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Akron Council takes step to hire for CSO projects

5/8/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

DOWNTOWN AKRON — With little discussion and no opposition, Akron City Council unanimously approved an ordinance at its May 5 meeting giving the city authority to function in the role of construction manager on combined sewer overflow (CSO) projects.

In other business, Council approved providing financial assistance to the troubled University Park Alliance (UPA). Plusquellic explained the $158,000 payment will help UPA settle past-due accounts in order to move forward and protect the investment made in the University Park neighborhood.

Council is continuing to take time on an ordinance that would allow for the city to provide similar assistance to East Akron Community House. Council President Garry Moneypenny (D-Ward 10) said that additional meetings with the agency and its board were needed.

Council also passed a resolution urging Akron voters to support the efforts of the Ohio Voters Bill of Rights, which would place a proposal on the Nov. 4 General Election ballot to amend the Ohio Constitution.

Council members said the Voters Bill of Rights would enact a solution to voter suppression in Ohio.

“The legislators [would] not be able to fool around with our right to vote,” said Councilwoman Linda Omobien (D-at large).

Also on May 5, Council’s Health and Social Services Committee hosted a meeting with executives of several mental health and addiction services providers. Committee Chair Omobien said the meeting was intended to familiarize Council members with resources available in the community to address the rising epidemic of heroin addiction.

The committee and numerous additional Council members heard from: John Ellis, clinical services manager with the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board; Bernie Rochford, executive vice president of Oriana House; Darnella McNeil, CEO of Legacy III; Robert Terry, compliance officer with Community Health Center; Don Finn, executive director of Interval Brotherhood Home Addiction Recovery Center; and Evaughn Cagle, CEO of Urban Ounce of Prevention.

The next Council meeting will be May 12 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 S. High St. Committee meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m., also in Council Chambers.

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