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Summit County Council supporting Issue No. 1

4/3/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Summit County Executive Russ Pry urged Summit County residents to support Issue No. 1, a statewide issue to fund public infrastructure capital improvements by permitting the issuance of general obligation bonds, at the polls in the May 6 Primary Election.

He told Summit County Council during a presentation March 31 that the issue is asking for a reauthorization for the state’s capital improvement program, which goes back to 1985.

“This is not a new tax,” said Pry.

Passage of the issue would allow the sale of bonds of $1.875 billion over the course of the next 10 years to help fund road, bridge, water and other infrastructure projects, he said.

Over $30 million has been dispersed throughout Summit County over the past three years, he added.

According to supporting documents listing nearly a dozen pages of projects that have been funded in Summit County since the program’s inception, state capital improvement project money has gone toward, for example, replacing a waterline on South Cleveland-Massillon Road in Norton in 2010, by providing a $663,700 grant, about half of the funding for that project; and a $1.3 million grant and matching loan in 2012 to help fund a $10 million Mill Street bridge reconstruction in Downtown Akron.

Council unanimously passed a resolution endorsing the issue on first reading.

Council also authorized the county to advertise for bids for roadway and engineering projects, bridge engineering and construction projects and pavement maintenance projects in the county’s annual capital improvement program this year at an estimated cost of $4.3 million.

Also at the meeting, Council, on first reading, authorized the county to advertise for bids to abandon a failing septic system located at 5056 Massillon Road in Green and to tie in to the public sewer.

The Environmental Protection Agency requires tying into existing public utilities if a septic system is failing, said Holly Miller, with the Department of Community and Economic Development.

Miller said the sewer system runs in front of the home, and the project will cost around $38,500.

Following a second reading of the legislation, Council also adopted a resolution authorizing the county to move forward on two lease agreements with Akron Phoenix Development Co. for the former Firestone manufacturing facility. Plans call for the consolidation of the Department of Job and Family Services currently housed in four separate offices, in the building located at 1180 S. Main St., as well as the Department of Environmental Services, Board of Revision, Administrative Services — Physical Plants, Summit Soil and Water, The Ohio State University Extension and County Records Office, which are currently located at 2525 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls.

A late filing of legislation to authorize Pry’s office to lease property to Haven of Rest Ministries, for approximately 1,296 square feet of space at 148 Park St. for a five-year term costing $1 annually in rent, also was adopted on first reading. Jason Dodson, chief of staff for Pry’s office, said the organization will use garage space of the former Veteran’s Service building for storage.

Council will next meet for committee meetings April 7 at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St. in Downtown Akron.

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