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Probate Court seeks to accept credit cards

3/28/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Probate Court customers could soon use credit cards to pay court fees.

During Summit County Council’s Rules Committee meeting March 25, Council learned the court wishes to be added to the list of those county entities already accepting credit cards.

Deputy Court Administrator Thomas Cardone said the county first enacted legislation allowing the use of credit cards in 2009, but Probate Court was not included at the time.

The court recently had a change of leadership. Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer took office this year, replacing Todd McKenney, who had been appointed to the bench when longtime Judge Bill Spicer retired.

Councilman Bill Roemer (R-at large) asked about fees that would be charged back to card users. Jason Dodson, chief of staff in the Executive’s Office, said the state auditor has ruled the fees must be charged back to the user rather than absorbed by the county.

Currently, the county’s Clerk of Courts, Juvenile Court, Fiscal Office, Building Standards and Animal Control accept credit cards.

Probate Court handles business such as estates, marriage licenses, guardianship, adoptions and name changes.

The committee recommended Council adopt the resolution.

In other business, the Planning and Economic Development Committee heard that a resolution could be coming soon in the issue of what to do about Wetmore Road in Boston Township. The township requested a year ago that it be allowed to vacate a portion of the road because of costs to maintain it.

Dodson said the Cuyahoga Falls law director told him last week the city is considering annexing that portion of the road.

A resolution regarding the road has been on time but is set to expire April 8. Council also has before it a similar piece of legislation regarding Oak Hill Road.

Also, the committee recommended Council adopt a resolution accepting and approving changes to Firestone Trace Phase I and V in Bath Township.

Stephen Knittel, of the Planning Department, said the developer plans to add six subplots to the subdivision.

Also Monday, the Rules Committee briefly discussed an amended ordinance that would restructure the Consumer Affairs Office. The ordinance proposes putting the office under the executive, and the amendment proposes establishing an advisory board for the office that would be made up of five members, with two each from the business/finance and consumer affairs areas and one representing economically disadvantaged communities.

The committee added the amendment but kept the legislation on time.

Council also heard from Gerald Craig, executive director of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADM) Board. The board is gearing up for a levy request in the November General Election.

Craig said the board is looking closely at what happens with Medicaid in Ohio, as it will determine how much funding the board gets from the state.

“As we approach the end of our levy cycle, we are trying to position ourselves so we have maximum flexibility,” Craig said.

County Council will next meet April 1 at 4:30 p.m. for caucus, followed by the regular meeting in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St.

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