Officials OK hiring architect
By Ashley Luthern
Township trustees approved hiring an architect to help determine the most cost-effective way to improve the main fire station and approved a resolution regulating Internet sweepstakes cafes.
At its Monday meeting, the board of trustees approved spending $30,000 to hire RP Architects Inc. of Columbus to study how to expand and renovate the main fire station and the former service garage on U.S. Route 224.
The architectural firm has designed 45 fire stations in Ohio, said Fire Chief George Brown
The architect will “look at existing buildings and utilities and see what can be used,” Brown said.
The firm also will look at other sites and make a recommendation as to whether the station should remain at its current site, 136 Boardman-Poland Road, or move.
The main station was built so long ago that it no longer can hold some of the new, larger pieces of equipment and the basement is in disrepair, Brown said.
In 2005, trustees first looked at replacing the main station, which was built in 1923, the chief said.
“We’re not going to be able to maintain it. ...This is to give us options,” said Trustee Larry Moliterno of the decision to hire an architect.
Trustees also unanimously approved a home-rule resolution to complement state regulations on the Internet sweepstakes cafes.
As part of the resolution, Internet cafe owners must post gaming odds, undergo testing from private companies to prove the machines are sweepstakes and not slots, adhere to a minimum age limit of 18 and submit to background checks and pay a $100-per-machine fee, said township Administer Jason Loree.
“This is a nuisance-type situation, and this will follow the same schedule established in the zoning department for nuisance properties,” Loree said.
The township fiscal office is responsible for enforcing the new resolution, which takes effect in 30 days.
The state currently has a moratorium on new Internet cafes that is set to expire in June. In the township, 18 conditional-use permits have been sought for Internet sweepstakes cafes, and officials said they believe nine cafes are in operation now.
In other business, Road Superintendent Larry Wilson announced the department’s annual leaf pick-up program will begin Oct. 29 and end Nov. 30. Leaves will not be picked up on Nov. 12 or Nov. 19 through 23 because of holidays.
Residents are asked to put all leaves in recyclable brown paper leaf bags. The schedule for pick-up days by street is available online at http://boardmantwp.com/road/road_roadinfo_fall.asp, or by calling 330-726-4190.