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Falls’ creek heading for restoration

1/31/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Money is flowing into the city of Cuyahoga Falls so a local waterway soon could be refreshed.

At the Jan. 28 meeting, Cuyahoga Falls City Council approved obtaining design-build services necessary to conduct the riparian restoration of Kelsey Creek in Kennedy Park, off of Munroe Falls Avenue.

City officials reported a $90,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Division of Surface Water would fund a portion of the $290,000 price tag to restore 1,100 feet of creek and 1,800 feet of stream bank negatively impacted by storm water runoff due to increased development on nearby Howe Avenue.

Members of Council agreed the project would attract more visitors next summer to Kennedy Park, as access to the stream would be improved.

The restoration work would begin in early April and be finished before July 4, city officials said.

The project would entail reducing bank erosion; improving the surface-water quality of the creek that empties into the Cuyahoga Falls River; and adding new plant life, according to city officials.

Also during the meeting, Council unanimously accepted Mayor Don Robart’s reappointments and new appointments to the city’s Planning Commission and Tree Board and the Cuyahoga Falls Library Board of Trustees.

Robart reassigned Don Nelsh to another six-year term on the Planning Commission.

Nelsh, who was present at the meeting, publicly said he appreciated the reappointment.

Also to the Planning Commission, Robart appointed Mark Milosovic to a six-year term.

“He is anxious to take on this chore,” the mayor said of Milosovic, who could not be at the meeting due to work responsibilities.

Council also approved Robart’s desire for Helen McWilliams and Cheryl Bruce to serve additional two-year terms on the Library Board.

Additionally, David Hillard was reappointed to a three-year term to the Tree Board.

Hillard, who has been on the Tree Board for 13 years, said he greatly enjoys helping oversee the trees in the city.

Robart also appointed Patricia Lehnhart to her first three-year term on the Tree Board.

“I am looking forward to doing what I can to help,” said Lehnhart, who was very active in the city’s Bicentennial celebrations last year.

During the meeting, Council members took turns expressing their gratitude to those reappointed and appointed for volunteering their time to be involved in the community.

In addition Jan. 28, Council approved the purchase of mail processing equipment and associated software for use in the Utility Billing Department.

Service Director Valerie Wax Carr said an analysis was done to compare the benefits of owning the mail equipment to outsourcing the work.

She told Council her department determined it would be best to keep the work in-house, as outsourcing would not have created a significant savings.

Council also approved legislation:

• authorizing contracts for the purchase of certain materials, supplies and equipment for use by the Electric Division in 2013;

• levying special assessments for the repair or replacement of sidewalks and driveway approaches and creating the 2013 Sidewalk and Drive Approach Repair and Replacement District; and

• authorizing contracts for the repair and replacement of concrete sidewalks, driveway approaches and curbs at various locations in the city.

Council will meet for committee meetings Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St., and for a regular meeting Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the same location.

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