West Side News & Notes
Provision to add juvenile judge removed from budget bill
COLUMBUS — Ohio Rep. Anthony DeVitis (R-District 36) has asked that a provision proposed by him and Rep. Marilyn Slaby (R-District 38) to add a second judge in Summit County Juvenile Court be removed from substitute House Bill 59.
“After much discussion and constituent input, I have requested that Chairman Bob Peterson of the General Government Finance Subcommittee remove the addition of a juvenile judge …,” DeVitis said in a May 21 letter to the West Side Leader. “I am deeply passionate about families that are involved in our juvenile court system, thus I will continue to gather more information and understanding about the court’s processes and efficiencies in an effort to offer these families the best possible court system in the State of Ohio.”
In his letter to Peterson, dated May 14, DeVitis said a Green foster parent had brought up the need for an additional judge. DeVitis said he researched the cost of adding a judge to the county and also over the past year met with members of Summit County Council, the Foster Parent Association, Summit County Children Services and Job and Family Services and current Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio.
Teodosio led an effort against the addition, appearing before County Council and the Ohio Senate’s General Governance Finance Subcommittee to oppose the measure. Her office was unaware of DeVitis’ withdrawal of the provision until contacted by a reporter.
In a statement, Teodosio said: “Since I took the bench in 2003, the Summit County Juvenile Court has strived to be the best Juvenile Court in the state of Ohio. The national and statewide recognition the court has received during that time has demonstrated that we are meeting that goal. I am gratified that the court will be able to continue to provide the same high level of programming and services to the children and families of Summit County.”
ODOT taking public comment on Copley/Bath project
BATH — The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will conduct an open house public involvement meeting to solicit public comments on a proposed traffic congestion improvement project that includes widening state Route 18 (Medina Road) and the relocation of Montrose West Avenue in Bath and Copley townships.
The purpose of the project, according to ODOT officials, is to reduce traffic congestion on state Route 18, and the following improvements are proposed:
- addition of one lane on eastbound state Route 18;
- installation of dual westbound left-turn lanes at the state Route 18 intersection with Heritage Woods Drive;
- relocation of Montrose West Avenue to intersect with Heritage Woods Drive;
- installation of a modern roundabout at the proposed Montrose West Avenue intersection with Heritage Woods Drive; and
- construction of an earthen mound along Heritage Woods Drive as a visual barrier to traffic on Heritage Woods Drive and relocated Montrose West Avenue.
The open house and meeting will take place May 29 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Summit I and II rooms at the Akron General Health and Wellness Center-West, 4125 Medina Road. Attendees may arrive anytime between 5 and 8 p.m.
The meeting format will include two brief presentations with a video of the proposed improvements at 5:30 and 7 p.m. Following each presentation, interested individuals will have the opportunity to speak during a public comment period. Throughout the open house, personnel from ODOT and 2LMN, the project consultant, will be available to address questions. A video of the proposed improvements will be playing continuously throughout the meeting.
All those interested are invited to attend, participate and provide comments regarding the proposed project. Written or oral comments may be submitted during the public involvement meeting while written comments also may be mailed to: Anthony Urankar, District 4 deputy director, Attn: Steven Rebillot, District 4 planning administrator, Ohio Department of Transportation, 2088 S. Arlington Road, Akron, OH 44306.
The final date to submit comments is June 15.
Copies of the meeting materials also will be available for review at the ODOT District 4 office.
Additional project information, including the meeting handout and displays, will be available on the ODOT District 4 website. Also, a summary of public comments received during the public comment period and responses to comments will be prepared and are expected to be posted on the ODOT District 4 website within 60 days of the public comment period closure date. To view the additional project information and summary of public comments received and responses to comments, go to www.dot.state.oh.us/districts/d04, scroll down and select “Public Meetings in District 4” under the “Services” heading.
Construction of the proposed $11.6 million project is expected to begin in the fall of 2015.
Bath, Copley awarded grant for Montrose study
DOWNTOWN AKRON — A joint effort between Bath and Copley townships to study transportation issues in the Montrose area is one of two Summit County projects to earn $50,000 in grant funding from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS).
The Montrose: North/South East/West study will encompass a 3.25-mile suburban area bounded by Bath on the north and Copley on the south and includes Interstate 77, state Route 18, Springside Drive, Montrose West Avenue and Cleveland-Massillon, Rothrock and Crystal Lake roads. The study will consider bicycle and pedestrian access improvements throughout the area and transit and vehicle access improvements to nearby retail and parking locations, according to AMATS officials.
Other topics to be addressed by the study include potential aesthetic improvements, signage blight and the issues of sustainability and environmental impacts.
AMATS selected the Bath/Copley study after a review of 10 project applications that began in January for the Connecting Communities Planning Grant. Improvements and recommendations identified in these studies may be eligible for inclusion in future long-range regional transportation plans prepared by the agency, AMATS officials said.
The Connecting Communities Planning Grant Program was launched by the agency three years ago and awards funds for the study of potential improvements that promote sustainability, such as bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure projects. Since its launch, the program has awarded several grants totaling $200,000 to communities and organizations such as Akron, Richfield and the METRO Regional Transit Authority.
For more information, call AMATS at 330-375-2436 or go to www.amatsplanning.org.
Veterans ID card available in Summit County
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County veterans can obtain a new veteran’s identification card starting May 28 at the Summit County Fiscal Office.
Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise CPA, CFE, said the wallet-sized card will serve as an alternative to the Armed Forces Discharge record known as a DD Form 214, or DD214, when veterans need to provide proof of their service.
The card is similar in size and appearance to a driver’s license and fits into a wallet. The card is accepted at retail establishments to obtain veteran discounts and incentives, and has a magnetic strip that can be read by card readers when swiped.
“I am proud to be among the first in Ohio to provide this service to our veterans,” Scalise said. “We have made the process of getting a card very simple and convenient.”
The fee for a card is $1. Veteran identification cards must be purchased in person at the Summit County Fiscal Office, Recorder Division, Fourth Floor, 175 S. Main St. For additional information, call 330-643-2715.
Kathleen Folkerth and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.
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