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Boston trustees discuss issues with road project

7/17/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Julia Kazar

The Boston Township Board of Trustees discussed concerns and issues with the Riverview Road project during the July 9 meeting.

Summit County Councilman Bill Roemer (R-at large) was at the meeting to hear concerns about the project.

According to the Summit County Engineer’s Office’s website, the project includes repaving Riverview Road from the Cuyahoga-Summit counties line south to Peninsula through Sept. 15. Work will include milling and resurfacing the roadway and paving the shoulders of the roadway.

Trustee Amy Anderson said resident Dave Calloway came home the evening of July 8 and while inspecting his property and the construction progress, he noticed a strong smell of gas and soon found a gas leak. The fire department, police and Dominion East Ohio Gas were called and the leak was fixed late that night. She said the gas was not turned on until the next day because an inspection needed to take place first.

“Someone could have flipped a cigarette over there, lots of things could have happened …” Anderson said. “It could have been a lot worse. No one got hurt thankfully, but I am furious with this road project.”

Anderson said she was frustrated because of the danger the gas leak posed to the whole area, as well as the constant lack of communication for this project. Anderson said no one living on the road has been notified officially of anything happening with this project. According to Anderson, she emailed several people about the gas leak including multiple people in the Summit Count Engineer’s Office and County Council members and only Roemer responded. Anderson said residents have not been informed throughout the project and have only gotten information when they personally seek it out themselves.

Roemer said after the gas leak July 8 he emailed the Engineer’s Office and received a response from Joe Paradise, deputy director of engineering for the county, who said he would look into the incident.

Trustee Randy Bergdorf said he was frustrated with the project because he first heard about it by reading a newspaper.

Trustee Jerry Ritch added he thought the county would contact the people who were going to be affected personally.

Roemer said Summit County Engineer Alan Brubaker told him a flyer/pamphlet was passed out regarding the project.

Anderson said that wasn’t the case.

Roemer said he would contact the Engineer’s Office with all of the trustees’ concerns.

Also during the meeting, the trustees and Roemer discussed the proposed 0.25 percent sales tax increase that will appear on the November General Election ballot.

According to county officials, the new tax would bring in $20 million annually. Of that revenue, $3.7 million to $4.5 million would go to operations and maintenance of the Summit County Jail; $5.3 million would go toward improvements for the county’s 800 megahertz emergency radio system and the 9-1-1 system; $2 million would go to county capital improvements; $7 million would go to a county-owned arena; and $1.2 million to $2 million would go to the county’s additional General Fund needs.

Bergdorf asked what events would be held in the new arena.

Roemer said The University of Akron men’s and women’s basketball games will be about half of the events, but there will also be concerts as well.

Ritch asked what Summit County residents will get from the arena.

Roemer said the county administration argues there will be significant economic development from the project and people who would have left the area before will now stay because there will be greater opportunities.

Ritch asked Roemer where the proposed arena will be built and he responded it will tentatively be built across from Canal Park and south of the Mayflower apartments in Downtown Akron.

When asked if this would eliminate parking in the area, Roemer said he asked the same question and was told there are 6,500 parking spots within walking distance, which would be sufficient.

Roemer was one of two County Council members to vote against putting this issue on the ballot. He said his issues with the proposed increase include it’s a permanent tax and he doesn’t believe the arena should be included in the proposal, among other concerns.

In other business:

  • Zoning Inspector Larry Sulzer reported no visible changes have taken place on the Bob Pruitt property. He also said Daniel Bridle and John Pagano were both served with certified letters and are aware of what the zoning department needs from them, and Linda Griffith has completed all necessary zoning permit applications and paid her fees in full.
  • Anderson reported the Valley Fire District is looking for a new clerk.

The next regular Boston Board of Trustees meeting will be July 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the administrative offices at Boston Township Hall, located at the corner of Main Street and Riverview Road in Peninsula.

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