Portage, Summit towns to share resources

By Diane Smith | Staff Writer Published:

The city of Ravenna is joining with its neighbors to create a mutual aid program with a different twist.

The city has established an online database that creates a mutual aid program for public service. The program, Ravenna Service Director Kelly Engelhart said, is similar to the mutual aid programs for safety forces, but allows communities to share equipment, employees and even ideas and legislation.

"We can't work independently any longer," she said. "We have to share resources and see how we can help each other."

Ravenna City Council is expected to approve an ordinance formalizing the agreement on Monday.

Participating communities include the cities of Ravenna, Kent, Twinsburg, Hudson, Stow, Aurora and Streetsboro, as well as Mantua and Hiram villages.

Engelhart said the communities started meeting together in early 2011. The meetings were how Ravenna worked out an agreement with the city of Stow to share its arborist, Sue Mottl.

The city is hosting an area on its website accessible to participating mayors and service director, which was developed with help from Kent's service director, Gene Roberts. Officials can ask one another if they have a piece of equipment to share, or a sample piece of legislation that another community is considering.

"Through the website, we can answer each other's questions," she said.

The partnership, she said, will be useful in the event of a large scale emergency, such as a storm or disaster.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or dsmith@recordpub.com

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