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Council allowing future storm water management agreements

11/7/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

During the Nov. 4 Fairlawn City Council meeting, an ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into storm water management agreements with Fairlawn commercial property owners “as may be necessary from time to time” was unanimously approved.

“This is a blanket agreement authorizing the mayor to enter into storm water agreements with developers on commercial properties where the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] regulations must have a storm water management plan,” said Law Director Ed Riegler.

According to Mayor William Roth, the ordinance was enacted to meet new EPA requirements.

“Fairlawn now manages its own storm water systems,” he said. “Part of the requirements for developments of over an acre in size is that once the water leaves the property, it has to have a certain amount of cleanliness and filtration. So what we have here is an agreement to help us enforce the new EPA regulations. It won’t apply to all buildings because obviously a lot of lot sizes are under an acre.”

Roth said retention agreements are “relatively new” to the EPA requirements.

“They’ve developed in the last three to four years,” he said. “We’ve used other agencies to deal with it, and now we’re going to be doing it in house.”

Roth said the ordinance covers “a very limited number of properties” in Fairlawn.

“It’s for new developments, and most of the areas in our city do not have developments of an acre or more,” he explained. “Most likely, this will affect our office research park (in the Cleveland-Massillon and Ridgewood roads area), but really that’s no problem because we’ve already planned ahead for water retention in that area.”

Also during the meeting, a resolution establishing the dates for regular City Council meetings in 2014 was unanimously passed.

The meetings are scheduled for the following dates in 2014: Jan. 6 and 21, Feb. 3 and 24, March 10 and 24, April 7 and 21, May 5 and 19, June 2 and 16, July 14, Aug. 18, Sept. 8 and 22, Oct. 6 and 20, Nov. 3 and 17, and Dec. 1 and 15.

Council also passed a resolution “authorizing the advances of local taxes” from the Summit County Fiscal Office.

According to Finance Director Patricia Bertsch, the resolution lets the county fiscal officer know Fairlawn would prefer to receive tax money as it becomes available for distribution, instead of only twice per year.

“If they’re willing to send it, we’re willing to take the money as soon as it’s available,” she said. “It just helps with our cash flow.”

The city receives approximately $800,000 per year in property taxes, Bertsch has previously noted.

The next Fairlawn City Council meeting is set to take place Nov. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Fairlawn City Hall, 3487 S. Smith Road.

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