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South Side News & Notes

1/9/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Green Council holds organizational meeting

Gerard Neugebauer, shown above, is president of Green City Council for 2014, and Chris Humphrey, shown below, is vice president.
Photos courtesy of the city of Green
GREEN — Newly elected and re-elected members of Green City Council were sworn in to office at the annual organizational meeting Jan. 2 in Council Chambers.

James Ahlstrom (Ward 1) and Bob Young (Ward 2) took their seats as new members of Council.

Councilmen Ken Knodel (Ward 3) and John Summerville (Ward 4) each retained their spots on Council in the Nov. 5 General Election.

The meeting also involved the election of Council officers and adoption of Council rules, according to city officials.

Councilman Gerard Neugebauer (at large) was re-elected president and Councilman Chris Humphrey (at large) was elected vice president for 2014, according to Council Clerk Molly Kapeluck.

Kapeluck said the following are the Council committee assignments for the year:

√ Finance — Humphrey (chair), Neugebauer (vice chair) and Summerville;

√ Parks and Recreation — Young (chair), Summerville (vice chair) and Ahlstrom;

√ Public Safety — Ahlstrom (chair), Knodel (vice chair) and Young;

√ Planning and Development — Summerville (chair), Humphrey (vice chair) and Knodel;

√ Intergovernment and Utilities — Neugebauer (chair), Ahlstrom (vice chair) and Councilman Joel Reed (at large);

√ Rules and Personnel — Reed (chair), Young (vice chair) and Neugebauer; and

√ Transportation, Connectivity and Stormwater — Knodel (chair), Reed (vice chair) and Humphrey.

City Council meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m. The committee meetings take place prior to each regular meeting, beginning at 5 p.m.

The first regular Council meeting for 2014 will be Jan. 14, starting with committee meetings at 5 p.m., and the Council meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers at the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd.


Green Council gathering for State of the City Address

GREEN — Green City Council will host a special meeting Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at Raintree Country Club, located at 4340 Mayfair Road, and the meeting will include a presentation on the State of the City Address by Mayor Dick Norton.

The special meeting is in lieu of Council’s regular Jan. 28 meeting.

Hors d’oeuvres and soft drinks will be served at the meeting starting at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

To attend, contact Amy Sehm at 330-896-6602.


Springfield trustees approve wage adjustments

SPRINGFIELD — During a special meeting Jan. 2, the Springfield Board of Trustees approved wage adjustments for 2014 for most employees.

According to Fiscal Officer Joy Dies, the adjustments include a 1 percent wage increase for all noncontract employees, in accordance with union contract settlements for employees in the Police and Road departments and part-time employees in the Fire Department.

Dies said wage negotiations for full-time employees for the Fire Department have not yet been settled for 2014.

A regular meeting took place yesterday, Jan. 9. The trustees next will meet Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 2459 Canfield Road.


Library branches reduce hours

GREEN/NEW FRANKLIN — The Green and Portage Lakes branch libraries now have reduced hours, which began Jan. 6. The libraries are now open:

√ 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.

The libraries are closed Sundays. Also, program times may have changed. For more information, contact the Green Branch at 330-896-9074 and the Portage Lakes Branch at 330-644-7050 or visit www.akronlibrary.org and click on the desired branch for details.


Grants available for green space conservation projects

SUMMIT COUNTY — Applications are now available for political subdivisions and nonprofit organizations that seek grant funding for projects to protect green space in Summit County.

The Summit County Department of Community and Economic Development has released applications for Program Year 8 of the Ohio Public Works Commission’s (OPWC) Clean Ohio Green Space program for District 8, which includes all of Summit County. Applications are due Feb. 14 by 4 p.m.

According to county officials, the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program provides grants of up to 75 percent of the estimated costs for projects that provide for open space acquisition, and that protect and enhance riparian corridors or watersheds, including the protection and enhancement of streams, rivers, lakes and other waters of the state, and/or protection or enhancement of forests or plant and animal habitat.

The OPWC will present an overview of the upcoming Program Year and the application requirements Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. in County Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St. in Downtown Akron.

To register, contact Erin Gurm at egurm@summitoh.net or 330-643-8745. Application packets can be found at www.co.summitoh.net/index.php/nrac.


Probate Court requiring background checks for guardianship applications

SUMMIT COUNTY — Summit County Probate Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer has announced that beginning Jan. 1, a background check must be submitted at the time a guardianship application is filed with Probate Court.

The change is made in response to concerns about some guardians and in concert with anticipated recommendations from the Ohio Supreme Court Guardianship task force, according to court officials. In 2013, the Probate Court removed 10 guardians for malfeasance or inattention. Hearings on approximately six more cases are scheduled in January.

Background checks may be obtained at the Summit County Clerk of Courts Office, 205 S. High St., located in the building next to the Courthouse. The nonrefundable fee is $32. Applicants should inform the clerk the check is part of a guardianship application. If the applicant has previously lived out of state, he or she must obtain an additional FBI check.

Guardianship applications will not be processed until a background check is received by the chief deputy clerk of the Probate Court.

For details, call the Probate Court at 330-643-2350.


New signalizations aim for pedestrian safety

DOWNTOWN AKRON — A new signalization format known as a Barnes Dance or a pedestrian scramble has gone into effect at the intersections of East Exchange and Grant streets and East Exchange and Sumner streets.

This pedestrian scramble provides a “pedestrians only” crossing phase that stops vehicular traffic in all directions and lets pedestrians cross in all directions.

Banners went up recently at the intersection alerting drivers and pedestrians to the change.

City officials stress the Barnes Dance only works when everyone follows the signalizations. Pedestrians must only walk when traffic is stopped in all directions and the pedestrian signals indicate it is time to walk.

“If the rules are followed, then it is the safest method available to protect our pedestrians,” said Akron Chief of Police Jim Nice. “We are going to be monitoring this intersection for compliance, and if the rules are not followed, police will start handing out citations.”

For details, contact Andy Davis at 330-375-2851 or adavis@akronohio.gov.


Filing complaint against valuation of real estate deadline March 31

SUMMIT COUNTY — County Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise reminds taxpayers that the Board of Revision began accepting complaints against the valuation of their real estate Jan. 1. The deadline to file a complaint form (DTE 1) is March 31.

The Summit County Board of Revision reviews complaints about property values. Taxpayers who do not agree with the valuation of their property have the opportunity to file a complaint with the Board of Revision for review of property values. When a complaint is filed, the board will schedule a hearing to consider any testimony or evidence presented; then it will issue its decision on whether an adjustment should be made to the property valuation. The board does not hear complaints regarding real estate taxes.

Complaint forms are required to be signed, dated and notarized. Submissions must be postmarked on or before March 31. Complaint forms can be hand delivered or mailed to the Summit County Fiscal Office, 175 S. Main St., Room 302, Akron OH 44308 or the satellite office at Summit County Board of Revision, 2525 State Road, Room 153, Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223.

Property owners may obtain a complaint form by calling 330-643-2631 or by visiting www.fiscaloffice.summitoh.net and choosing the Board of Revision Complaint link.

Board of Revision members are the fiscal officer, county executive and county clerk of courts or their representatives.


UA offers Hospitality/Culinary Arts courses for Ohio seniors

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Sixty-Plus Program provides Ohio residents 60 and older the opportunity to audit classes or take courses for credit on a space-available, nontuition basis. Auditing allows students to attend classes, but college credit is not awarded.

Spring semester classes — offering the chance to learn about baking, basic food preparation, safety and sanitation and the hospitality industry — start Jan. 13 at The University of Akron’s (UA) Summit College.

As auditing students, Sixty-Plus participants are exempt from payment of tuition and general service fees but are expected to pay for any books, special fees and laboratory or instructional fees. To qualify for the Sixty-Plus Program, the prospective student must be 60 or older and have resided in Ohio for at least one year.

To be eligible for nontuition courses for credit, the student’s family income must be less than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines as revised annually by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services for a family size equal to the size of the family of the person whose income is being determined.

Space availability is determined after the degree-seeking students have registered. Sixty-Plus registrations are held immediately before the start of each term, and participants must register in person.

For more information, call the Student Services Office at 330-683-2010 or Summit College Advising at 330-972-7221 or Hospitality Management Program 330-972-6601 or visit www.uakron.edu/summitcollege/60plus.

Registration for the Sixty-Plus Program is today, Jan. 10, in person, in Simmons Hall at UA.


Emily Chesnic, Kathleen Folkerth, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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