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West Side News & Notes

12/19/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Library system reducing hours due to state revenue reduction

SUMMIT COUNTY — After five years of declining revenue and staff reductions, another anticipated loss in state funding in 2014 has made it necessary for the Akron-Summit County Public Library to reduce its hours of public service, library officials announced Dec. 16.

Beginning Jan. 6, library hours at the Main Library will change to the following: Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 1 to 5 p.m.

The Main Library will be closed on Sundays in the summer from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Branch library hours will be Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday bookmobile service will be canceled.

Library program times might change, and patrons are asked to check with their local library before attending a program.

In 2014, the library expects to receive approximately $450,000 less in state funding than in 2013. Due to continued reductions in state funding since 2009 and real estate property devaluation, the library’s overall annual revenue is now $4.4 million (16 percent) less than in 2008, according to library officials.

In a press release, Library Director David Jennings said, “Unlike many public libraries, we did not reduce hours of service during the recession or in the years immediately following. Over the past five years we have reconfigured our work to continue to provide high caliber library services with significantly fewer staff. Through attrition, we now have 77 fewer employees (-16 percent) than in 2009, and our personnel budget has $2.6 million less in 2014 than in 2009. With this latest loss of revenue, our organization is compelled to make changes we had managed to avoid until now. As we enter a sixth year of decreased funding, our hours of service must be adjusted to correspond to our reduced staffing level.”


Akron moratorium on water service disconnections under way

AKRON — Mayor Don Plusquellic has directed the Water Supply Bureau to cease water service disconnections from Dec. 16 through Jan. 1 for all customers who are unable to make payment.

“I am pleased to continue our annual moratorium so all our customers will maintain water service during their holidays,” Plusquellic said.

Approximately 675 customers per month have their water service disconnected due to nonpayment. The city does not disconnect water service due to nonpayment on the weekends, so Dec. 12 was the final day for water service disconnections this year.

The utility will resume disconnection of water service due to nonpayment Jan. 2.

The Akron Water Supply Bureau provides retail water and sewer service to approximately 85,000 accounts in Summit County, including Fairlawn, Mogadore and portions of Bath, Cuyahoga Falls, Copley, Coventry, Hudson and Springfield.


Richfield trustees discuss zoning violations, possible Briarwood annexation

RICHFIELD — The Richfield Township Board of Trustees met in a special meeting Dec. 10 and a work session with Richfield Village officials Dec. 12.

Fiscal Officer Laurie Pinney said the Dec. 10 meeting was on zoning violations at properties located on Streetsboro and Boston roads. Pinney added trustees indicated they would like to move forward and have the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office take action on the violations.

The Dec. 12 work session at Richfield Town Hall included trustees and Richfield Mayor Bobbie Beshara and representatives from the village’s Zoning and Planning and Service departments, as well as legal counsel in a discussion on the possible annexation of property in the Briarwood area from the township to the village.

Pinney said the developers have not made a formal request for the annexation, but township and village officials wanted to talk about the different ways to approach the potential annexation. She added that most of the existing Briarwood subdivision is in the village, but seven properties are located all or partially in the township, as is an area that is currently not developed.

The issue is slated for discussion again at the trustees’ meeting tonight, Dec. 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the township offices, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.


Akron Police again partner with Elves and More for ‘surprise’ Christmas

AKRON — For the ninth consecutive year, the Akron Police Department is partnering with Elves and More of Northeast Ohio to deliver bicycles to a designated neighborhood in the area. 

The event began Dec. 14 with the assembly of more than 1,300 bikes in a donated warehouse. More than 300 volunteers pieced together pedals, handlebars, seats and other parts to create what will become a surprise to unsuspecting children and their families Dec. 22.

These bikes will be loaded onto semi-tractor/trailers operated by Con-way Freight, who has been a vendor partner with Elves and More for many years, according to organizers. Con-way will be part of the caravan that will deliver the finished bikes to the undisclosed location.

This caravan also will include the Akron Fire Department, the Salvation Army — which will provide beverages at the delivery site — and city of Akron Trolleys, which will transport the volunteers who will help pass out the bicycles.

These bicycles are purchased from contributions received from corporate and private donations throughout the year.

For more information about Elves and More, visit www.elvesandmoreneo.org.


City seeking nominations for Charles Salem Humanitarian Award

AKRON — The city of Akron is accepting nominations for the local individual who exemplifies humanitarianism at its best to present with the 22nd annual Charles Salem Humanitarian Award.

The person receiving this award will be honored at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. program Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. at Zion Apostolic Faith Church, located at 10 W. Tallmadge Ave.

Salem was a mentor and an advocate for social justice.

“Charlie was a dedicated volunteer with unwavering high ethical standards,” said Mayor Don Plusquellic in a press release. “He was a positive influence, a role model for charitable values, and a strong advocate for social justice and improved human relations for all citizens in our Greater Akron community.”

Salem chaired the city of Akron’s Human and Community Relations Commission. Twenty years ago, the commission began honoring Salem’s name and works with this award. Today, the Mayor’s Office of Community Relations continues to honor those who serve the Akron community over and beyond the normal, through their volunteer efforts, according to city officials.

When nominating someone for this honor, nominators should keep in mind Salem’s outstanding community service, high ethical ideals, fairness, goodwill and friendship, according to city officials. The nominee should demonstrate similar qualities in contribution to the city. Also, the nominee’s service should not have been part of his or her job, but from a purely volunteer perspective.

The deadline for nominations is Jan. 10. Nominations may be sent to Billy Soule, 200 Municipal Building, 166 S. High St., Akron, OH 44308 or BSoule@AkronOhio.gov.


Nominations, sponsorships open for 2014 Women of Achievement Luncheon

FAIRLAWN — Women’s Network of Northeast Ohio is accepting sponsorships and nominations for its 15th Annual Women of Achievement Luncheon.

Notable local women professionals will be recognized for their achievements at work and in the community at this May 16 event at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

Nominees come from all levels of leadership in for-profit, nonprofit, academia and government areas. Nominations are being accepted through Feb. 21 for the Women of Achievement Award (individuals) and Dorothy O. Jackson Award (business). Paid sponsorships are being accepted through March 15 for Women of Professional Excellence recognitions.

Forms and more information can be requested at 330-256-1122 or wninfo@womensnetworkneohio.com. Event proceeds will benefit Women’s Network programs, including the 2014 Authentic Leadership workshop series, THRIVE! Mentoring Program and the Judith Resnik Scholarship Fund. Nominated and sponsored recipients, as well as their organizations, will be notified prior to the event.

For more information, visit www.womensnetworkneohio.com.


Kathleen Folkerth and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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