‘Liability’ Puts Historic Flagpole in Jeopardy

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RAVENNA, Ohio -- There's a local effort in Portage County to save and restore a historic Ravenna flagpole that's been standing for almost 120 years.

"It's a local monument, it goes with the town, with the buildings and stuff, so yes, they should keep it," said Robin Patterson of Ravenna.

That's how most of the people in Ravenna feel about the 150 foot flagpole that was built back in 1893.

In recent years the historic flagpole has become a liability since some people have tried to climb the structure that's as tall as the Statue of Liberty and looks like a smaller Eiffel Tower.

Vince Coia is a trustee with Ravenna Township and agrees the flagpole and the flag should continue to stand in the center of town.

"Every town has something that's unique to it and this flagpole is unique to this town," Coia said.

The flagpole which stands in front of the Portage County courthouse is in need of restoration.

It will cost $150,000 to repair, maintain and build a fence around the structure.

A campaign called "Friends of the Flagpole" has privately raised more than $80,000 to get the project done.

"It's  a very unique structure, you won't see anything around like it certainly anywhere near as tall and it's an important symbol for the city and township," said Jack Schafer of "Friends of the Flagpole."

"Friends of the Flagpole" is hoping to have the $150,000 needed so they may have the flagpole fixed and restored by this fall.