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Boston trustees OK annexation of Wetmore Road

5/2/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

Boston Township Board of Trustees members have indicated they will approve the annexation of 220 acres of township property surrounding Wetmore Road to Cuyahoga Falls.

Trustees, at the April 24 meeting, voted to approve the annexation after discussing the proposed contract in executive session, according to Fiscal Officer Joanne Noragon.

Trustee Chair Amy Anderson said Cuyahoga Falls was unwilling to enter into another road maintenance contract with the township. Cuyahoga Falls, in an effort to keep Wetmore Road open, agreed this winter to do snow removal and ice control on the Boston Township road.

Wetmore is one of three roads trustees petitioned Summit County Council in 2012 for permission to vacate. County Council last year approved the vacation of a portion of Stanford Road and denied in April a request to vacate a portion of Oak Hill Road, which remains closed for safety reasons. County Council in April tabled the township’s request to vacate Wetmore Road.

Cash-strapped Boston asked to vacate the roads so it would not have to spend its resources to maintain roads bordered only by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Metro Parks, Serving Summit County properties, which do not pay property tax, trustees have said.

Anderson said the 220 acres slated for annexation are park properties that do not produce tax revenue for the township.

Trustees, at an earlier meeting, said Cuyahoga Falls was interested in annexing the acreage and Wetmore Road. Anderson said trustees could approve the annexation or Cuyahoga Falls could petition the property owners directly. The annexation could be accomplished more quickly if the trustees agreed, she said. Cuyahoga Falls will develop the paperwork needed to complete the annexation, according to Anderson.

Trustees also set a public hearing for its proposed Economic Activity District (EAD) agreement with Peninsula Village. The hearing will be June 12 at 6 p.m. Trustees continue to work out details of the agreement. Anderson said Boston favors a five-year agreement with the option to renew, while attorneys for the village are asking for a 25-year agreement. Anderson said the township wants the option of dissolving the agreement after five years if village voters do not approve an increase in the village income tax to 2 percent. The township and the village will share in payroll taxes collected from businesses located within the EAD. The payroll tax percentage that can be collected from the EAD is limited to the percentage collected by the host community. Peninsula’s income tax rate currently is 1 percent.

Trustees had a difference of opinion when asked to affirm taking action to clean up a township property that has been found in violation of township zoning. Anderson and Trustee Gerald Ritch voted to proceed with the cleanup of a property owned by Lura Jean Brown and occupied by her son, Bobby Pruitt. Trustee Randy Bergdorf voted against proceeding. Trustees have requested bids from contractors for the cleanup of the property. Cleanup costs would be assessed to the property owner.

The township obtained a court order for the property to be brought into compliance with provisions of the zoning resolution. Township officials have been working with Pruitt to develop work plans for him to clear the property. However, Ritch and Anderson said they thought the cleanup work had stalled, forcing them to take action to have the property cleared.

In other action, trustees:

  • heard from Road Superintendent Tim Tesmer that township brush chipping will begin May 6;
  • noted the Valley Fire District Pancake Breakfast will take place May 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the fire station on Dogwood Drive with dedication of the John R. Puchalsky Apparatus Building and the John A. Lahoski Meeting Room at 11 a.m.; and
  • heard Ohio Turnpike officials have requested the Ohio Department of Transportation develop a program for noise abatement within the township.

The next regular Boston Board of Trustees meeting will be May 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the administrative offices at Boston Township Hall, located at the corner of Main Street and Riverview Road in Peninsula.

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