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County Council catches up with storm water plan

8/22/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Creation of a plan to address post-construction water quality in developments was a long time coming, members of Summit County Council learned Aug. 19.

The Public Works Committee recommended Council adopt an ordinance enacting Chapter 943 of the county’s codified ordinances to establish the storm water plan, which should have been done several years ago.

“These were to have been in place by 2008,” said Cindy Fink, district program administrator for the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District. “We are five years late.”

Fink said changes in administration at the Engineer’s Office and changes to the technical manual are reasons why the plan has been delayed. The plan was to come after efforts were adopted in 2002 on riparian setbacks and 2003 on erosion control, Fink said.

The ordinance provides for post-construction maintenance of the storm water practices required by Chapter 941, which currently establishes standards for storm water management for newly developed or redeveloped property during construction of the project.

The proposed new chapter requires the development, implementation and ongoing enforcement of a Comprehensive Storm Water Management Plan, according to the Engineer’s Office. The plan, which will apply to unincorporated areas only, must describe how the quantity and quality of storm water will be managed after construction is complete.

Fink said the new chapter would only apply when an impervious surface is created and soil disturbing activities take place disturbing 1 or more acres of total land, or less than 1 acre if part of a larger common plan of development disturbing 1 or more acres of total land.

Without the plan in place, communities could receive notice that they are in violation of the Clean Water Act from the Environmental Protection Agency, Fink said. She added that cities such as Akron are also creating plans to be in compliance.

Also Monday, the Personnel Committee recommended Council adopt several resolutions regarding health insurance benefits for employees.

Among the contracts recommended was one with Medical Mutual to continue as the county’s health insurance provider. Should Council approve the contact, employees will see deductibles double and out-of-pocket maximums rise, but they would also be able to save money by participating in a new wellness program, according to Wendy Weaver, deputy director of Employee Benefits.

As an example, she said employees who are tobacco-free receive a $50 credit. The same amount is also available if an employee completes an online health assessment, she added. 

The committee also recommended a new contract with Guardian Life Insurance Co. for dental benefits, a contract with Davis Vision for voluntary vision insurance and a contract with Anthem for accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

Also Monday, the Planning and Economic Development Committee extended the expiration date of a resolution approving the vacation of Wetmore Road in Boston Township. The new date is Sept. 9.

Cuyahoga Falls has proposed annexing the area in question after Boston officials said they could not afford to maintain the road. In July, the township and city continued to work toward an agreement regarding a parcel that is included in the proposed annexation.

County Council will next meet Aug. 26 at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St.

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