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Akron Zoo official explains need for levy to Springfield Township trustees

Carolynn Mostyn
Suburbanite correspondent

SPRINGFIELD TWP. Akron Zoo Marketing Manager Elena Bell spoke to the Springfield Township Board of Trustees during the Aug. 13 meeting about the zoo and the upcoming levies on the Nov. 3 ballot.

A 0.8-mill renewal levy with an increase of 0.4 mills will be on the ballot. Bell said if someone owned a $100,000 home, the renewal and the increase together would cost an additional $2.92 per year. This is the first time since the original 0.8 mill levy passed in 2000 that the zoo has asked for an increase

Bell said at the zoo helps connect residents to wildlife while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation action. She said since 2001, attendance has grown from 114,139 visitors to 402,143 a year. The Akron Zoo has generated about $8 back into the community for every $1 of levy support received 2011.The zoo provides a variety of educational opportunities for school-age children.

Zoo free days for Springfield Township will be 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 26 to Oct. 9. Tickets must be reserved online at www.akronzoo.org beginning two weeks before the start of the free days. There is limit of four tickets per household. Parking is $3.

In other business, trustees:

• Voted to establish a Coronavirus Relief Fund and trustees acknowledged the receipt and acceptance of $410,785.11 to the fund.

• Approved to pay Sawyerwood Service for repairs to a Fire Department ambulance in the amount of $2,065.29. Also, approved a purchase from Motorola Solutions for portable radio batteries in the amount of $3,060 and for the purchase of a mobile radio for an ambulance in the mount of $4,016.

• Approved the payment to Myers Equipment Corporation in the amount of $1,922.63 for the installation of a Stryker Cot loading system into an ambulance.

• Approved to conditionally extend job offers to 15 candidates to the position of part-time firefighter-paramedic/EMT pending successful completion of pre-employment background review, physical exam and drug screening.

• Approved the promotion of Ezekiel Ryan to full-time police officer, effective Aug. 24.

• Approved final appropriations for the 2020 budget.

• Approved a revised policy section for the Police Department relating to social media. Also, authorized to enter a contract with Enterprise Fleet Management leasing program for one Chevy Tahoe police vehicle for a four-year lease agreement for no more than $1,078.86 per month with a $1 purchase option at the end of the 48-month lease. Also, the trustees approved the purchase of an equipment package for the vehicle in the amount of $16,112.14.

• Approved payment to Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in the amount of $1,183 for the testing of the E-coli and Microcystis of Springfield Lake.

• Approved abatement costs for 3440 Carper Avenue ($235), 3286 Brunk Road ($345), 1794 Whychwood Drive ($265) and 970 Ewart Road ($300) for a total of $1,145.

• Approved a scale server maintenance renewal for two years for the IT department for $3,995, which is a saving of $505.

• Heard from Highway Superintendent Ted Weinsheimer that the department is beginning to repair equipment for winter and place the order for salt. Last year, was one of the lowest years for salt use. The normal salt use is 2,100 tons of salt. At $72 a ton, the department has been well under the average the last few years.

• Heard from Police Chief Jack Simone, who said one of their new police cars was involved in an accident. He said it was not the fault of the officer and the vehicle has been repaired for $19,000.

Announcements:

• Vouchers are available at the township offices for residents to take yard waste to Woodland Mulch for free. Proof or residency to obtain the voucher is needed.

• The board went into executive session to discuss pending negotiations with a township employee union including terms of employment of township employees. No action followed and the meeting was adjourned.

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Sept. 10.