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Cuyahoga Falls adopts 2013 budget

1/3/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Meetings planned for removal of dams

Cuyahoga Falls City Council held a special meeting Dec. 27 to approve a budget before the start of 2013.

In a 9-0 vote, Council adopted a more than $176 million budget, which includes about $32 million in the General Fund, city officials said.

Council President Mark Ihasz (D-Ward 4) and Councilman Tarry Mader (R-Ward 8) were absent from the meeting, according to city officials.

Finance Director Joseph Brodzinski reported to Council in early December the city most likely will spend about $1.9 million more than it generates in 2013.

He still anticipates ending 2013 with about $5.5 million in the General Fund, however, he has said.

Brodzinski told Council in past regular meetings that the state budget continues to negatively impact revenue in the city, as it reduced estate taxes, local government funds and the Commercial Activity Tax.

Council members held several special finance meetings in December to review the city’s financial figures and advise how they would like the budget to look.

Also at the Dec. 27 special meeting, Council approved legislation urging the city of Akron to refrain from removing the existing traffic signals on Bath Road at Riverview Road and on Bath Road at Akron-Peninsula Road, which are intersections directly adjacent to residential areas of Cuyahoga Falls.

According to the resolution, Bath, Riverview and Akron-Peninsula roads are regional connector roadways that serve motorists from many Summit County communities, including residents of Akron and Cuyahoga Falls.

Falls officials explained Akron recently began an evaluation of all of its traffic signals, including those located at Bath and Riverview roads and Bath and Akron-Peninsula roads, and determined the traffic volumes at the two intersections are lower than normal for traffic signalization.

In other city news, officials announced two public meetings will take place to discuss the removal of two dams from the Cuyahoga River, near the downtown riverfront area, in early summer 2013.

The meetings will take place Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. and Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Sutliff Room at the Cuyahoga Falls Library, 2015 Third St.

Mayor Don Robart has said the removal of the dams would provide kayakers with class 4 and 5 rapids and improve the water quality for area swimming and fishing.

City officials have said the approximate $1 million project was approved by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and will be funded through the state’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.

Council will hold its next committee meetings Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St. Council will have its next regular meeting Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Natatorium.

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