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Council turns down water proposal for park

6/12/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

GREEN — City of Green Mayor Dick Norton called the proposal a “win-win,” while Council Vice President Chris Humphrey (at large) said it would result in a “waterline to nowhere.”

At the June 10 meeting, Council opposed partnering with restaurateur Theodore Swaldo on a water project in the city’s Southgate Park.

Councilman John Summerville (Ward 4) was the only elected official to vote in favor of a measure that would have financially assisted Swaldo with the installation of a 6-inch, 1,200-foot waterline running from the east side of Massillon Road to his restaurant complex — The Twisted Olive — being constructed in the park.

The project scope also included running an additional 450 feet of waterline to provide water in the park, including a fire hydrant for safety and a possible fountain, for a total cost to the city of about $80,000, according to the legislation.

Planning Director Wayne Wiethe said last month the total project is estimated to cost $160,000. If Council decided to run water into the park another time, it would cost the city around $130,000, he had said.

Humphrey said he did not see a need for water in Southgate Park at this time or in the near future, thus it was not rational to use city money for the project.

Summerville said he believes water eventually would be needed in the park, even though a plan to use it has not been established.

“I think this is a good collaboration,” he said before the vote was taken. “I just see this city building infrastructure out in the future.”

Also during the meeting, Council heard the first reading of an ordinance that would change the zoning classification of approximately 17.74 acres of land located on Liberty Green Drive from B-1 (General Business) to R-2 (Multi-Family Residential) to allow for the construction of about 150 luxury apartments housed in three-story buildings.

Resident Ted Thorne, who lives in close proximity to the project, spoke against the proposed zoning change during the Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee meeting, held just prior to the regular meeting.

Thorne said he and neighbors are not for the apartment complex, as it would be located in an already densely populated area and close to a wetland area and creek that may not be safe for children to play near.

Council President Gerard Neugebauer (at large) encouraged Thorne specifically to voice his concerns at a public hearing that most likely would be in August to discuss the matter further.

At the meeting, Council additionally:

  • heard the second reading of legislation that would authorize the city to enter into a contract with H.R. Gray for professional services for a three-year period retroactive to Jan. 1;
  • authorized applications to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement and/or local transportation improvement programs and to execute contracts as required for the Wise Road culvert project and a painting project for the Tabs Drive standpipes;
  • approved the issuance of notes in a maximum principal amount of about $2 million in anticipation of the issuance of bonds for the purpose of paying costs of constructing, reconstructing, widening and improving portions of Lauby and Greensburg roads;
  • heard the second reading of legislation to amend an ordinance requiring taxicabs and transportation services operating in the city to post their rates; and
  • agreed to support Summit County’s declaration of the month of August as Summit Kids Month in the county.

The next Council meeting will take place June 24 beginning at 5 p.m. for committee meetings and at 7 p.m. for the regular meeting at the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd.

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