Berkshire Township is burgeoning with plans in place to improve the parks system and new businesses on the way.
This November, the township will have two issues on the ballot. On July 8, the trustees unanimously approved placing on the ballot a 1-mill bond issue to establish a public park, and a 0.5-mill tax levy for parks and recreational purposes. According to the township, the combined levies would cost a homeowner 14 cents a day, or $4.38 a month, or $52.50 a year per $100,000 home valuation.
“In 2018, residents showed widespread support for the township’s Parks and Trails Master Plan,” trustees Bill Holtry, Rod Myers, and Mike Dattilo wrote in their July newsletter. “We’re excited that this November our residents will have the opportunity to vote on the future of Berkshire Township.”
In their August newsletter, the trustees wrote, “By developing a ‘central park’ for the Berkshire Township community our goal is to create a large area of open space in our township. The importance of maintaining our “rural character” comes up often in conversations with residents.”
Beth Hugh is the township’s parks director; and the Parks Board consists of Stephanie Allen, Summer Fenton, Julie Heitz, Tony Nicol, Emma Speight, Matt Ulrey and Kelly Zakrajsek.
There is currently a Pollinator Garden next to the township hall on Rome Corners Road, with annuals and perennials and walking trails.
As for new business within the township, those who have driven along routes 36/37 are aware that a new Tractor Supply Company is going in at 994545 state Route 37 E. (east of Carter’s Corner Road and next to the Mulch 1st). The rural lifestyle retailer is hiring for what will be its 1,800th store. It is scheduled to open in late August/early September.
Speaking of Mulch 1st, the business recently had a logo designed for them by a Big Walnut High School student.
St. John Neumann church recently held “A Friend of Mine…” a community conversation about mental illness and substance abuse that was attended by 60 people. Representatives from Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery Services and NAMI of Delaware & Morrow Counties facilitated the conversation. The church will offer another community conversation from 7-8:30 p.m. Aug. 29. You may register by visiting the church’s website http://www.saintjohnsunbury.org/news/.
In other recent business, the maintenance department restored old headstones and installed foundations at the Berkshire Cemetery (across from Bent Tree Golf Course on routes 36/37) in May. Some of the headstones in the cemetery date back to the early 1800s. The trustees have said they are having a problem with decorations on the sides or the rear of grave sites such as metal stakes, glass containers and decorative stone, which are not allowed.
“This is for the safety of workers as well as visitors when mowing or weed-eating is done,” the trustees write. “These types of objects can become projectiles and injure someone.”
Finally, the trustees signed paperwork for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to resurface Domigan Road. Culvert replacement took place on Joe Walker Road last week. In addition, a roundabout is being put in at Cheshire and Piatt roads, and Walnut Street in Galena was closed for repairs.
The trustees are fond of saying that all of Galena and most of Sunbury lie within the boundaries of Berkshire Township; and it also encompasses the Big Walnut and Olentangy local school districts; with safety services from the BST&G Fire District, Delaware County EMS and Delaware County Sheriff’s Office.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.