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Lakemore moves forward to aid trail plans

12/19/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

LAKEMORE — At the Dec. 16 meeting, Lakemore Village Council took action to further pave the way for a hike and bike trail through Springfield and Lakemore.

Mayor Rick Justice explained Lakemore and Springfield continue to put in the legwork necessary to develop a paved path that would connect the village’s Waterworks Park with Springfield’s Lakefront Park and Springfield High School.

Council approved a resolution supporting the proposed project during the meeting.

Justice said Lakemore and Springfield were recipients of grant funding in 2012 from the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition in the amount of $5,000, which was provided for the purpose of title examination of certain lands considered for development of the trail corridor project.

To date, Springfield has received a 2013 Community Development Block Grant from Summit County in the amount of $45,000 for the purpose of acquiring a right of way from Ohio Edison for a major portion of the trail corridor project planned, he explained.

According to village officials, the township agreed to provide leadership for the development of the trail, including negotiating with private entities, where necessary, to obtain rights of way, seek further grants as funding for construction of the trail and to commit use and access to its park property and rights of way as a part of the project.

Justice said Lakemore would cooperate with Springfield and apply for appropriate grants and funding for the trail and provide its own rights of way and park property where needed for the project, being called the Shared Use Path.

During the meeting, the village further voted formally to apply for funds for the first phase for the trail project.

Justice said the first phase would consist of a 10-foot-wide path linking the high school and two community parks.

“The trail will provide better access to all the amenities around here,” he said. “It is a big community effort.”

During the meeting, Council also:

  • agreed to apply for Federal Surface Transportation Program Funds programmed by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) for an approximate $2 million project to repair and reconstruct Sanitarium Road, which officials said is deteriorated;
  • agreed to fund $3,000 to chip and seal Flickinger Road, as part of a larger Summit County area project;
  • accepted a contract with Springfield for police services in 2014, with costs for the police services projected to be less than last year, according to Justice;
  • adopted appropriations for 2014, with General Fund expenses totaling $852,491; and
  • approved an insurance policy with SummaCare for employee health care coverage retroactive from Dec. 1 through Nov. 30, 2014, with monthly premiums related to the contract at $5,102 and flex spend accounts at an annual amount of $750 per insured employee. Councilman Tom Wolfe explained the Affordable Care Act drove up insurance costs, but Summa remained the least expensive, despite a 12.5 percent increase from last year.

The meeting was the last for Council President Tammie Coontz and Councilman Troy Bradfield, as their terms expire at the end of the year. They did not seek re-election this past November.

Justice presented Coontz and Bradfield with certificates and plaques in honor of their service on Council.

He said Coontz spent nine years on council, and Bradfield, four years.

“It has been a pleasure serving the village,” Coontz said.

The next regular Lakemore Village Council meeting is set for Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, located at 1400 Main St.

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