ARPA funds marked for major road project, creating general fund surplus

Nov. 15 special, regular trustees meeting

by Chris Studor

After months of discussion, trustees voted Nov. 15 to allocate approximately $850,000 in American Rescue Plan funds toward one major township road project. This, in turn, will create a surplus in general fund revenues that can be placed in the township’s capital improvement budget for a variety of smaller projects that will benefit the greater Hinckley community, according to Fiscal Officer Martha Catherwood.

“Trustees would have the option of using funds as needs arise including for emergencies,” said Catherwood.

While still tentative, the road project trustees are eyeing is Valley Brook in the Brookside Estates development, off Boston Road.

Trustee Melissa Augustine said she still favors using a portion of the funds to bring water to needed areas of the township. Augustine said she has received numerous calls from people who don’t have enough water pressure to wash a load of clothes.

Augustine also noted that that none of the businesses downtown have fire suppression systems because there is no city water line. Additionally, business owners have complained of well water ruining their plumbing and high fees paid to Medina County for monthly inspections of septic tanks and water cisterns. Karl Kastl, co-owner of Binky Commons, in the center of the township, has said that he doesn’t know of one business in the center of town that wouldn’t like to have city water.

During the Nov. 15 meeting, Medina County Sanitary Engineer Jeremy Simko described several ways water could be brought into Hinckley, breaking down the cost of each approach, noting the cost of materials has skyrocketed since trustees first looked at bringing water to the township.

One area where trustees have examined the possibilities of running a water line is on the former Skyland Golf Course property, which would allow water to travel down state Route 303 to Ridge Road, bringing water to the center of town from the south, and extending the water line from Mattingly Road.

Simko said that even if trustees decide not to use ARP funds for water lines, residents always have the option to petition the county for water. Simko said generally, at least a 50% commitment from residents is required, along with a $100 deposit and a signed legal agreement that affirms property owners will tie into the water line within two years or be assessed the tie-in fee.

Catherwood said in the past when the township sought a verbal commitment from residents, it was unable to reach the 50% commitment mark.

Trustees were expected to vote at the Dec. 6 trustees meeting to determine if the Medina County Engineers Office will mail letters to residents seeking their interest in interest in bringing city water lines to various areas of the township. ∞