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Opinion

County Council OKs capital project plans - SSNL

2/16/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

DOWNTOWN AKRON — Summit County Council adopted legislation approving the county’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for 2012-17 and appropriating funds for this year’s projects during the Feb. 13 meeting.

Also adopted was legislation allowing the Engineer’s Office to advertise for bids for its capital projects for the year.

The county’s CIP includes $8.6 million worth of projects for the year, according to the legislation.

Among the biggest projects are heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades in the Ohio Building ($817,000), Safety Building ($580,000) and Summit County Jail ($405,000). Also planned is replacement of the jail’s intercom paging system at an estimated cost of $619,000.

Environmental improvements for the Department of Environmental Services are slated for this year at a cost estimated at $430,000.

For the County Engineer’s Office, projects expected to be addressed this year are the South Arlington Road improvement project, which will see the addition of an improved interconnected traffic signal system, new ramps and sidewalks, a northbound turn lane at Warner Road and resurfacing from Killian Road to Krumroy Road.

Also Monday, Council heard first reading of an ordinance that would see the Summit County Port Authority’s name changed to the Development Finance Authority of Summit County.

“The proposed new name … more accurately reflects the organization’s focus on economic development activities,” said Port Authority President Christopher Burnham in a press release. “Often people will ask where the port is in Akron. The phrase ‘Development Finance Authority’ is a much more accurate description.”

The legislation will be discussed during the next Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting.

Council also adopted a resolution of support for the Summit Food Policy Coalition’s Summit County Food Charter. The vision of the charter is to make Summit County home to an economically vibrant local and regional food industry and a place where residents are able to obtain and prepare nutritious food, according to the legislation.

Also, Council adopted on first reading a resolution supporting and authorizing the County Executive’s Office to execute an application to the state for $100,000 in grant funds from the Local Government Innovation Fund for a feasibility study concerning a shared broadband infrastructure. The project would be a collaboration among a number of local communities and the county to study and map the existing broadband capacity, according to Jason Dodson, chief of staff for the County Executive.

Council also adopted legislation allowing grants with several local entities: $51,000 to the Summit County Historical Society; $75,000 to the Port Authority and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition; $117,800 for The Ohio State University Extension Services — Summit County; and $171,900 for the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District.

Council will not meet Feb. 20 because of Presidents’ Day. Council will meet for committee meetings Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St.

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