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Boston trustees review annexation agreement

7/18/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

Annexation by Cuyahoga Falls of property along Wetmore Road in Boston Township still is not a done deal.

Boston Township trustees at the July 10 meeting said they still have not reached an agreement with the city regarding the annexation proposed by Cuyahoga Falls as a means of keeping Wetmore Road open. Trustees petitioned Summit County Council in 2012 for permission to vacate Wetmore Road. No township residents live along the road, which is bordered by government-owned parcels exempt from property taxes, trustees have said. County Council in April tabled the request to vacate Wetmore as Cuyahoga Falls residents protested its closing. Cuyahoga Falls, through an agreement with the township, did ice control and snow removal on Wetmore this past winter.

The sticking point in annexation negotiations is a single parcel of land within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, said Trustee Amy Anderson. The township has been told all of Parcel 28 must be included in the annexation, Anderson said. Parcel 28 borders both Wetmore and Akron-Peninsula roads and includes 65 acres of park land that extends to the west side of Akron-Peninsula Road, Anderson said.

Parcel 28 currently is used as a working farm and is included in the township’s proposed Joint Economic Activity District (JEAD) with Peninsula Village. If approved by voters of the township and Peninsula in November, the JEAD would allow the two entities to collect income tax from the property, Anderson said.

Anderson said trustees first were advised the annexation needed to only involve road rights-of-way. Then they were advised the annexation required entire parcels bordering the road, she said. Anderson said trustees would not agree to annexation that extended to the opposite side of Akron-Peninsula.

Trustees also discussed at length a proposal by Ken Fickey, an attorney retained by township resident Bobby Pruitt, to allow Pruitt to submit a plan and continue cleanup of his property. Trustees earlier authorized hiring a company to clear the property of debris. Pruitt and his mother, Lura Jean Brown, were ordered in February 2011 by then-Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Brenda Unruh to comply with township zoning regulations and clear the property of debris.

Fickey had requested Pruitt be allowed to submit a plan that would rid the property of its debris in two months, trustees said.

In other business, trustees accepted the resignation of Joe Orahoske from the township Board of Zoning Appeals.

The next regular Boston Board of Trustees meeting will be July 24 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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