County engineer’s policy causing distress among Bath residents

by Sheldon Ocker

June 10 township trustees meeting

Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker’s decision to quit mowing roadside weeds and grass bordering county roads, even in areas that abut deep ditches, has created opposition among affected Bath Township residents.

Former township trustee Becky Corbett addressed the issue during public comment.

“I have a concern about why he made this decision,” she said. “Has there been any communication to the various townships as to why this decision was made?”

Trustee Sean Gaffney said the township received the policy and posted it on the township website but was not given a reason for the change.

“We don’t know why he changed the policy after all these years,” said trustee Sharon Troike. “My guess would be it’s economic.”

Corbett cited a comment by township Administrator/Police Chief Vito Sinopoli concerning the difficulty some residents might have in performing the task of mowing these areas.

“Vito said what’s very true, that so many ditches are done in such a way that it takes special equipment to handle them that a normal homeowner just doesn’t have available,” Corbett said. “It’s difficult to hire someone to just come and mow down or weed-eat a foot-high section of grass.”

Gaffney, who previously questioned the wisdom of Brubaker’s decision, said, “We’re trying to find out more.”

Added Corbett, “In my opinion, it’s just an unreasonable burden on the homeowner when it wasn’t even explained as to why that becomes necessary.”

Corbett’s advice: Members of the community should call the engineer’s office and ask to speak to someone about the policy.

“Express your displeasure for how you’re going to maintain these ditches. … I don’t feel that there was enough consideration given to the impact on elderly people,” she said.

Bath Township crews mow grass and weeds adjacent to township roads.

  Pickleball for all

Trustees approved a request to hire Site Technology Inc. for $144,488 to resurface six pickleball/tennis courts at Bath Community Park.

During citizen comments, three pickleball players addressed the trustees, asking not only that the township make improvements to the present courts but add several more. They pointed out the popularity of pickleball at Bath Community Park, declaring that the Bath pickleball club has 386 members.

Trustee Elaina Goodrich said that an additional $22,000 will be spent on LED lights, and that the township has applied for a $300,000 state capital grant to expand the facilities, possibly next year.

In other action:

  • Trustees approved paying $38,605 to Gardiner Service Company to replace three heat pumps and authorized payment of no more than $55,000 to Forerunner Technologies for a new phone system at the town hall complex.
  • Kyle Craven was reappointed to the zoning commission as an alternate member; JoAnne Bondi was reappointed as a regular member of the board of zoning appeals; Marci Fredrick was reappointed as an alternate member of the board of zoning appeals; Elizabeth Smith was reappointed as an alternate member of the appearance review commission. 
  • Dan Rice, president and CEO of Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition, gave an update of the organization’s many projects, including a two-mile, triple loop trail plus a gravel parking lot at North Fork Preserve. ∞