The foundations that provided matching funds for an electric aggregation grant that will be used for Brookfield Township improvements want the money spent pretty quickly, and Brookfield trustees are doing their best to comply.
Various trustees held meetings July 12 to further two of the projects that will be funded by the grants.
AEP Ohio awarded the township $100,000 as part of a deal in which AEP will provide electricity to township residents at a rate locked in for three years. The trustees approached the Strimbu Memorial, O’Brien Children Memorial and Kirila Family foundations for matching funds and were awarded $35,000.
The trustees allocated 60 percent for park improvements and 40 percent for the cemetery and approved these projects: upgrading the changeable copy sign at the green to an electronic one; installing an electronic security gate at the park; upgrading electrical service at the park; replacing the chain link fence at the cemetery with a decorative one; and installing a columbarium for cremated remains at the cemetery.
Trustee Dan Suttles appeared before the Brookfield Township Historical Commission, which oversees the Brookfield Center Historic District, including the green, and is separate from the Brookfield Historical Society, to ask for its blessing for the plans for the sign at the green.
The architecture of the sign will not change, with the brick pillars remaining, he said.
“We’ll change the inner workings of the sign,” Suttles said.
The township would take over posting messages, alleviating Daniel Briceland of the Brookfield Rotary Club from having to manually change letters, and messages will be posted remotely by a computer, he said.
Although the sign will have the same capabilities for colors and graphics as the ones advertisers use, Suttles said he wants to take a much more subdued approach to the design of the messages.
That was a concern of commission member Judy Pushcar.
“I don’t want it scrolling with time and temperature and insignificant things,” she said.
Suttles said he expects the township will post notices of meetings and community events.
“I want to preserve the historic green but I also want to communicate with the public better,” Suttles said. “I know we can mix the two.”
Commission members Janice Economides, Katie Sass and Pushcar endorsed the project. Trustee Gary Lees, a member of the commission, also attended the meeting but did not participate in the vote.
“I think it would be a good idea,” Economides said.
Suttles said trustees plan to buy a Watchfire sign, and that it will cost $18,000 to $20,000. The township will need to pay up front and it will take six to eight weeks after the sign is ordered for it to be put up, he said.
Suttles and Trustee Ron Haun met with officials from Ohio Edison and Becdel Controls Inc., Hubbard, to go over plans to upgrade the electrical service in the park. The upgrade will give service throughout the park, not just to the concession stand, and will provide enough power for field and pavilion lighting, special event service – including amusement rides and concerts – and service for the security gate, a wheeled gate that will open and close on a timer.
“We’re going to plan for what you want,” said Mike Beck, Ohio Edison design supervisor.
The trustees are not planning to install field lights or extend service to the pavilions in this project.
The meeting included discussion of where trenches will be dug for the placement of lines, how the stream in the back of the park will be crossed and where transformers, electric stantions and other infrastructure will be placed.
Becdel has hired Kirila Contractors Inc. to excavate trenches and then Becdel will install the infrastructure and low voltage lines, said John “Jack” Schell, Becdel vice president. Ohio Edison will install the high-voltage lines, he said.
Township Road Superintendent Jaime Fredenburg, who oversees the park, suggested extending water service to the back of the park while the trenches are open. The township road crew can install the lines and the pipe won’t cost that much, he said. It would be cheaper to do it now, rather than wait and have to dig new trenches later, which will be more costly and time consuming, Fredenburg said.
Beck said he will draw up a contract and invoice the township.
“Once the check clears, our time frame is about four weeks,” he said, the schedule dependent on weather and other work the utility crew needs to do.
Schell said the project should be completed before winter.
The township estimate for the work is about $44,000 for Becdel and $10,000 for Ohio Edison.