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County committee weighs in on Oak Hill Road closure

4/11/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — A Summit County Council committee recommended April 8 that Council deny Boston Township trustees’ request to vacate Oak Hill Road but keep the road closed to traffic in that area.

The township requested the vacation about a year ago, along with portions of Wetmore and Stanford roads, due to a lack of funds for maintenance and the fact that no township residents live in those areas.

Council approved the Stanford Road vacation last year, and the Planning and Economic Development Committee kept legislation regarding Oak Hill and Wetmore on time. Meanwhile, erosion on Oak Hill led to the closure of the road by the Summit County Engineer’s Office.

Regarding Oak Hill Road, the committee this week recommended Council adopt a substitute resolution denying the vacation, which would have permanently closed the road. But committee Chair Ilene Shapiro (D-at large) said the Engineer’s Office plans to keep the road closed to vehicular traffic due to the structural issues there.

The resolution regarding vacating Wetmore Road was kept on time with an amended expiration of June 10. Boston Trustee Gerald Ritch said the township’s position has not changed as to wanting to vacate the road, but officials are continuing to talk with Cuyahoga Falls officials about an agreement.

“In the next couple of weeks, it could be resolved,” Ritch said.

In other business, the Public Works Committee recommended Council adopt two resolutions regarding work to improve South Cleveland-Massillon Road bridge over Van Hyning Run in Norton.

One resolution authorizes the Engineer’s Office to execute agreements for acquisition of warranty deeds for right-of-ways in the area at a cost of $12,690.

The other resolution will allow the Engineer’s Office to proceed to court if one of three homeowners with property in the area does not agree to the office’s arrangement for right-of-way access, according to Heidi Swindell, of the Engineer’s Office.

The committee also recommended a resolution regarding two drainage easements and a temporary easement for a culvert replacement on Revere Road in Bath at a cost of $2,288.

During the Rules Committee meeting, members recommended Council adopt an amended ordinance regarding the county’s Office of Consumer Affairs to allow the office to be part of the Executive’s department of Law, Insurance and Risk Management.

Also Monday, the Personnel Committee recommended Council adopt an ordinance amending some policies for employees. The changes would allow new employees to have health insurance coverage in the first full month of their employment. Chief of Staff Jason Dodson said currently new employees must wait 90 days for coverage to kick in, although in some cases higher level new hires had that waived by the executive.

The change would also extend leave-of-absence opportunities for situations regarding domestic partners, Dodson said.

Summit County Council will next meet April 15 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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