Capping sewer bills. Setting a minimum bill for all houses. Making the sewer customer responsible, instead of the property owner.
These are the ideas being proposed by former Akron councilman Ernie Tarle after three town hall meetings in the past six weeks to discuss the city’s sewer rates, which have been raised to pay for an overhaul of the sewer system. Tarle shared them with Akron council members during the public comment period Monday night.
Tarle said about 120 people attended the meetings and voted at the final meeting in favor of three proposals. They are:
• Capping sewer/water/trash bills, which Akron bundles together, at $150 per household and $100 for seniors and those receiving aid from the state’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). Rate and cap increases in the future would be limited to the Consumer Price Index.To read more or comment...
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will be the speaker at the Summit County Progressive Democrats' 10th-anniversary celebration and fundraiser on May 8.
The event will be from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1307 E. Market St. It will include a silent auction, 50/50 drawing, a wine auction, awards, dinner and a cash bar.
Tickets are $50 each or $35 for Young Democrats. For more information call 330-666-2627 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.To read more or comment...
Akron City Council delayed a vote that was expected Monday night on the city's 2015 operating budget after a council member complained that all of his questions hadn't yet been answered.
Councilman Russel Neal, Jr. said he posed a question about how many positions in the budget show a salary, but no one is currently holding this spot.
Finance Director Diane Miller-Dawson said the city intends to fill every position included in the proposed $541 million budget.
"There is no extra money," she said.To read more or comment...
Akron has won another found in the hiring-goals fight.
The Ohio Senate Transportation Committee removed language this morning from the transportation bill that would have prohibited the distribution of state and federal funds to public entities that have local hiring goals. This would have applied to Akron's sewer project, which is receiving state loans.
The transportation committee stripped the language just as the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus was planning to hold a press conference denouncing the hiring-goals issue.
"I know not to take these victories for granted," said state Rep. Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, who pushed for the removal of the language from the Senate version of the bill and a similar provision taken out of the House version last month.To read more or comment...
Akron's sewer project wouldn't be insulated from revised language in the state transportation bill targeting local hiring goals, state Rep. Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, said Tuesday afternoon.
Sykes said she has been told that state loans would count as funding under the proposed language. Akron is getting no federal or state funding for its billion-dollar-plus sewer project, but is receiving low-interest state loans.
Akron Law Director Cheri Cunningham agreed Tuesday with Sykes' assessment that loans would be treated the same as other types of state funding.
Akron's state and local leaders weren't sure Monday if the revised language in the Ohio Senate version of the transportation bill would apply to Akron's sewer project. The provision prohibits the distribution of state or federal funds to a public agency that has hiring goals.To read more or comment...
The issue of local hiring goals is back in the state legislature.
The Ohio Senate's version of the transportation bill includes language restricting a municipality's ability to require contractors to hire local residents.
The language, though, isn't the same as the House version of the bill that would have prohibited muncipalities from requiring contractors to meet local hiring thresholds. A group of Akron council members and other city leaders traveled to Columbus last month to testify against this provision and it was removed the next day from the bill.
The Senate version prohibits the distribution of state or federal funds to a public agency that has hiring goals. Akron's sewer project isn't getting any state or federal funding, though the city is receiving low-interest loans from the state.To read more or comment...
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan will be the speaker at the Summit County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner on March 28.
Jordan, a Congressman since 2007, is a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Judiciary.
The dinner, the party's largest event of the year, will be held at the Quaker Station, 135 S. Broadway St. in Akron. A social hour with a cash bar will be from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $50 each. For more information, contact the party headquarters at 330-434-9151 or email@example.com.To read more or comment...
Akron City Council passed a resolution this week urging the administration to search for new technology and develop partnerships to fight the city's serious pothole problem.
Councilman Jeff Fusco said this is a "no brainer" for this time of year and given the constant freezing and thawing of the past two winters that have left the streets riddled with potholes. He said Jim Hall, the public works manager, recently heard about a de-icing agent that can be added to pavement to decrease the need for salt.
"It seems timely to ask the administration to actively seek ways to protect our streets," he said.
Council President Garry Moneypenny said new technology imported from Germany was used in the resurfacing of Eastwood Avenue that is expected to last 20 years. He said the street is "holding up well." He said the administration can collaborate with other cities and universities to try to find more technology like this that might be worth trying in Akron.To read more or comment...
Ohio Auditor Dave Yost is ill and won't be able to attend a press conference this morning in Akron to discuss the city's finances, his spokeswoman said.
Yost, however, provided the city with a press release that will be distributed at the press conference.
Mayor Don Plusquellic will respond to Yost's release during the press conference.
This will be Plusquellic's third press conference this week.To read more or comment...
Ohio Auditor Dave Yost will travel to Akron Thursday for a press conference to "discuss Akron's financial picture," the city said in a press release this afternoon.
Yost will be joined by Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic.
Yost told the Beacon Journal last October when he was speaking at the Akron Press Club that Akron has "come a long way" to improving its financial practices since he put the city in fiscal caution in its 2010 audit. He said the city should emerge from fiscal caution in the next six months.
In Akron's 2010 audit, Yost faulted the city for bad accounting practices that led to a $104 million fund deficit as of that March. He said Akron had been undertaking capital projects without the revenue to pay for them and faulted the city for having too many funds.To read more or comment...