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Norton Council agrees to pay Barberton for administrative operations

10/25/2012 - West Side Leader
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By John Benson

Viewed as an oversight, Norton City Council unanimously agreed to pay the city of Barberton $5,000 annually for certain administrative services during the Oct. 22 meeting.

“This was negotiated between my office and the law office of the city of Barberton,” said Law Director Peter Kostoff. “All of the other communities have been paying a cost for the administrative operations, as well as prosecuting services. There has been an oversight [that] didn’t catch anyone’s attention. We did not pay the administrative costs because we paid our prosecuting services directly.

“I tried to negotiate what I think is a fair amount,” he added. “The good news is it won’t start until next year and it covers a multi-year period of time in which the amount will not increase. It will be a flat amount. I think it’s extremely reasonable. I ask you to support it.”

Two other ordinances passed 6-0, with Councilman Bill Mowery (Ward 3) excused, that involved the city authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Council Vice President Todd Bergstrom (Ward 1) said the ordinances are passed annually and involve grass mowing and spraying along Interstate 76 and state Route 21.

Council also unanimously passed a resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the Summit County Budget Commission.

In other business, residents spoke about the anticipated Nash Heights sewer assessment project.

“Regarding the sewers, as usual, seeing how you’re not going to force us to tie in, why can’t we be assessed when we are forced to tie in,” said resident Karen Harley. “That may make the strain less backbreaking for those of us who don’t have the money. That might help a little. I don’t foresee me needing the sewer line for another 10 years. There’s nothing wrong with our septic. We have it tested and pumped every two years. It works perfectly.”

Resident Audrey Kornacki said the cost would be a burden for many residents.

“I don’t understand what the big push is here,” she said. “I understand there are about 60 percent of residents who are retirees. I’m hoping you’ll consider this fact rather than push a sewer that’s going to create so many people to be homeless. And I’m going to be one of those people. My septic system works fine. It’s not creating a problem. We just don’t feel the need for this burden on our backs.”

The meeting ended with a lengthy discussion about potential ordinances the city can create regarding foreclosed homes. Councilman Scott Pelot (at-large) said he received a complaint from a resident whose neighboring home had been foreclosed and the bank or mortgage company cleaned out the house, leaving the property on the driveway. This caused an eyesore for the community.

“Banks don’t care about the neighborhoods and our city,” Pelot said. “We need to put some type of ordinances in place saying they can’t put the trash out in the yard. They need to either put it into storage or a Dumpster™. Whatever the case, the people who live in these neighborhoods don’t need that.”

He added he would like the ordinance to have “teeth in it” to make sure banks or mortgage companies pay attention.

“I’d be happy to look into it,” Kostoff said. “It’ll all boil down to providing witnesses. You can speculate all you will who was the culprit, but unless you have a witness, if we go back on the owner of possession, it just might be complicated and costly.”

Also during the meeting, Mayor Mike Zita said the city will have trick-or-treating Oct. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“With trick or treating observed on the same day and time in all of our neighborhoods, our safety personnel may concentrate their efforts and resources,” Zita said.

The next Council meeting is set for Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Safety-Administration Building, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive.

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