This story has been edited to reflect the following correction: The monthly luncheon was by the Northern Medina County Chamber Alliance.
BRUNSWICK –– Officials from Brunswick, Hinckley, Brunswick Hills and Liverpool townships offered business leaders insight into the changing nature of their communities Wednesday during the Northern Medina County Chamber Alliance’s monthly luncheon.
“We want to engage in our community,” Brunswick City Manager Carl DeForest said during the event at the Winking Lizard, 3634 Center Road.
“We want to be a part of it and we want to give back … it’s imperative that we know what’s going on and that we serve others because they are serving us.”
DeForest spoke about upcoming road construction projects including the North Carpenter Road project, where the city plans to redo intersections and put in turning lanes. Work has also been completed on Laurel Road, he said.
The biggest project in the city— a new middle school under development by Brunswick Schools — is one DeForest can’t claim responsibility for, but he tried for the amusement of the more than 80 chamber members in attendance.
“The middle — they finally decided on a name for it. They’ll call it DeForest Middle School,” he said as the room laughed.
DeForest also touched on the commitment that law enforcement and other city employees have to the city.
“We were named one of the best places in Ohio to build or buy a home and one of the safest cities in the United States,” he said. “It is the men and women of Brunswick police and fire. It’s also the building department and everyone else who works in the city.”
Mark Priebe, president of Proximity Marketing and a member of the chamber’s board, said having the local leaders in attendance is good for the membership.
“Generally, it is either success stories or education or something that’s informative so today’s city/township one is a natural since the Northern Medina Chamber is really representative of the four townships and the city in the northern tier,” he said.
Brunswick Hills Township Trustee Michael Esber said the township needs to purchase equipment for several different departments and are exploring funding options.
“We are hoping to maybe put a levy out this fall to get in a steady rotation of equipment for the township,” Esber said. “We’ve got a road side mower coming this year and we built a new salt shed.”
The Brunswick Hills Fire Department is also looking to hire three full-time employees to help cover more shifts and to better serve community members, he said.
Hinckley Township Trustee Becky Lutzko said they have several new fire and police employees that have been welcomed into the community.
“Hinckley, in the last year, has seen a lot of new faces,” Lutzko said. “We have a new police chief, Dave Centner. He came from the sheriff’s office and he has just fit right in.”
Last summer, Jestin Grossenbaugh was hired as the new fire chief and Gabe Gerbasi was hired as the new assistant fire chief.
“Our fire department is continuing to hire because, as of March 1, we moved to a 24/7 staffing, which is a new thing for Hinckley,” Lutzko said.
Liverpool Township Trustee Cathy Keller, said Liverpool is also hiring in its safety forces.
“Recently, in our fire department, we had two new hires. We had two (firefighter paramedics) that put in their resignation,” she said. “We had one officer in the police department; he has retired and it has enabled us to have the rotation of six deputies coming from out of our township from the morning all the way into the night.”
This is providing better coverage for the township and its residents, she said.