What's in store for 2024 in Hartville? New police digs, 10-year paving plan, park upgrades

This year is going to be a busy one for Stark County.

The Canton Repository asked leaders in each of Stark County’s 17 townships, 11 villages and six cities to share some highlights about what's in store in 2024 for their communities.

The responses include the return of some family friendly events, a variety of new businesses and some much-needed improvements to longstanding structures. We will be presenting these community highlights to you throughout the month.

First up is Hartville.

Here is what's in store in 2024 for the village:

Hartville Police Chief Kevin Moore gives a tour of the Hartville Police Department's new headquarters, which includes his office to left and a kitchen area to the right. Previously, village officers used a multipurpose room at Village Hall for everything from interviewing prisoners to eating lunch.
Hartville Police Chief Kevin Moore gives a tour of the Hartville Police Department's new headquarters, which includes his office to left and a kitchen area to the right. Previously, village officers used a multipurpose room at Village Hall for everything from interviewing prisoners to eating lunch.

Hartville police have a new home

After working out of the back of Village Hall in a 500-square-foot office for more than 30 years, the Hartville Police Department now has a 5,600-square-foot facility for its nearly dozen employees.

The building at 650 S. Prospect Ave. offers the department the ability to have a designated training room, a locker room with a shower, an evidence processing room, a weapons storage room where officers also can clean their weapons instead of doing it at home, separate offices for the chief, ranking officers and patrolmen, separate employee and public entrances and bathrooms.

Previously, the department used three rooms − the chief's office, a general patrol office and a multipurpose office for everything from interviewing prisoners to eating meals. Officers previously used the Village Hall's public restrooms.

The Hartville Police Department's new headquarters are now located at 650 S. Prospect Ave. in Hartville.
The Hartville Police Department's new headquarters are now located at 650 S. Prospect Ave. in Hartville.

Chief Kevin Moore said the space, previously used by the NeoFill company that now uses a smaller portion of the facility, also provides a safer environment for the officers because they now can bring arrestees through a designated entrance separate from the public entrance that leads to a secure processing room and two holding cells with reinforced concrete walls and ceiling. Cameras also have been installed throughout the facility, and the doors can be opened only by an authorized fingerprint or pin code.

“It is a huge upgrade, and it's definitely a whole lot safer for officers when they are working,” Moore said.

The Hartville Police Department's new headquarters includes two holding cells with reinforced concrete walls. Previously, village officers did not have a separate area to hold arrestees.
The Hartville Police Department's new headquarters includes two holding cells with reinforced concrete walls. Previously, village officers did not have a separate area to hold arrestees.

The village paid $250,000 for the renovations and agreed to pay roughly $75,000 a year under a 15-year lease with property owner, Jimmic Management Properties. Jimmic agreed to pay $100,000 and any overrun costs for the renovations. Moore said most of the facility’s furniture and appliances either were donated or acquired for free through the state.

Mayor Cynthia Billings said moving the police department has given the staff that works in Village Hall the space they need. She said the village had been using its bathrooms for storage and employees used council chambers for their lunch and break area.

Hartville patrol officers now have their own space and desks in the department's new headquarters at 650 S. Prospect Ave. in Hartville.
Hartville patrol officers now have their own space and desks in the department's new headquarters at 650 S. Prospect Ave. in Hartville.

10-year road paving plan being developed

Village officials have begun putting together a 10-year road paving plan in anticipation of collecting the revenue from the 0.5% income tax increase that passed by six votes in November. The increase is expected to generate roughly $1 million over 10 years.

The village engineer’s plan calls for every road in the village to be paved in 10 years. The roads are separated into zones and the zones are arranged in order of need. The first area to be paved will be the Cornerstone allotment, which council previously has said is the neighborhood with some of the village’s most deteriorated streets.

The engineer will use 2024 to put the project specifications and bid package together, and the village will seek price quotes in early 2025, Billings said.

Improvements coming to Hartville Memorial Park

Hartville Village officials plan to upgrade the electrical system and restroom doors this year at Hartville Memorial Park at 335 Park Lane Drive SW.
Hartville Village officials plan to upgrade the electrical system and restroom doors this year at Hartville Memorial Park at 335 Park Lane Drive SW.

Village officials say Hartville Memorial Park at 335 Park Lane Drive SW is showing its age. The village, which drilled a new well in the park last summer, plans to replace the park’s electrical system and the restroom doors this year.

Billings said the village also is working on multiple grants and partnering with other entities to obtain funding for further park improvements.

New village workers

Hartville saw nearly a quarter of its village workforce leave in 2023. The village, which employs fewer than 25 workers, accepted the retirements of its police chief, street commissioner, two wastewater treatment plant workers, sewer billing clerk and tax clerk. Except for Police Chief Moore, the replacements are new to the village.

Reach Canton Repository staff writer Kelli Weir at 330-580-8339 or kelli.weir@cantonrep.com.

Hartville Police Chief Kevin Moore shows a storage room in the Hartville Police Department's new headquarters. The department previously stored equipment in the chief's office or in its evidence room due to lack of space.
Hartville Police Chief Kevin Moore shows a storage room in the Hartville Police Department's new headquarters. The department previously stored equipment in the chief's office or in its evidence room due to lack of space.

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Hartville starts 2024 with new police HQ, paving plan, park upgrades