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Youth employment program getting on its way

4/17/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County officials will accept more than $1.55 million in federal funding for this summer’s youth employment program, which started signing up 16-to-24-year-olds last month, according to legislation passed on first reading at Summit County Council’s April 14 meeting.

During committee meetings last week, Steve Zimmerman, assistant director of administration and finance for the county’s Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS), told Council the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families award from the Ohio DJFS is about $93,000 less than last year.

Council also adopted a related item on first reading, to advertise for bids to select a vendor to provide payroll services for the program, which expects to serve about 1,030 youths.

Christine Marshall, deputy director for workforce development for DJFS, noted the county’s costs would not exceed $1.36 million, with $1.15 million earmarked for participant wages and $210,600 for administrative costs.

Also on first reading, Council adopted legislation to accept a $32,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources with a local cash match of $10,700 for its marine patrol assistance program.

Inspector Bill Holland, of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, said there are 25 bodies of water in Summit County that its marine patrol serves. The grant is very similar to what was received last year, he added.

In other business, routine matters included adopting a resolution authorizing an enterprise zone agreement among the county, Cuyahoga Falls, SGS Tool Co. and Crooked River Realty LLC/Haag Investments to allow tax incentives for SGS Tool. County officials said the company plans to build an $8 million facility on Marc Drive to consolidate its operations. The site is in the Woodridge Local School District, which also signed off on the agreement.

Council also adopted a resolution to award a construction contract to Dynamic Sports Corp. to replace flooring in the gymnasium at the Juvenile Detention Center at a cost of $37,544.

On recommendation from Council’s Finance Committee, a five-year contract with Miller’s Presort for presort mail service at a discounted rate of about 44 cents per piece was also adopted among its routine legislation.

During next Monday’s committee meetings, Council is expected to discuss legislation introduced this week, including proposed salary increases for nonbargaining employees of Council, the Executive’s Office, the Fiscal Office, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office, the Clerk of Courts Office, the Engineer’s Office, the Internal Audit Department and the Human Resource Commission.

With the recent fact-finding decision to award 1.5 percent raises to deputies in the Sheriff’s Office, the additional increases are the result of a “me too” clause, according to the legislation.

Council also is expected next week to discuss a resolution to amend drainage maintenance assessments for residents of The Forest at Kings Creek in Richfield Township.

Also introduced this week was a resolution agreeing to a three-year agreement with Fifth Third Bank to accept credit and debit cards for child support payments.

Prior to Council’s regular meeting, its Personnel Committee met to discuss board appointment attendance, according to Mark Potter, Council’s chief of staff. Potter said the discussion came as a result of Council seeing a few representatives on Council-appointment boards missing a substantial number of meetings of the boards on which they sit. Potter noted he started providing attendance records last year at Council’s request.

No formal action was taken during the discussion, he added, but Council will investigate further cases of attendance under 70 percent, said Potter.

“We’re trying to be proactive,” he said.

Council will next meet for committee meetings April 21 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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