Choosing the right location to raise your family is one of a mother’s most important decisions. Here in Summit County, there are 30 wonderful communities to potentially call home, and those communities consist of cities, villages and townships. And if you think they’re all the same, think again.
There are some differences you should know about between cities, villages, and townships around town.
City, Village and Townships
A municipal corporation with a population of 5,000 people or more is classified as a city. Additionally, cities must be at least four square miles and have a population density of 1,000 people per square mile.
Those areas with less than 5,000 people are classified as a village.
Townships are classified as a segment of a county with some corporate powers. The geographical size of townships can range from six to 54 square miles, and on average, townships have a population of 3,100 people.
Local Government Organization
City and village governments consist of an elected mayor and city council. Cities and villages are broken down into wards; residents in each ward elect a councilperson to represent them.
Township residents are represented in their local government by an elected, non-partisan board of trustees. Some townships have an appointed township administrator to handle day-to-day operations.
Apart from population, the biggest difference between cities and villages, and townships is that townships do not collect income tax. Townships receive the bulk of their revenue almost exclusively from property taxes; cities and villages collect both with the majority of their revenue coming from income taxes.
All cities in Summit County have their own school district, as do most villages and townships. Some townships and villages share school districts. For instance students who live in the village of Boston Heights are enrolled in the nearby Hudson City Schools; Copley Township and the City of Fairlawn joined together to create the Copley/Fairlawn School District. All public schools in Summit County are funded through property taxes.
Cities, villages and townships are required to provide specific services to their residents. Those services include utilities, road maintenance; cemetery maintenance; police, fire and emergency management services (EMS); waste management; senior centers; parks and recreations; street lighting; and zoning. The larger the municipality, the more services that are provided by the local government. In Akron, the largest city in Summit County, they provide services such as urban planning and economic development.
Many cities, villages and townships in Summit County contract with each other and with the county to provide joint services, such as police and fire, trash collection, snow removal, and road maintenance. For instance, the city of Green contracts with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to have the county provide law enforcement to city residents; Coventry Township and the city of New Franklin contract together to provide garbage collection and recycling to their residents at a lower cost than two individual contracts.
Many of the cities, villages and townships in the county also contract with the county to provide more streamlined services to their residents, including animal control, building inspections, engineering and corrections services.