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West Side News & Notes

5/22/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Norton council approves grant applications

NORTON — Norton City Council in a special May 19 meeting approved legislation allowing the city to apply for grants to fund five capital projects.

Council waived second and third readings for the legislation and passed the ordinance with a 6-0 vote, according to Clerk of Council Karla Richards. At-large Councilman Scott Pelot was excused from the meeting, Richards said.

With passage of the ordinance, Norton will apply to the Ohio Public Works Commission for funding for the Phase 1 widening of South Cleveland-Massillon Road, a $2.6 million project for which Norton’s share is $109,000, and emergency repair of damaged storm sewers, an $810,000 project of which Norton’s share is $101,250.

The city also will apply for grants for three sewer projects, including the Nash Heights East sanitary sewer, a $2.5 million project of which half will be locally funded, including up to 30 percent of the project total from assessments; Nash Heights West sanitary sewer, a $5.2 million project of which half will be funded locally, including up to 30 percent of the project total from assessments; and the Summit Road sanitary sewer project, a $800,000 project of which half will be locally funded, including up to 30 percent of the project total from assessments, according to information provided by Richards.

Council also had second reading of a collective bargaining agreement with the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics and first reading of an ordinance authorizing an agreement between the city and Environmental Design Group, of Akron, for engineering services for design of the Nash Heights East and West vacuum sewer system, Richards said.

Council passed on first reading an ordinance authorizing the mayor to sign the Summit County Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding for job creation and retention, Richards said.

Council next will meet May 27, a day later than usual due to Memorial Day, at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Safety-Administration Building, 4060 Columbia Woods Drive.


Peninsula exploring return of mayor’s court

PENINSULA — Peninsula Village Mayor Doug Mayer told Council he plans to explore reinstating the suspended mayor’s court.

Mayer announced his intention May 19 during continuation of the Council meeting that was interrupted last week by severe weather, said Fiscal Officer John Stiegel. Mayer suspended the mayor’s court at the end of 2012. Stow Municipal Court has processed citations written by the Peninsula Police Department since the mayor’s court closure.

Stiegel said Mayer told Council he thought the village was in a better position to run it’s own court since hiring a full-time police chief in 2013. Rebecca Garner, formerly a part-time village employee, was granted full-time status and will assist Mayer in reconstituting the court, Stiegel said.

Stiegel also said Council noted Akron-Peninsula Road between state Route 303 and Truxell Road near Brandywine Country Club will be closed for up to a week while erosion threatening the road is repaired. Stiegel said it was an ongoing issue exacerbated by last week’s flooding.

Council learned about an insurance claim to replace a police cruiser destroyed when a police officer drove into deep water while responding to a call early May 13, Stiegel said.

Council also formally thanked a village resident for donating $4,100 to outfit a recently obtained police cruiser with light bars, sirens and other accessories. Stiegel said the resident wished to remain anonymous.

In other action, according to Stiegel, Council:

  • hired Thomas Conkey as an auxiliary police officer;
  • awarded three contracts worth $5,500 to Perrin Asphalt to chip and seal streets in the village;
  • agreed to continue assigning 1 mill of the available inside millage to the Union Cemetery Association for the upkeep of Boston and Cedar Grove cemeteries. Boston Township trustees agreed to do the same; and
  • approved a zoning application from the Greater Peninsula Chamber of Commerce for an information kiosk to be located in front of the Trail Mix store on state Route 303.

Peninsula Village Council’s next regular meeting is set for June 9 at 7 p.m. in the second-floor Council room of Peninsula Village Hall, located at the corner of state Route 303 and Akron-Peninsula Road.


Sharon trustees finalizing purchase of property

SHARON — The Sharon Township Board of Trustees finalized details of the purchase of the 1840 Community House during the May 13 meeting.

According to Fiscal Officer Anita Haas, the township plans to buy the house, located west of Sharon Circle on state Route 162, from the Hillier Family Foundation.

Also during the meeting, Haas said the board:

  • renewed the township’s memberships in the Medina County Township Association and Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce;
  • agreed to refurbish the Veterans’ Memorial on Sharon Circle in an amount not to exceed $500; and
  • agreed to enter into a three-year service agreement with Physio Control for two Fire Department LIFEPAKS for $2,415 each year.

In other business:

√ Concerts in the Park, which are held every other Wednesday from May 28 through Aug. 6 from 7 to 8:30 p.m., will take place at the gazebo in Sharon Circle. The Calypso Gypsies will open the season May 28. A schedule of performers is available on the township’s website at www.sharontwp.org.

√ The farmers’ market at Sharon Community Park will open for the season June 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. and will be held every Sunday throughout the summer at that same time.

The next Sharon Board of Trustees meeting is set for May 27 at 7 p.m. at the Sharon Township Administration Building, 1322 Sharon-Copley Road on Sharon Circle.


Cuyahoga Falls continues cleanup after storm

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Cuyahoga Falls was one of the hardest hit cities in the area during the severe storm that occurred throughout the evening of May 12.

According to Cuyahoga Falls officials, weather reports indicated the city received 4 inches of rain within a two-hour period, making the storm one of the worst in the city’s history. Flooding occurred, causing the closings of roadways and schools, and power outages.

City Hall also was closed due to flooding, and the city has received approximately 681 calls and 200 reports pertaining to flooded basements and related problems caused by the storm.

According to city officials, Bath Road from Akron-Peninsula Road to Northampton Road will be closed for an extended period. However, motorists can access the Summit Metro Park Top O’ the World area and houses from Northampton Road. Hardy Road is closed to through traffic between Theiss Road and Northampton Road; local traffic is being maintained.

Babb Run Park, located off of Sackett Avenue, experienced severe damage and is closed to the public until further notice.

According to city officials, the city is exploring options to obtain emergency relief disaster funds and services at the state and federal level. The Summit County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) activated the Emergency Operation Center to provide information and help to area entities. The EMA is conducting damage assessments of all area communities that have sustained damage as a result of the severe storms. After the information is complied, EMA will submit its report to state officials.

A special flood cleanup for all city sanitation customers will run through tomorrow, May 23. Residents should place refuse at the curb on their regular trash pickup day by 7 a.m. for collection. Hazardous waste, tires, car parts or large amounts of construction material will not be taken, according to city officials. All other acceptable trash items (furniture or appliances) will be picked up free of charge. For details, call the Sanitation Department at 330-971-8010 or visit www.cityofcf.com.

For further information regarding preparedness, cleanup and remediation, visit the following websites.

• America Red Cross: www.redcross.org;

• FEMA: www.fema.gov (general); www.fema.gov/pdf/rebuild/recover/fema_mold_brochure_english.pdf (mold cleanup information); and

• Dominion East Ohio: www.dom.com/dominion-east-ohio, 877-542-2630.


UPA settles with unsecured creditors

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Nonprofit community development corporation University Park Alliance (UPA) has made significant progress in righting its financial ship by making good on proposed settlements of outstanding claims with certain unsecured creditors, according to Chairman David James.

UPA is a nonprofit group supported by The University of Akron, businesses and local government since 2001.

James reported May 16 that the organization had paid outstanding claims of $632,438 after creditors agreed to settle for no more than 50 cents on the dollar. The City of Akron and members of the UPA Board of Directors contributed $316,219 toward the settlement, with the balance coming from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

The Knight Foundation funds include a new $192,447 contribution to UPA from a Knight donor-advised fund managed by the Akron Community Foundation, plus $123,772 in Knight Grant funds that were frozen in a UPA account with a local bank and released in an agreement reached among the bank, the city and UPA.

“I would like to thank Mayor Don Plusquellic for his efforts in supporting UPA and our collective work in clearing these claims,” said James. “And I join the entire UPA board in especially thanking the Knight Foundation for its support.

“In the end, we all acknowledge the willingness and support of our creditors to reach a settlement, and for this we say thank you,” said James.

James acknowledged that UPA still faces challenges in terms of pending litigation involving real estate transactions that still must be resolved. He added, “As we turn the corner on these issues, we continue to work on the future direction of UPA, including exploring the creation of a special improvement district to help fund future work and development of the 50-block area around The University of Akron.”


Main Library to close Sundays in summer beginning May 25

SUMMIT COUNTY — Akron-Summit County Public Library is reminding all users the Main Library will be closed on Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. May 18 was the last Sunday Main Library will be open until Sept. 7.

Main Library hours as of May 25 will be Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Elimination of summer Sunday hours at Main Library is part of a broader system-wide hours reduction instituted in January due to continued decline in operating revenue.

The library catalog and online access to e-content are available 24 hours a day at www.akronlibrary.org.


The Summit launches KIDJAM! Broadcast Recording Studio at Akron Children’s

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Summit 91.3FM Akron/Canton and 90.7 Youngstown have announced the opening of the KIDJAM! Radio™ Broadcast Recording Studio at Akron Children’s Hospital.

When the studio opens May 30, it will offer young patients a radio broadcast recording experience as part of programming through the hospital’s existing Emily Cooper Welty Expressive Therapy Center.

The addition of the KIDJAM! Studio concept is unique to the region and among only a handful of pediatric hospital-based media studios in the country, according to station officials.

“Our Expressive Therapy Center was built to enable children facing illness and their families to experience what it means to be human through whatever creative art inspires them,” said Dr. Sarah Friebert, director of The Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center. “Collaborating with The Summit and KIDJAM! adds another terrific dimension of creativity, literally by giving voice to kids and giving them the chance to inspire others. We are so grateful for this partnership.”

“The KIDJAM! Studio program is designed to augment the healing and coping process for these kids, through its innovative focus on media education, self-reflection and fun,” added Tommy Bruno, general manager and executive director at The Summit.

Patients will serve as KIDJAM! Radio broadcasters (or “Kidjammers”) through personal messages recorded in-studio, and will learn about radio broadcasting and the state-of-the-art technology used to transmit their recordings to The Summit for editing and airing.

The studio is wheelchair-accessible, and bed-bound patients may participate from their rooms through a hand-held recording device. Summit-trained volunteers will help operate the KIDJAM! studio and guide patients through the recording experience, and each patient will receive a recorded keepsake of the final, Summit-produced segment with photos. Patient broadcasts will be featured on a dedicated, weekly Akron Children’s Hospital program spot on the KIDJAM! Radio channel.

For more information, visit www.kidjamradio.com or contact Bruno at 330-761-3095 or tommy@thesummit.fm.


Kathleen Collins, Stephanie Kist, Pam Lifke and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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