County engineer burdens residents with new responsibility

by Sheldon Ocker

May 13 township trustees meeting

Citing a letter sent last September by Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker, Bath Township Administrator/Police Chief Vito Sinopoli informed trustees of bad news for many residents.

A new policy by the engineer’s office requires residents who live adjacent to county roads to mow along the roadway and roadway ditches.

“That is a change from past policy where the county engineer’s maintenance crew came out with mowers, particularly where the ditches are steep, to mow those areas,” Sinopoli said. “The letter made it clear that the engineers will continue to mow areas with sight issues at intersections, guardrail areas and in areas under county control.”

The edict applies to owners of private property abutting county roads only. The township will continue to clear weeds and high grass from alongside township roads.

Trustee Sharon Troike asked what would happen if a property owner along a county road didn’t have the equipment to mow the grass and weeds growing in or just above deep ditches along a county roadway. Sinopoli said the property owner could hire a private contractor to do the job. Owners who ignored the problem would be subject to township regulations regarding public nuisances.

Residents who have questions about the policy can call the county engineer’s office, which could send out someone to investigate the area in question. The engineer’s office then would make a determination.

“I don’t see any good in this new policy long term,” said trustee Sean Gaffney. “I am glad the engineer will be taking the phone calls.”

Fraud protection

Sinopoli announced a new program from the Summit County Fiscal Office that helps individuals avoid fraudulent cyber activity regarding their property deeds.

“The Property Alert Notification System informs residents of suspicious activity on property records,” he said.

Sinopoli said there is a link on the township website to the county fiscal office that directs people to register and receive emails or text messages if suspicious activity is detected.  

Home tours

Kathy Sidaway of Bath Volunteers for Service came to promote the organization’s annual Homes of Distinction Tour, which runs from June 1-12.

Until COVID-19, the tour involved dozens of people trekking through the “distinctive” houses of township residents. Now, the tour is virtual, which Sidaway said is a good thing.

“Not only did that open us up to a wider geographic area for home options, it allowed us to take the tour international,” she said, referring to the ability to watch on devices from anywhere in the world.

Cost of the tour is $35 to view the six homes. For $50, people can get brunch at Bath Church. For a $500 donation, “You get to go to the party of the year,” Sidaway said.

The party will be held at a 50-acre Bath estate and include live music, an open bar and food.

   In other action

  • Trustees approved a recommendation to hire Davey Resource Group for $27,594 for invasive species management control at Bath Nature Preserve.
  • Trustees approved the hiring of four seasonal employees for the service department. Three of the employees have been on the job for two years and one is a five-year veteran.

“We don’t’ have to retrain them,” said Service Director Caine Collins. “They can jump into work.”

  • Det. Daniel Lance will retire from the police department on June 30 after 39 years on the force. Adrianna Corona resigned her position as a full-time communication specialist to pursue other opportunities. ∞