COPLEY, OH—A satellite fire station jointly staffed by Copley and Bath firefighters is the center of a money-saving proposal by the board of trustees' newest member.
Trustee Jim Schulte proposed opening up talks between township fire officials at a special Thursday meeting. The Stony Hill station on Medina Road near Scenicview Drive is operated on a 24-hour basis by five firefighters, a mix of part- and full-time personnel from the neighboring municipalities.
Schulte suggested one possible money-saving move would be shared firefighting vehicles; currently, each department maintains its own there.
"There is two of everything," he said, adding that he would defer to the expertise of Copley Fire Chief Chris Bower and Bath Fire Chief Walt Hower.
Copley's potential savings could be invested in a proposed new municipal safety building for the township, Schulte said.
Where to build such a facility has been a topic of debate. Initially, trustees considered creating a campus-like setting off Cleveland-Massillon Road that would have included the police and fire departments in a municipal safety building linked with the township hall. Trustees scrapped the plan after neighbors complained that a safety building on the site would upset the neighborhood's character and daily life.
Schulte, a political newcomer, was sworn in for a four-year term at the Thursday meeting. His November election defeat of Helen Humphrys came as a surprise to many because of her long track record of township service, starting with her appointment in the early 1990s as clerk-treasurer. She was elected trustee in 2004.
Trustee Bruce Koellner said Humphrys also worked for Bath for 17 years, and he credited her with maintaining cordial relationships with officials there as a result of that experience. Koellner said her wide-ranging political contacts are a valuable township asset that will need to be maintained. He said he has begun that process, reaching out to Bath Township Administrator Vito Sinopoli and other officials.
Schulte attributed his November win to voters seeking change. He ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, economic development and maintaining township economic amenities. Schulte, a certified public accountant with a master's degree in taxation, is a three-time graduate of the University of Akron with an undergraduate degree in criminal science. In 1997 he started Schulte & Company CPAs, which employs 25. He and Kristi, his wife of 31 years, have three adult children.
In other business, trustee Scott Dressler was elected board president and Koellner vice president for 2020. Trustee meetings will be held at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Monday of each month.
©2020 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.