MONTVILLE – Township trustees here have decided to cancel a popular community Easter egg hunt in deference to Health Department concerns about the spread of the corona virus labeled Covid 19.
Trustees called an emergency meeting March 13 to discuss policies to contain the virus spread following a decision by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to close public schools and other drastic measures taken by organizations around the region and country to eliminate gatherings that attract large crowds.
Trustee Sally Albrecht reported earlier in the week that the annual Easter egg hunt planned by Montville Cares for April 4 might be subject to cancellation or postponement. Volunteers preparing for the event had been busy stuffing 12,000 eggs with candy and small toys in anticipation of the popular event which attracted more than 1,000 children to Cobblestone Park last year.
Although no cases of the virus had yet been reported in Medina County, Health Commissioner Krista Wasowski said the same day Montville trustees met that she expected the disease to arrive here. Gov. Mike DeWine has also recommended drastic measures to reduce the spread of the virus including avoiding large crowds like the one generated by the Easter egg hunt.
Police chiefTownship trustees have begun the search for a replacement for Police Chief Terry Grice who is running unopposed for Medina County Sheriff.
The search should not extend very far since trustees have agreed not to advertise the opening in newspapers or trade publications but merely post a notice in the police department that they will soon be accepting applications for the job.
It’s assumed two members of the current police department will be candidates to replace Grice, who has served as Montville Chief of Police for the past nine years. Members of the department who could be potential applicants for the position are Lt. Matt Neil, Sgts. Chris LaFond and Brett Harrison and Detective Angela Vivo.
Although trustees have decided not to extend their search outside the department, they are considering seeking outside help to assist with the screening process. Trustee Ron Bischof said he thinks it is important for chief applicants to undergo an interview and psychological screening by a professional organization before trustees conduct final interviews for the job.
Trustees planned to explore hiring the Ohio Chiefs of Police Association or a private consulting firm to conduct a preliminary screening of the applicants.
Trustees said they hope to have a new chief of police before the end of the year so that he or she will have a transition period to work alongside Grice before he leaves to replace Tom Miller as Medina County sheriff.
Miller announced plans last fall not to seek re-election in 2020 and Grice announced his intentions shortly afterwards to run for election as Miller’s replacement. No other Republicans followed Grice’s lead and no Democrat chose to run for sheriff.
LST billTrustee Jeff Brandon reported that the township’s January bill from Medina Hospital for ambulance service was $15,738. The bill is based on the 39 emergency ambulance calls from Montville residents answered by the Life Support Team based at the hospital. Those 39 calls represented about 10 percent of all the LST runs made in January.
Brandon also reported that he is continuing to take part in discussions with officials from the City of Medina and Medina Township about improving staffing on the Medina Fire Department and the possibility of merging the fire department and LST which both provide emergency services to all three communities.
According to Brandon, Medina Fire Chief Bob Painter has produced a series of funding options which a special shared services committee representing the three communities plans to examine in more detail. They suggest most of the part-time firemen now serving the department could be replaced by fulltime firemen for an additional $500,000 a year.
Painter estimates the fire department now operates with an annual budget of just over $1 million and LST operates on a $2.7 million annual budget.