SPRINGFIELD TWP.  A resolution was approved at the Sept. 12 Springfield Township Board of Trustees meeting to form a Lake Task Force to investigate and make recommendations to the board regarding the environmental conditions of the lake.

Trustee Dean Young said Springfield Lake is an important regional asset used for boating, swimming, fishing, waterskiing and other recreational activities. It is a rare geological feature formed by glaciers that traveled across what is now the State of Ohio, forming what is called a kettle lake. It is one of a handful of spring fed lakes in North America.

The lake uses storm water depository from public and private inlets, and it is likely, that it may contain septic or other ingredients. Since April 2018, the lake has continued to have issues with algae blooms. Those conditions are above the thresholds set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Summit County Health District has done water testing and has found excessive levels of e coli, which exceeds the safe levels set forth by the EPA.

Young said that has forced the closure of the lake and it is still testing unsafe.

“The closure of the lake is detrimental to the community," Young said. "I propose that this resolution would establish a Springfield Lake Task Force chaired by Michelle Moher and with members Trustee Deborah Davis, Township Administrator Warren Price, Township Road Superintendent Ted Weinsheimer and resident Neal Hess.”

The task force could point additional members. They will investigate the ongoing issues of the lake and make recommendations to the board for the purpose of developing an action plan to improve the health of Springfield Lake and restore it to full and permanent use as a regional recreational resource.

Resident David Dies suggested that since it is a combined lake, they would need to invite someone from Lakemore to be a part of the task force.

“Not to fight, but to get this settled and get the lake cleaned up,” he said.

Young said he spoke to Lakemore’s Mayor Rick Justice that day and invited him and the future new mayor to be in the discussion.

Dies said we cannot meet and blame Lakemore.

"It is a group lake, we have to get together here.”

Moyer said she agrees with Dies that “finger pointing will get us nowhere.” 

“What is needed is a collaborative effort between the two communities, Summit County and the City of Akron into helping us with the problem," Moyer said, adding it is a complicated situation. "The lake testing is overseen by Summit County Public Health and Summit County Soil and Water."

Moyer said the first goal is about who is polluting and to bring recognition that this is an outstanding body water in the state of Ohio. According to the Ohio Administrative Code, the lake falls in the guidelines to me named as an outstanding body of water. Currently, the only lake listed in the state is Lake Erie.

“Doing so, would really help our efforts,” she said.

A resolution authorizing and directing the township administrator to apply to the State of Ohio for the purpose of obtaining an Outstanding State Waters designation for Springfield Lake was approved.

Other approved business included:

- A service agreement between Springfield Local Schools and Springfield Township Police Department to provide an Attendance Coordinator. The Board of Education will pay $32,500 in quarterly installments for the 2019-20 school year.

- To participate in the regional Federal Emergency Management Agency-Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighter grant program for a ground accountability system through GRACE and enter into an agreement with Gatchell Grant Resources for the submittal of the application. Cost of the system is $44,225 with a township match of $7,020. 25.

- The purchase of firefighter turnout gear at a cost totaling $23,000 from Warren Fire Equipment to replace the outdated fire gear.

- A Resolution approving amendments to the Articles of Incorporation of the AkronSummit County Energy Special Improvement District which enables residents and businesses to finance energy efficient projects.

- The purchase of a used 2016 Marathon HMT8000T Asphalt Hot Box from DJL Materials and Supply Company in the amount not to exceed $18,995. Price said it saves the township from buying a new truck and the department would be able to do more paving in a day. It is something many communities are using and it will pay for itself in less than two years.

- Appoint Gene Lindgren to the Board of Zoning Appeals as an alternate for the period of Sept. 9, to Dec. 31, 2021.

- A work order was assigned to demolish the structure and all accessory structures at 1025 Onondago Trail to Butcher & Son for an amount no to exceed $8,740.

- The board certified the total cost for abatements to the Summit County Auditor to be placed on the tax duplicate as a lien upon the land: 2151 Sypher Road, $320; 665 Neal Road, $265; 1210 Swartz Road, $145; 2143 South Arlington Road, $250; 1714 Myersville Road, $346.66.

- Tabled for further discussion was an agreement with Huntington Bank for the lease purchase of a 2019 Chevy Tahoe totaling $35,000 payable over five years. Davis requested additional discussion.

Presentations:

- Firefighter Bruce George on behalf of Springfield Firefighters full time union local 3040 and the part time firefighter’s organization presented a donation of $1,000 to the Springfield High School football team to be used toward the purchase of their personalized blackout jerseys. The jerseys honor the first responders. At the following football game, players wore National Guard jerseys as they honored the Guard and all Springfield veterans.

- Police Sgt. Joe Gaffney presented information about the Explores program. It is for those ages 15 to 21. Explores programs are a part of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. This is the sixth year for the Explorers program in Springfield and Gaffney said some of those former Explores are now police officers and dispatchers. He introduced the new members of the Explorers: Pat Gaffney, Katie Limric, Katelyn Etapa, Nick Stewart and Sergei Pasko.

Public Input:

- Bob Buehl, representing the Akron Turner Club, said he had a safety concerns for the school buses and anyone driving on Klages Boulevard in the winter months. He said no one plows or salts the area as Akron, Tallmadge, Springfield and the county all say it is not their road. He said the property taxes go to Springfield Township. The safety issue is that there is a curve that is not properly marked. Speed is a problem.

“We have had a split rail fence replaced five times as well as light poles and other items,” he said. 

Davis said she was pretty  sure it was a county road but would check into it and get back to Buehl. 

- Gary Stone introduced his son, Garrison Stone, and said he was working on his Boy Scout communication Merit Badge and one of the requirements was to come to a meeting. The trustees wished him well in earning his badge on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout.

Announcements:

- Davis remind residents that yard waste can be taken to Woodland Mulch to be dumped it for free, but that residents would need to stop at town hall and get a voucher.

- From 8:30 to 11 a.m. Nov. 8 will be the annual Firefighters Pancake breakfast. Bring two nonperishable food items per guest. The items go to the Springfield Cares Organization. Dean Young thanked the firefighters for what they do in the community. He thanked them for their civic involvement and said their participation adds value to the community.