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Norton approves funds for building projects

12/5/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Julia Kazar

During the Nov. 25 Norton City Council meeting, members approved an ordinance that authorizes and directs the use of cable franchise fees deposited in the Capital Projects Fund (410) Land and Land Improvement Projects for park land acquisition, development, operation and maintenance and appurtenances.

The ordinance was approved 5-1, with Councilwoman Charlotte Whipkey (at large) voting against it and Councilman Bill Mowery (Ward 3) not present.

Councilman John Conklin (Ward 4) said he wanted to use the funds to fix the roof and the heating and air conditioning system at the Shirley L. McGuire Community Center and the bathroom facilities at the Biery House and Museum.

Whipkey stated she did not think this was an appropriate use of these funds.

“These funds are supposed to be used for park land projects only,” she said. “I don’t understand why we are trying to use them to make improvements to these buildings.”

Norton Mayor Mike Zita said the city doesn’t make much money from the use of these two buildings, but they are still available for public use at any time and need to be maintained.

According to the ordinance, the fund from which this money is coming from may be used for any project the Council sees fit, including maintenance such as this.

Council also approved three pieces of legislation relating to future road improvements within the city.

The resolutions authorize the mayor to apply for federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds programmed by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) to improve: South Cleveland-Massillon Road from Shannon Avenue to Greenridge Road; South Cleveland-Massillon Road from Weber Drive to north of Shannon Avenue; and South Medina Line Road from Eastern Road to Hemphill Road.

According to Municipal Engineer Dave White, these road programs are still several years away from taking place. The resolutions were passed to ensure the funds are available when they are needed, he said.

In other business, Council:

  • approved four resolutions of appreciation for services to the city by Conklin, Mowery, Council President Don Nicolard (Ward 2) and Law Director Peter Kostoff. Conklin, Mowery and Nicolard did not win re-election to their seats last month. Councilman Scott Pelot (at large) thanked all of the Council members for their time spent on Council and Kostoff for his work for the city.
    Kostoff, who served as Norton’s law director since 2008, resigned citing family and personal reasons. Council agreed to appoint Justin Markey as the city’s new solicitor;
  • approved two ordinances to amend the nonbargaining salary rates for the director of finance and the city administrator, with Whipkey voting against both.
    “I do not support these increases based on the jobs that are being performed,” she stated; and
  • approved a shared services agreement with the Southwest Summit Council of Governments and with Barberton and Copley.

Council will meet Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Safety-Administration Building, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive.

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