Communities Tout Individual Achievements at Chamber Event: Sagamore Hills Township

Township Trustee John Zaccardelli and Fiscal Officer Laura Steimle represented Sagamore Hills Township.

Sagamore Hills is home to just under 11,000 residents, according to the 2020 census, Zaccardelli said.

The 11.2-square township is the third largest of nine Summit County townships, according to Zaccardelli. Bath and Copley townships are the only two larger, he said.

The township is made up of 4,792 households with a median household income of $93,442.

“The good news is if you live or work in Sagamore Hills Township or Northfield Center Township there is no regional income tax,” Zaccardelli said. “The bad news for us is that we have to manage less funds than a city or village because we don’t have that extra income coming in.”

According to Zaccardelli, the 1,308 townships in Ohio are responsible for maintaining 41,000 miles of roads and managing more than 2,400 cemeteries.

“That is a lot when you really think about the state,” Zaccardelli

said. Sagamore Hills Township has 38 lane miles of roads.


“And this past year we did $1.1 million in road and catch basin repairs,” Zaccardelli said. “And we are hoping the inflation coming doesn’t tear up our road budget going into 2024.”

Zaccardelli said he wanted to give the township zoning commission “a pat on the back” for their work on a development along state Route 82.

“Recently they’ve been working with a developer along [state Route] 82 and Carter Road,” he said. “There is a new development going in there. It’s our senior corridor and it’s called Parkview Senior Living.” Officials anticipate about 140 units will be built in three phases.

A construction date has not been set for Phase I which will include the first 40 units, Zaccardelli said. Developers are completing the final site, soil, and stonework.

The first 40 units will be on the western side of the development, “more toward Brecksville,” according to Zaccardelli.

More homes will also be added to the Heartridge subdivision located at Sagamore and Dunham roads.

“They have a little over 18 homes completed and they just got approval for Phase II,” Zaccardelli added.

Developers have plans to construct 99 additional homes in the subdivision. The homes will be valued at around $600,000 to $800,000 each, he said.

Zaccardelli praised the police and fire departments, while adding the township is looking to add officers.

“We continue our excellent policing initiatives,” Zaccardelli said. “Annie, our companion dog is starting her third year.

Annie spends time visiting local schools and residents.

“This successful program [Annie] has had inquiries from police departments from as far away as California,” Zaccardelli said.

Another police initiative is the Traffic Safety Unit created last year by Police Chief David Hayes.

“This unit was formed to handle traffic complaints and to be used to deploy our two, speed trailers throughout the township,” he said. The program has worked well, according to the trustee.

“Chief Hayes’ goal is not simply to give out speeding citations but to educate our drivers as to limit their number of traffic complaints and to keep our roads pretty safe.”

Zaccardelli also praised the Macedonia Fire Department, which signed a 15-year fire agreement with the township in 2021.

“We’ve had nothing but praise and professionalism from you guys,” Zaccardelli said.

The service department purchased a 1-ton truck and roadside mower. “Our old roadside mower was 35 years old and it just wasn’t working anymore,” he said.

The truck and mower were purchased for less than $250,000 through state purchasing. “And we saved $22,000 because we got there in time,” he said.

One of the township’s central spots is the 55-acre Sagamore Hills Park which has two pavilions and five baseball diamonds.

“Our road guys do a really good job of keeping that park maintained and then keeping it clean and the grass cut,” Zaccardelli said. “We have a 1-mile loop that you can hike around the place and exercise and walk your dog. It’s kind of a nice little loop there.”

Financially the village is doing good, according to Steimle.

“I’m happy to announce Sagamore Hills Township township is debt free, aside from an interest-free loan from the State of Ohio that has a balance of under $48,000,” Steimle said.

The loan will be paid off in 2029. The township operating budget is just under $11 million.

“Sagamore Hills Township taxpayers pay a total of 12.43 mils to assist in the operations of our community,” according to Steimle. “And we just completed our bi-annual audit with the state and we are proud to report that we have no citations and no recovery of funds.”

The township has applied for a state grant for $900,00 for road reconstruction which includes Village Parkway, Steimle said.

“And lastly John [Zaccardelli] and I are working together seeking funding for new playground equipment for Sagamore Hills Park,” Steimle added. “We are planning to submit an application to the Land and Water Conservation Fund this November with a 50 percent reimbursement and also plan to submit an application to the Nature Works Grant Fund in June. That is a 75 percent reimbursement.”

Steimle said the two will continue to seek grant funds for the township. “Our park is in much need of new playground equipment,” she added. Zaccardelli agreed and recounted a recent incident that drove the point home.

Zaccardelli was walking his dog around the park loop when he was approached by two 12-year-olds, he said. They asked him when the township was going to replace the equipment.

“‘It’s pretty bad,’” one told him.‘“It’s disgusting.’”

Zaccardelli knew it was time to replace the equipment.

“When two 12-year-olds tell you that, guess what?” he asked. “You have to get moving.”

A similar thing also happened to Steimle, he said.

“We are hoping we can get something together for next year – keep your fingers crossed – we do,” Zaccardelli added.

Northfield Village did not attend the community focus.

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