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County working on Shaw Road bridge fix

6/5/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Akron police officer Derrick Jackson was presented a commendation for his and partner Chris Crockett’s heroic actions April 29, when they arrived at the scene before firefighters and saved the 44-year-old occupant of a burning house on Adelaide Boulevard.
Shaquille Riddick, a 2011 Akron Early College — Bucthel High School graduate also received a commendation, for outstanding athletic and academic achievements. Riddick is shown here thanking Council for the recognition.
Photos: Ariel Hakim
Summit County Council approved two pieces of legislation following first readings June 2 to allow the Engineer’s Office to replace a bridge on Shaw Road over Yellow Creek in Bath Township that collapsed during a severe storm May 12.

Council first adopted legislation to forgo the competitive bidding process, an action that will allow the bridge to be replaced as soon as possible, according to Heidi Swindell, of the Engineer’s Office.

Also, Council adopted legislation to pay E.L. Robinson Engineering, a company the county has worked with in the past, up to $42,000 to design the new structure. Swindell added she guesses construction will cost around $350,000, and though Council won’t be required to approve the construction contract, it will first go through the Board of Control for approval.

The bridge was washed out when a severe storm dropped approximately 4 inches of rain within half an hour, causing damage from debris and flood waters, the legislation states.

Shaw Road will remain closed to traffic until the bridge is replaced, and Swindell said she hopes the project will be completed before the start of the next school year.

Also at the meeting, Council officially added County of Summit Flag Day June 14 and Elder Abuse Awareness Day June 15 to this year’s calendar.

On Flag Day, county officials will inspect all American flags flown at county offices and remove and replace ones that are worn and unfit for further public display, according to the legislation.

Council members suggested all wear purple June 13 to raise awareness for Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is Sunday, June 15, this year.

In other action, Council on first reading adopted legislation for a $300,000 contract with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank to purchase and distribute food to food pantries throughout Summit County from June 1 through Sept. 30.

Also on first reading, Council adopted legislation setting a public hearing for Aug. 4 at 4:30 p.m. to consider vacating Reserve and Fineview avenues, unimproved rights-of-way in Copley Township, returning the land to abutting property owners. A public viewing will take place Aug. 1 at 2 p.m., and a final hearing will be held Aug. 11 at 4:30 p.m., according to the legislation.

Among routine legislation unanimously agreed to by committee, Council confirmed a $143,000 contract for road striping and a $1 million contract for road resurfacing.

Also, Council agreed to purchase one 2014 Chevrolet Impala, three 2014 Chevrolet Malibus, one 2014 Ford Escape and five 2015 Ford Explorers for the Sheriff’s Office, for the fleet and for unmarked vehicles for the Detective Bureau and administration.

Council also approved a settlement agreement for $15,000 in a lawsuit brought by Anthony Miller against the county in September 2012 in Summit County Common Pleas Court. The case stemmed from a physical altercation between a juvenile housed in the Detention Center and a corrections officer, according to Jason Dodson, chief of staff for the Executive’s Office. The plaintiff alleged he sustained injuries, Dodson said. Ultimately, the employee involved was let go, and the settlement is considered reasonable, Dodson said.

Several contract renewals for the Department of Job and Family Services also were approved as part of the consent agenda, including services for dislocated workers, ex-offenders and youth and to provide drop-in child care.

Also June 2, Councilman John Schmidt (D-District 2) presented a commendation to Akron police officer Derrick Jackson for his and partner Chris Crockett’s heroic actions April 29, when they arrived at the scene of a burning house on Adelaide Boulevard before firefighters.

“Finding the door open, the officers risked their lives to save a 44-year-old man after he had ignited a pile of clothes in the home and ignored their instructions to leave the house on his own,” said Schmidt.

Crockett also had a commendation for Crockett, who was not present at the meeting.

Councilwoman Tamela Lee (D-District 5) also had a commendation to give, which went to 2011 Akron Early College and Buchtel High School graduate Shaquille Riddick for outstanding athletic and academic achievements.

Riddick helped lead Buchtel to back-to-back City Series Conference football titles and has gone on to become “an extremely disciplined” student and athlete at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, said Lee. Last year, Riddick ranked second nationally for the most tackles for loss and led the nation with 109 negative yards recorded on those tackles, she added.

He plans to finish his bachelor’s degree a year early and will use his final year of athletic eligibility to play football and pursue a master’s degree at West Virginia University, she said.

“He is currently ranked nationally among the best defensive end prospects for the 2015 NFL draft,” she said.

Council will next meet for committee meetings June 9 a little over an hour later than usual at 5:35 p.m. in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St. The second of two public hearings on a proposed increase in sales and use tax will take place that evening at 7 p.m.

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