In 1802 , the community of what was later to be named Suffield Township was founded by Royal Pease, who was originally from Suffield, Connecticut. From 1802 until April 6, 1818, our community was known as Peasetown. In 1818, the name was changed to Suffield Township and governing officials were elected. Suffield is one of 18 townships in Portage County and lies in the southwest corner of the county. We are uniquely situated in close proximity to Akron, Ohio to the west and to Hartville, Ohio to the south. This gives our community a great mix of big city opportunities combined with rural charm.
With a population of 6,315 as estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015, Suffield Township is a close knit community - a community where neighbors look out for one another and wave when passing on the road. Township services include a highly trained Fire Department, led by Chief Robert Rasnick, providing fire and EMS protection to the township, as well as a hard working Road Department, supervised by David (Pete) Einloth, that takes care of the roadways and other services related to the needs of the community.
We welcome you to our community. Please explore our website and see what Suffield has to offer.
The Suffield Township Board of Trustees met on Tuesday November 12th. They discussed a number of topics, but the discussion of recycling was once again the top item. The township's contract with the Portage County Commissioners that deals with our current recycling program comes to a conclusion at the end of 2020. While that seems like a long way off, the subject has drawn a lot of traction around the county, especially since other township and cities are currently having discussions with the Portage County Solid Waste District. And those talk have hinted at higher monthly or yearly costs to residents. It appears to be a foregone conclusion that the $2.25 fee per month that Suffield residents now enjoy for the biweekly recycle collections is going to increase beginning in 2021. The question that begs to be answered is by how much. Naturally no decisions were arrived at tonight, since there have been no actual negotiations with Bill Steiner or the Commissioners, but how the County handles the other townships during the next several months is sure to have an impact on Suffield.
Fire Chief Bob Rasnick said the Fire Department responded to 81 calls for service in October, the staff attended five training sessions, and the need to replace thirty firefighter helmets has arisen. Trustee Tom Calcei motioned that the township spend up to $9,000 for new helmets. Chairman Jeff Eldreth seconded the measure and it was passed 2-0. Trustee Jared Phillip was absent. The Chief also asked for permission to allow Captain James Taylor and himself to attend the annual Firefighter Conference in Indianapolis in 2020. Traditionally, Suffield has sent firemen to this conference every other year. Last year the Department's Explorers raised money for the trip and represented the township. Rasnick asked well in advance so that he could secure reservations at a reduced price of $620 per person. The trustees agreed that both firemen could attend this event. The Chief also said that there will be a controlled burn of the house at 2378 Sunnybrook Road on Saturday November 23rd. The fire crews will arrive about 8:00 AM and the actual burning is to begin about 9:00 AM.
Gail Pavliga, a Republican hoping to unseat 75th District State Representative Randi Clites, stopped by to introduce herself and explain her qualifications and goals for the position, which will be on the November 2020 ballot. Pavliga, who is an impressive speaker, is from nearby Atwater Township. Adam Bey, zoning inspector, said that the Zoning Commission had voted to increase the size of accessory buildings and to allow a height increase to 25 feet for such buildings. They then forwarded the change to the Portage County Regional Planning Commission, who will hear the issue on Wednesday November 13th. After Regional Planning approves the changes, as they are expected to do, the issue will come before the Suffield Township trustees for a final hearing and vote, in all likelihood on December 10th.
The trustees also set the meeting schedule for the last two months of 2019. The second meeting for November will remain the same, that being Tuesday November 26th at 7:00 AM. The December meetings for trustees will be on Tuesday December 10th at 7:00 PM and Tuesday December 24th at 7:00 AM. They have set Tuesday December 10th at 6:30 PM for the above mentioned Zoning Resolution change, and have set Tuesday December 31st at 7:00 AM for the annual re-organizational meeting. The Zoning Commission next meets on Wednesday November 13th at 7:00 PM. There are no Board of Zoning Appeals hearing set at this time.
On Thursday October 17th, three classes of third graders from Suffield Elementary visited the Suffield Township Historical Society Museum. Society Treasurer Elizabeth Vence, former president Judy Calcei, former treasurer Nancy Wise and current Vice President Bev Persons provided a narrative to the displays as the school children toured the building. Of great interest to this younger generation of our community were things that older folks easily remember and take for granted. An old cash register, a manual typewriter, both from the early 1900's, fascinated the children. The display on the Goodyear blimps was a big draw, as was an ironing board with old irons from the 1800's.
The Suffield Township Board of Trustees met twice on Tuesday October 8th. At 7:00 PM OTARMA conducted a workshop in which the trustees heard suggestions on how to improve the township's stance in potential claims against the township. They were reminded to keep their personnel policies up to date, to add "hold harmless" language to their contracts with vendors and how to prepare documents to verify things such as, but not limited to, preventative maintenance to vehicles and equipment, pre-trip inspections and the need to check and verify licensing before employees use township vehicles.
Following the workshop session, the trustees went into the regular scheduled meeting. Chief Robert Rasnick gave his monthly report for Fire Department activity in August 2019. Included were 77 calls for service and five continuing educations courses for the staff. He also asked that the trustees hire Benjamin Humphrey. Rasnick said that Humphrey is enthusiastic about becoming a Suffield Fire Department employee and that he has his Basic EMT certificate and is a Level Two firefighter. The trustees hired Humphrey and subjected him to the usual one year probationary period.
The trustees also discussed Christmas lighting around the historic Town Hall and decided on using Greensmen, Inc for the job. The cost is $3,040. The lights are to be up and on by Thanksgiving and will be on through the first of the year. Trustee Jeff Eldreth was given the okay to work on a "Suffield Christmas Lighting Display" program in which residents would decorate their houses and then register the address at the Fire Department. Other residents could then check the list to see the locations and several township officials would then judge the decorated houses. This list of locations will likely be added to this website. There will be gift cards, in amounts yet to be determined, for the winners. The prize money would come out of NOPEC funds that the township receives from NOPEC to support township events.
Tomorrow night the Zoning Commission will have a public hearing. The Commission is proposing to allow larger accessory buildings on smaller lots. The majority of hearings before the Board of Zoning Appeals in the past several years has been for residents who ask to build larger accessory buildings than the Resolutions currently allow. Following the hearing the Zoning Commission will continue with their regular business meeting.
Another important announcement was made at the trustee meeting. Township residents will again be allowed to dump their leaves at 558 Etter Road. Several reminders must be made. The dump closes to all traffic at SUNDOWN each day. When dumping leaves, no other debris, such as branches or trash should be dumped, and if you use plastic bags to transport the leaves, DO NOT LEAVE THE PLASTIC BAGS AT THE DUMP SITE.
The Fire Department holds it's annual OPEN HOUSE this coming Sunday (October 13th) from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM. The Road Department will also be on hand to display their equipment and to allow children to sign their names on the snow plows. The Portage County Health Department will also be there to administer Flu Shots. And, of course, there will be a cloud of dust when the Medivac helicopter stops by. The Suffield Township Historical Society will also have their museum open to the public from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Mark your calendars for two events this Halloween season. On Saturday October 26th from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at Wingfoot Lake State Park in the Pine Shelter there will be the first annual Wingfoot Lake State Park Fall Festival. There will be a lot of activities packed into those four hours. See the flyer on the right side of this page. This event is sponsored by the Wingfoot Lake State Park and the Suffield League. Then on Sunday October 27th, Trick or Treat will be observed throughout the township from 2:00 to 4:00 PM.
The trustees next meet on Tuesday October 22nd at 7:00 AM. The Zoning Commission meets at 7:00 PM on Wednesday October 9th. There are no hearings scheduled for the Board of Zoning Appeals.
The Suffield Township Board of Trustees met before five citizens on Tuesday September 24th at 7:00 AM. Trustee chairman Jeff Eldreth asked for a purchase order to pay for road striping. The PO was approved in the amount of $8,320 to J.D. Striping. He also asked for PO for $95,600.34 to pay Henry Luli Construction for the recent chip and seal program. All three trustees voted to expend this money. Trustee Jared Phillip said he had had an inquiry into the property at 278 Waterloo Road. This is a property on which the township had demolished a delinquent house several years ago. All agreed that the township has no further legal interest in the property and the person wanting to purchase it needs to contact the property owner, who appears to be current in their property taxes.
Zoning inspector Adam Bey told the trustees that the Zoning Commission has revised the allowable square footage for accessory buildings and will be holding the necessary hearings on the matter. The Commission wants to hold off on printing the new Zoning Resolution books until this new matter can be included in the book. According to Bey, requests for variances on accessory building sizes is the most prevalent matter coming before the Board of Zoning Appeals in the past year. It should be noted that these suggested changes will not become effective until the entire hearing process is completed. Due to time requirements in each step of the procedure, the soonest the changes will become effective is probably January or February of 2020.
Trustee Jeff Eldreth said that the Fire Department will hold its annual Open House on Sunday October 13th from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM. The trustees also talked briefly about the Christmas lighting for the Town Hall. Trustee Tom Calcei said that the cost of lighting has gone up. The trustees postponed any further discussion until other lighting contractors could be approached.
The trustees next meet on Tuesday October 8th at 7:00 PM. The Zoning Commission meets on Wednesday October 9th at 7:00 PM. A public hearing on zoning resolution changes will start the meeting, followed by regular zoning business. There are no Board of Zoning Appeals hearings scheduled. Both meetings are in the Suffield Community Room at 1256 Waterloo Road. All are welcome to attend.
On Tuesday September 10th the Suffield Township Board of Trustees held their semi-monthly meeting at 7:00 AM before eight concerned citizens. Most of the meeting was purely perfunctory in nature. Trustee Tom Calcei read the Fire Department's monthly report. August totals included 71 total calls for service. The Chief Rasnick asked that the trustees accept the resignation of firefighter Ben Freeman, who is quitting to take a full time job with the Niles Fire Department. The Chief also asked that the trustees allow him to hire three new firefighters. They are Andrew Armstrong, John Crouser and Jordan Stansberry. They will be required to serve the normal one year probationary period. Calcei also said that the Fire Department's annual Open House will be on Sunday October 13th from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM.
Trustee chairman Jeff Eldreth said that the Road Department has completed the chip and seal program for this year and that the roads will be striped very soon. He also reminded the other trustees that Halloween is near. They voted to keep Trick or Treat times the same as in the past. Trick or Treat will be on Sunday October 27th from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM. The Fall Festival at Wingfoot Lake State Park is scheduled for Saturday October 16 from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM.
Bill Steiner from the Portage County Solid Waste Management was on hand to speak about the potential upcoming contract between Suffield Township and his agency. His talk hinted that a modest increase in fees would be likely in order to maintain services that are now provided. He mentioned that it now costs $22.00 to $23.00 per ton to process recycle materials. He blames foreign markets for this increase in costs. Steiner also suggested that part of the problem in costs is that too high of a percentage of users are putting non-recyclable materials in their recycle carts. His estimate is that about 38% of what is picked up is not recyclable. His goal is to decrease that number to 10%. Oddly enough, Steiner could not provided an estimate on how many Suffield residents used his recycle services. He also mentioned that it is okay to leave the caps on bottles, which is directly opposite of what the Akron Beacon Journal reported. He said that how Portage County recycles is quite different that how Summit County does it.
The trustees meet again at 7:00 AM on Tuesday September 24th. The Zoning Commission meets on Wednesday September 11th at 7:00 PM. No Board of Zoning Appeals hearings are scheduled. Both the scheduled meetings are at the Suffield Community Room at 1256 Waterloo Road.