitement, saying he was impressed after meeting Rexroad.
Vendors and highway policing
Trustees approved legislation requiring transient vendors who solicit door-to-door to register with the Bath Township zoning office. Registration fee is $150 for each business entity and a record of registrants will be kept at the zoning office. According to the resolution, vendor activities are only allowed from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays and no more than four representatives can represent an organization.
The resolution does not apply to nonprofits, charitable groups or vendor activities authorized by trustees in connection with a township-related event.
In accordance with Ohio House Bill 206, trustees authorized Bath police officers to enforce certain laws on interstate highways that extend through their jurisdiction. Sinopoli said there were some concerns that the township police would use their authority to create a speed trap on the highway. He said this would not be the case, because money from traffic citations goes to the county.
“This gives us the ability to take on a primary role,” Sinopoli said, adding that Bath police wouldn’t have to wait for the county sheriff or other entity to take action like issuing a traffic citation.
Goodrich said 40 townships in Ohio qualify for this extension of power.
In other news
- Part time Bath police officer Mike Roberts retired at the end of June after more than 22 years of service.
- The zoning boards and commissions are seeking interested applicants to fill vacancies. Letters of inquiry can be sent to Planning Director/Zoning Inspector William Funk at email@example.com.
- An online survey of community services will be unveiled in the Bath Summer Quarterly. The survey includes topics such as zoning regulations, housing availability, public communication methods, broadband and department services. The community survey will be open until Sept. 30. ∞