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Grant approved for Summit County development agency

2/13/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Council adopted during the Feb. 10 meeting a resolution to grant $75,000 to the Development Finance Authority of Summit County this year.

The vote was 10-1, with Councilwoman Gloria Rodgers (R-District 3) voting against the grant, as she did during the previous week’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting.

There was no discussion on the grant this week, but the previous week Rodgers said she thought the annual grant to the finance authority could be reduced.

The Development Finance Authority of Summit County, formerly known as the Port Authority, works with economic development professionals, legal and financial professionals and the business community to bring economic development to Summit County and Northeast Ohio, according to its website.

In years past, the authority received much more assistance from the county. In 2006, the grant was for $175,000, and in 2007 and 2008, it was $125,000. The amount was reduced to $75,000 starting in 2009.

In other business, Council adopted a resolution approving the Dangerous Wild Animal Response Team (DWART) Plan. According to the legislation, the DWART is part of a state law passed in 2012 as part of the state’s regulations on dangerous wild animals and snakes.

The state-mandated plan describes how Summit County will plan and provide resource support before, during and after a dangerous wild animal emergency. The emergency may be caused through human acts, equipment malfunction or by natural disasters, according to county officials.

The plan must include the methods and procedures that will be utilized in the event of an escaped dangerous wild animal within Summit County. It is to be updated on an annual basis.

In addition, Council adopted a resolution confirming a contract with MS Consultants for program manager services in the Manchester Wastewater Treatment Plant and Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project in an amount not to exceed $867,000.

According to officials from the Department of Environmental Services, the contract will allow the company to handle all aspects of coordinating the extensive project, which will take about two years and will include coordinating with the Environmental Protection Agency and working on a new wastewater treatment plant in New Franklin.

Council also approved a motion confirming the appointment of several local officials to the Traffic Access Advisory Committee. In addition to Council President Ilene Shapiro (D-at large) and Council member Sandra Kurt (D-at large), Springfield Trustee Dean Young was appointed, along with County Engineer Alan Brubaker and Dave Gasper, city of Akron traffic engineer.

The committee, according to Heidi Swindell of the Engineer’s Office, will be charged with reviewing a traffic access manual currently being compiled by the firm DLZ. The committee will make recommendations and present them to Council for adoption, she added.

County Council will not meet Feb. 17 due to the Presidents’ Day holiday. Council will meet for committee meetings Feb. 24 at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, located at 175 S. Main St.

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