Twinsburg Township -- Once again, township residents can enjoy the amenities of an area recreation center on the township's tab, as Trustees on Jan. 2 set aside $65,000 to provide residents with some financial help toward recreation center memberships.
The popular Recreation Center Program, originally approved in 2010 and renewed every year since, reimburses township residents 50 percent of what they spend on membership at the Twinsburg Fitness Center, as well as recreation centers in Solon and Hudson and other nearby communities. Twinsburg Township lacks a dedicated recreational facility of its own.
Trustee Tom Schmidt said the program is popular among residents -- about 200 families or individuals signed up for the program last year -- and more feasible than constructing a township facility.
"We don't want to build a facility that replicates something that's in a surrounding town," Schmidt said. "Those things are very expensive to maintain anyway."
Families and individuals in the township can apply for membership at area recreation and fitness centers and be reimbursed for up to $250 per household.
"It's really dollars well-spent to enable our residents to go forward and join some kind of recreation facility," said Trustee Jim Balogh. "It's an enabler for those families who are really serious about joining a facility like that. Secondly, because of the way it's funded, it isn't a universal tax on everyone else in the township who would never go to one of those things. It's a very cost-effective way to provide this recreation service and help defray the cost of that for those families who are committed and serious about it."
Balogh said the current budget of $65,000 is down from 2012's budget of $75,000, which proved to be an overestimate for the program. The funds come from tax revenues from the township's Joint Economic Development District.
For a list of eligible recreation centers, call the township at 330-425-4497, or visit www.twinsburgtownship.com.
Also approved at the Jan. 2 meeting was a $500 program providing similar services to township senior citizens looking to utilize nearby senior social facilities. Schmidt said the senior program reimburses individual and group membership fees up to $25.
"We've made arrangements at the Twinsburg Senior Center ... we'll reimburse or we'll pay a $25 membership for a local senior group," Schmidt said. "There are a very limited [number of] people who use that program but we do have it available."
The Twinsburg Senior Center and Solon Senior Center are both eligible for the program. Aurora is also available but does not charge fees. Balogh said fewer than 10 township seniors participated in the program in 2012.
A third program renewed Jan. 2 was the Senior Transportation Program, a $1,080 initiative to provide transportation to senior citizens who are otherwise unable to transport themselves to medical appointments and other important errands. The program is made possible through an arrangement with Summit County Special Citizens Area Transit.