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Residents question Bath trustees on storm cleanup

6/5/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Julia Kazar

BATH — During the June 2 Bath Board of Trustees meeting, several Bath residents and business owners voiced their concerns about the flooding that occurred on Yellow Creek as a result of the May 12 storm, as well as issues with cleanup.

According to Yellow Creek Action Committee officials, after the storm, the committee circulated a petition to residents and business owners along Yellow Creek and Ghent Square asking Bath trustees and the township administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Summit County engineer to exercise all due diligence to rectify the flooding that has repeatedly occurred. The petition was presented to the trustees during the meeting.

According to Julie Acus, one of the residents who helped to circulate the petition, 73 signatures were collected, or 95.6 percent of the people the committee talked to, who all were concerned about the damage caused by the recent storm.

Several community members spoke during the meeting, including Acus’ husband, Ray Acus, who presented four main points to the trustees that were also concerns of other residents, as well. He said flooding along Yellow Creek and its tributaries has increased dramatically over the past few years, directly due to the development of Montrose and other projects, such as Firestone Trace. He said Bath has been the beneficiary of Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) and property taxes from these entities (in the Yellow Creek area, as well as throughout the township), and he added the residents along Yellow Creek and its tributaries are paying the price for Bath’s development and property owners along Yellow Creek should not bear the burden of Bath’s development alone. He said residents in this area need help with the clean up of Yellow Creek by clearing the logjams, pollution, trailers, sheet metal, gas pipes and other debris caused by the flood.

Julie Acus presented the trustees with four questions she hoped trustees would answer. She asked: Who is going to remove the trailer from Yellow Creek and how long is this going to take? (During the storm a large trailer washed down the creek, causing damage to bridges and is now on the bank of another resident’s property). Are trustees or township officials going to contract with ODOT about what can be done to reduce the overflow off Interstate 77 into Yellow Creek to prevent future flooding? Is the township going to take care of the debris cleanup in the creek? And, which costs more, repairing a road/bridge damaged by a flood or using labor and equipment to clear the debris and logjams affecting water flow in Yellow Creek to prevent flooding?

After residents voiced their concerns, trustees responded.

Trustee Becky Corbett said her heart goes out to everyone affected by this storm, and she assured them the township does care about all the damage caused and the cleanup that needs to be done. She said the township is working to find solutions to all the concerns raised.

Corbett also said Township Administrator Vito Sinopoli has arranged a meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers, which was scheduled to take place today, June 5, to find out what can be done to help residents begin to clean up and repair their property, as well as to discuss the prevention of future flooding. Sinopoli also is researching to find out if there are any grants or organizations that can help fund the cleanup, but it’s a slow process, Corbett said.

Corbett also added that the answers to some of the concerns go beyond the trustees’ meeting that night. She said Sinopli, the trustees and other township officials are working as quickly as possible to address their concerns.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • the auction of police car No. 10, a 2011 Ford Taurus, and police car No. 14, a 2011 Ford Police Interceptor, at the Akron Auto Auction. Police Chief Michael McNeely noted this is part of a planned vehicle replacement schedule;
  • the swearing in of Assistant Fire Chief Robert Campbell;
  • a contract with Bertolini Trucking Inc. to construct a retaining wall across from the cross-over culvert repairs on Bonnebrook Drive not to exceed $24,775, with a vote of 2-0, with Trustee Elaina Goodrich abstaining. Service Director Caine Collins noted this is due to damage caused by the May 12 storm;
  • a resolution that outlines the Bath Township dedicated road signage replacement policy. The resolution deals with new guidelines from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration relating to the retroreflectivity of signs at night, according to Collins;
  • to pay Heavy Lift Systems Inc. for a Stertil-KONI Lift System in the amount of $43,753. This is used to lift loaded dump trucks off the ground, according to Collins;
  • the auction of a Henderson V-box salt spreader and a Henderson Tailgate salt spreader on www.govdeals.com with a posting through June 16 at 4 p.m.;
  • a resolution to amend the 2014 organizational resolution. The amendment was a clarification to reflect the hourly wage of the service director after the completion of his probationary period, according to Sinopoli;
  • a request for engineering assistance from the Summit County Engineer’s Office for a speed limit study of Yellow Creek Road between Sand Run and North Cleveland-Massillon roads due to concerns from residents in the area of speeding motorists;
  • to sign and accept the memorandum of understanding with Summit ReWorks for the 2014 Community Recycling Access Grant; and
  • the request of letters of interest from individuals interested in serving on the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Appearance Review Commission or the Zoning Commission. Trustees also noted Fiscal Officer Sharon Troike is requesting letters of interest and résumés from individuals interested in serving on the External Audit Committee.

The board’s next meeting will be June 16 at 4 p.m. in the trustees’ meeting room of the Bath Administration Building, 3864 W. Bath Road.

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