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County Council OKs Green sewer funding

4/18/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Council unanimously voted April 15 in support of a resolution to provide $500,000 for infrastructure to support the next phase of the CAK International Business Park in Green.

The adoption allows County Executive Russ Pry’s office to execute a cooperative agreement with the city and the Development Finance Authority of Summit County for Phase III of the project.

The agreement means the county will put $500,000 toward construction and financing of sanitary sewers for the area of 142 acres at the Akron-Canton Airport. The city plans to put in $5 million total in infrastructure to support the project, according to the legislation.

County officials estimate 800 to 1,000 new jobs could come to the city as a result of the third phase of the business park. Upon completion of the sewer, the county’s Department of Environment Services (DOES) will own it, and any customers that link to it will be DOES customers, according to the legislation.

In other business, Council voted along political party lines on a resolution expressing opposition to a proposed state amendment that would make Ohio a “right to work” state.

Councilwoman Paula Prentice (D-District 8) introduced the resolution.

“I think it’s the right thing to do at this time,” she said. “If it hadn’t been for the union[s], there are a lot of people in this county and state that wouldn’t have a 40-hour work week, hospitalization and benefits.”

Prentice added that efforts are being made in Southern Ohio to put the Workplace Freedom constitutional amendment on the ballot. An organization called Ohioans for Workplace Freedom is currently promoting the proposed amendment, which according to its website would allow Ohioans to have a choice as to whether to join a union.

Council members Bill Roemer (R-at large) and Gloria Rodgers (R-District 3) voted against the resolution.

Also at the meeting, Council adopted a resolution allowing the right-of-way to be vacated at the Garden Acres Allotment in Springfield at the request of a business owner. Property owner Peter Kern, of Kern’s Florist, had asked for the vacation.

County officials have said the vacation is the first step in what could be the creation of a recreational trail in that area by Metro Parks, Serving Summit County and the township.

Council also adopted two resolutions regarding improvements to the Springfield Wastewater Treatment Plant, a project estimated to cost $4.8 million. The first resolution allows the county to advertise for bids for the project and the other resolution allows the county to enter into a Water Pollution Control Loan Fund loan agreement to finance it.

Council also approved a resolution allowing the county to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the design, right-of-way acquisition and rehabilitation of part of Canton Road in Springfield. The project will see the addition of safety improvements to Canton Road from Sanitarium to East Waterloo Road, with ODOT handling the project.

In addition, Council adopted 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.

Among the new legislation introduced was a resolution declaring the necessity of a renewal levy for the Akron Zoo. The 0.8-mill levy is for capital and operating expenses and will likely be before voters in November.

Summit County Council will meet April 22 at 4:30 p.m. for committee meetings in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, located at 175 S. Main St. in Downtown Akron.

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