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County Council OKs lease for veterans program

4/4/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Council voted April 1 to allow the Summit County Veterans Council to use vacant county property to help it with a program that assists veterans in need.

Council unanimously voted on first reading to adopt the resolution allowing the use of a building at 140 E. South St. for the Summit County Stand Down for Veterans event that happens annually. The contract is for five years at a cost of $1 a year.

Kathy Blouir, of the Veterans Council, said the space would be used to store items such as surplus sleeping bags and blankets that the organization receives from the U.S. government for the program. The Stand Down events will continue to be held at the Firestone VFW Post on West Waterloo Road.

The September event typically serves several hundred homeless or disenfranchised veterans and provides them with goods like clothing and services such as medical tests, haircuts and legal help.

“It really is quite an operation,” said County Executive Russ Pry.

Also Monday, Council adopted on first reading a resolution urging Congress and President Barack Obama to take action to maintain the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds.

Councilman Nick Kostandaras (D-District 1) said Council supports the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the National Association of Counties on the issue.

According to the resolution, the bonds have been tax exempt for nearly a century. Officials said changing the structure of the bonds would lead to higher borrowing costs for local governments trying to finance projects such as investing in infrastructure.

Council also adopted legislation to allow Probate Court to begin accepting credit cards for payment of court fees. The county first enacted legislation allowing the use of credit cards in 2009, but the Court was not included at the time.

In addition, Council adopted a resolution accepting and approving changes to Firestone Trace Phase I and V in Bath Township that will allow the developer to add several lots.

County Council will next meet for committee meetings April 8 at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St.

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