NEW FRANKLIN Manchester Local Schools will have a police presence starting this fall.
During the Aug. 1 council meeting, New Franklin City Council approved an agreement with Manchester Local Schools to provide one police officer to the district during the school year. The contract is for three years and the schools are contributing $30,000 each year toward the cost.
Moving an officer to the schools means the city has to hire an additional full-time officer to help cover its terriroty, which council approved. Mayor Paul Adamson said the city will have an extra officer for the summer months when school is not in session, which will cut down on the need to have part-time officers.
Adamson said 64 percent of homes in New Franklin are in the Manchester School district with 16 percent in Coventry, 15 percent in Norton and 5 percent in Northwest. He said he talked with the superintendent at Norton, who said the city was willing to help fund an officer but the Norton schools didn’t have the money.
"This is something I am in favor of," Adamson said.
He said Springfield, Green and Jackson all have at least one officer in their schools.
Councilman Andrew Fetterman, who represents the portion of the city in the Norton School district, said many of the residents he talked to didn’t want their tax money going to fund an officer for Manchester Local Schools. He casted the only no vote toward the agreement.
Prior to the vote, Manchester Local Schools Superintendent James Robinson made his case for the need of an officer for the district. He said it is important to keep in mind the district takes in students through open enrollment from surrounding districts.
"It’s not about where they come from," Robinson said. "It is about what we do as a school system. What you do and what we do builds a stronger community."
Councilman Terry Hargret said he would like to see an officer in each of the buildings, but knows that is not financially possible.
In other business Aug. 1, council:
- Approved a then-and-now purchase order for an outstanding invoice from Scheeser Buckley Mayfield in the amount of $19,500. This purchase order is connected with the bid package for improvements to the service garage.
- Approved an agreement with CTL Engineering to provide construction administration and inspection services for the Center Road west resurfacing project. Last year, Center Road east was resurfaced as the city is waiting until NEXUS is done on the western portion to do the project. The city received some funding for the project through the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS). Center Road west is expected to be resurfaced from Eastview Road to Cleveland Massillon Road.
- Approved an agreement with GPD Associates for the design of the South Main Street resurfacing project. South Main Street will be resurfaced from West Caston to Mount Pleasant Street most likely next year. This is a joint project with the city of Green as the cost is being split. AMATS is also funding a portion of this project. Adamson said a decent amount of the engineering is done and construction will most likely be next year.
- Approved an agreement with Lewis Landscaping and Nursey to preform renovation work on Sisler Fields one and three. Adamson said this was recommend by the parks commission and the fall is the best time to do this work to the fields.
- Rejected an agreement for the purchase and installation of a fire alarm system for the administration building as all seven members of council voted no. Adamson said the city obtained four estimates for the system, with three of them all being close in price. One of the estimates came in $3,000 less, which council would like to see put before them at an upcoming meeting to vote on.
- Discussed to amend the city charter to establish a May primary for elections and to eliminate the September primary. If approved, the issue would go on the November ballot for voters to decide if they agree with the change. Adamson said many other communities are looking at this, and recently the cities of Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls passed the issue. Akron has also been debating making the change. He said the city would save "a lot" of money. If approved, the filing deadline for candidates would change from June to February. New Franklin hasn’t used the September primary in a long time and Councilman Jim Cotts wondered if the city even needs a primary election. Council is expected to discuss the issue more at upcoming meetings.
- Heard from Adamson that he continues to research the option of having speed humps in the city. He also said the city is going to be working with Blue Stem, which will conduct a solar energy study to see if the city can benefit from solar panels.
- Heard from Adamson also that NEXUS is expected to be done with the portion of the gas pipeline running through New Franklin by the end of August. He said they will be doing some testing using water and there will be some booms when the testing takes place.
- Entered executive session for the purpose of pending litigation with no action taken.
The next New Franklin Council meeting is set to begin immediately following the committee meetings, which are scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at New Franklin City Hall.