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Fairlawn begins process of renovating Croghan Park

5/9/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

Fairlawn Police Officer Abro Washington was promoted from part-time to full-time duty May 6.
Photo: Sean Patrick
During its May 6 meeting, Fairlawn City Council unanimously authorized Mayor William Roth to begin the process of renovating Croghan Park.

The resolution authorizes the mayor to “prepare plans, specifications, cost estimates and obtain bids for the Croghan Park Improvement Project.”

“This [project] involves the addition of some sidewalks in Croghan Park and also the addition of a rain garden,” the mayor said. “In addition, this project includes the installation of a new bridge, since the foot bridge over there has pretty well seen its years.”

According to Roth, adding a rain garden to the park, which is located at Sand Run Parkway and Miller Road, will provide several benefits for the city.

“We’re adding a rain garden, and that’s to filter storm water and clean it, but it’s also an educational exhibit and it will beautify the park,” he said. “Also, cities have storm water management plans, and part of the storm water management plan is that we do things to help with runoff — either reduce runoff or clean the water that it leaves — and a rain garden fits the bill for that. We’re very happy to do it, because it will dress up the park and it will be nice and functional, but it won’t interfere with the play areas. It’s at the corner, where you now have a wet area. We’ll convert that to the rain garden.”

Immediately east of that wet area, Roth said, is “an old walk bridge, which has been there well over 40 years.”

“The bridge is in need of repair,” he said, “so we’re going to replace the bridge and add some more paths in the area. It will be really nice.”

There is no cost estimate for the project as of now, Roth said, but the project will go out for bid and construction will begin mid- to late summer or in the fall.

“The bridge itself, because it has to be designed, will be installed later this year or early next year,” he said. “The rain garden will be installed this year, though.”

Deputy Service Director Ernie Staten said the playground’s surface already has been repaired.

“It’s now back in full operation,” he stated.

Also during the meeting, Fairlawn Police Officer Abro Washington was promoted from part-time to full-time duty.

“He’s a very dedicated employee, and he’s always there when we need him to work,” said Fairlawn Police Lt. Dave Mason. “This is a great day for him. One of his big dreams was to become a full-time police officer, from back when he was going to school at Buchtel [High School] and Kent State [University].”

Washington said he has been in law enforcement for 19 years, including five-and-a-half years with the Fairlawn Police Department. He also has spent nearly two decades as a corrections officer for the Lorain Correctional Institution. Washington said he is excited to finally become a full-time police officer in Fairlawn.

“I’m proud of myself,” he said. “I’m glad that they’re taking me on, and I’m going to do a good job for them.”

In other business:

  • Council unanimously passed a resolution “waiving and suspending the annual fee for the Andrew E. Sombati Compactor and Recycling Facility” for one year, from Aug. 1 of this year through July 31, 2014.
    “I know it’s been at least 10 years, maybe even 12 or 14, that we’ve been doing this now,” Roth said.
    According to the mayor, the fee would be approximately $75 per household if it wasn’t waived.
    “Every year, we look at our finances and we make sure we have enough money to cover it,” said Roth, who noted that there are “between 2,600 and 2,700 households” in Fairlawn.
  • A resolution designating four financial institutions as public depositories for active and/or interim city funds was unanimously approved by Council.
    “This is one of those items that we have to do periodically,” said Council Vice President Bryan Nace (Ward 3). “We do it every five years in a normal cycle.”
    The four financial institutions listed in the resolution are Chase Bank, FirstMerit Bank, Huntington National Bank and PNC Bank, all four of which have branches located on West Market Street in Fairlawn.
    Earlier this year, Fairlawn Financial Analyst Jacob Kaufman said the city advertised that it was accepting applications for public depositories.
    “We received those applications, reviewed them, compiled our list, and this resolution tonight is designating the new depositories for the city,” he stated.
  • Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring May 18, 2013, as “Bill Stalker” cleanup and beautification day in Fairlawn.
    “We’ve done this for years. It’s our large item pickup day,” Roth said. “Our crews do a great job of covering the city in one day. We’re glad as a city to be able to provide this for our residents.”
    According to the city’s website, the large item pickup is “limited to items that are difficult to dispose of through the normal channels,” including washers, dryers, mattresses, sofas, televisions, microwaves and lawn mowers. All refrigerator doors must be removed prior to pickup.
    “Large item pickup does not include normal trash, leaves, grass, brush or any other yard waste, household rubbish, concrete or asphalt, heavy construction or demolition materials, paints, chemicals or any other household hazardous waste,” the website states.
    All items must be out on the curb May 18 by 7 a.m.
  • A resolution proclaiming May 13-19 as “National Police Week” and May 15 as “Peace Officers’ Memorial Day” in Fairlawn was passed unanimously by Council.
    “This is our yearly honor for those who paid the ultimate price to keep our country safe,” Mason said.
  • According to City Engineer Nick Spagnuolo, two construction projects in Fairlawn have been completed.
    “The waterline on Caladonia [Avenue] has been completed,” he said. “And the paving on Ridgewood Road has also been completed up near the new Schulman building.”

The next Fairlawn City Council meeting is scheduled for May 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Fairlawn City Hall, 3487 S. Smith Road. The next Committee-of-the-Whole meeting is scheduled for May 13 at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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