🔦 Goodbye, community pool

Maplewood Pool in Stow first opened in 1959. Plus, several updates from the communities

Today is Feb. 8, 2024.

  • Good morning! It’s not spring yet, but it sure feels like it. Our mild winter continues today with a high of 57 degrees and a low of 46, with more clouds than sun. The temperature will climb to 59 on Friday before turning much cooler early next week and feeling more like February. But it won’t look like February with no snow anywhere in the forecast.

  • We’re back after missing last week, so you will notice that today’s newsletter is thicker than usual. There’s a lot to digest in this one, so enjoy!

  • Something to look for in your USPS mailbox: The cities of Stow and Munroe Falls and the Village of Silver Lake are mailing opt-out letters this week to current and newly eligible accounts in their respective electric aggregation programs. Go here for more information if you live in Stow, here if you live in Munroe Falls and here if you live in Silver Lake.

  • Attention Munroe Falls: The Ohio Department of Transportation is inviting Munroe Falls residents to its virtual public involvement meeting for the future bridge repair project along North Main Street. ODOT will give residents the latest information on current efforts to protect the bridge and wants to hear your comments and concerns. Go here for more information and to participate in the virtual open house. Construction is scheduled for summer 2026, with the bridge closed to traffic for up to 45 days.

  • Several stories in this issue are only available to premium subscribers: Stow buys new community center building, Maplewood Pool closes, events for kids, Dick’s project underway, where to get rid of old electronics and more. Full access is $2.99/month.

  • If you just subscribed or missed something in an earlier newsletter, don’t fret: Subscribers have access to every edition of The Spotlight at www.stowmunroefalls.com. Check out back issues to catch up on everything that’s going on in our communities — you never know what you might have missed!


You can help northeast Summit County get a new multi-purpose trail that’s nearly 13 miles long

Submitted photo

Plans are in the works to bring another recreational trail to the area — and you can help make it happen.

First, some background: In 2019, TASCforce (Trail Advocates of Summit County) began efforts to convert a 12.5-mile abandoned rail line from Akron to Hudson into a paved recreational trail. Metro RTA of Akron owns 90% of the right-of-way.

The right-of-way property was purchased with funds from the Federal Transit Administration in the early to mid-1990s with the intent of running passenger trains on the track. But the tracks have remained idle ever since and are now overgrown with trees and brush.

Submitted photo

In 2022, Metro RTA began drawing up lease agreements for the right-of-way with the cities of Hudson and Stow, since both communities had secured federal grants for building the trail in their respective cities. But in August 2022, MRTA put a halt to those lease agreements after being told by the FTA that it wasn’t allowed to lease the property to other entities.

So after some bureaucratic wrangling, here’s where things with the potential trail stand now:

  • The FTA has informed Metro RTA that it must divest the property since it’s not being used for the purpose for which it was originally intended when purchased with federal funds.

  • In 2023, the City of Hudson began negotiations with Norfolk Southern to purchase or lease the section of rail line from Barlow Road to downtown Hudson — which represents the last 10% of the right-of-way. This deal could be wrapped up by the end of 2024, according to TASCforce Co-Director Bill Sepe.

  • TASCforce continues to lobby Metro RTA to convert the entire rail line into a trail.

Here’s how residents of Stow, Munroe Falls and Silver Lake can help bring a new multi-purpose trail to the area: Go to www.tascforce.org and sign up to show your support and receive updates on the project. You can also Like the TASCforce Facebook page. “The more support we can show for this trail, the more likely that we will succeed in getting it built,” Sepe said.


Pribonic fills open city positions with appointments of Cowan, Gilpatric

After appointing Drew Reilly as the city’s new law director, Mayor John Pribonic recently filled two more positions with the appointments of Zack Cowan as the city’s new director of planning & development and Jeremy Gilpatric as its new prosecutor. Both bring a wealth of experience to their new roles.

Cowan had served as deputy director of planning with the City of Stow since April 2022. In that role, he was responsible for assessing zoning permits, building permits, variances and rezonings to ensure adherence to city codes and policies.

“I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to serve as the Director of Planning & Development for the City of Stow,” Cowan said in a statement. “This exciting role allows me to further contribute to the growth and enhancement of our community, and I’m eager to work on initiatives that will shape the City’s future. I am grateful for the trust placed in me and look forward to collaborating with the talented team in the administration as well as City Council, residents, and business owners to achieve impactful and sustainable development for Stow.”

Among his accomplishments, Cowan:

  • Graduated from The Ohio State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in city & regional planning.

  • Served as a zoning officer for the City of Salem.

  • Served as a city planner for the City of Pataskala.

  • Served as a Planner II for the City of Columbus.

  • Is GIS Certified and has been part of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2020.

“Zack Cowan is a valuable member of the City’s Planning & Development Department, possessing expertise and a visionary mindset,” Pribonic said. “He is well-prepared to undertake the responsibilities of his new position.”

Gilpatric, meanwhile, most recently served as a staff attorney at Summit Legal Defenders in Akron from February 2022 to January 2024.

“I am excited to return to prosecuting after serving as a public defender,” he said. “I am grateful to join wonderful colleagues in the Stow Law Department. Drew [Reilly] and I attended law school together, and I can learn a lot from [former Stow Prosecutor] Hope [Konovsky] and her years of experience as a prosecutor.”


  • Is a graduate of the University of Akron School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree cum laude in May 2017.

  • Served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in the Summit County Prosecutor's Office in Akron from June 2018 to February 2022.

  • Is a member of the Phi Delta Phi International Honors Society, a prestigious organization that recognizes legal scholars for their outstanding achievements.

Said Pribonic: “The City of Stow is confident that Jeremy Gilpatric’s extensive legal background, combined with his commitment to justice and public service, will make a significant positive impact as he assumes the role of Prosecutor.”

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