GREEN: The soon-to-open Twisted Olive restaurant will get a new water line, but without a proposed partnership with the city.
The city council voted 6-1 to reject a city administration plan to pay as much as $80,000 for a water line from the restaurant to Southgate Park that would bring potable water to the park and a new fire hydrant.
The proposal would have cost the city about $33,000 to assist Twisted Olive owner Ted Swaldo with the estimated $160,000 expense to run the water line from the east side of Massillon Road about 1,200 feet to the restaurant, Planning Director Wayne Wiethe said.
Much of the balance of the $80,000 proposal would have covered running a connecting line under the restaurant’s planned parking area to Southgate Park.
Chris Humphrey, an at-large councilman and Finance Committee chair, led the opposition, saying water could be extended to Southgate Park from Boettler Park if needed.
“I feel like we are constructing a water line to nowhere,” Humphrey said.
Ward 4 Councilman John “Skip” Summerville cast the lone vote for the proposal, saying it’s a matter of pay now or pay a lot more later.
At the last council meeting, Wiethe had estimated that a separate water line to Southgate could cost the city more than $100,000.
Humphrey said he is glad that Twisted Olive is developing the property, adding that the restaurant is going to be tremendous for the city.
He said the proposed city expense makes sense if there is a reason to have water at Southgate, but he hasn’t heard any rationale to justify the need for water at Southgate.
Mayor Dick Norton, directing his comment to Humphrey, said, “What [Wiethe] has tried to do is good for the city. I understand your decision, but it is short-sighted.” Norton acknowledged that the proposal is a judgment call, adding “I trust the judgment” of the planning director.
In other action:
• Council President Gerard Neugebauer appointed Ward 1 Councilman James V. Ahlstrom II to the Safe Routes Schools Committee to find alternative ways to get walking and biking students to school safely.
• The council authorized issuance of notes in a maximum amount of $2.02 million for the Lauby Road roundabout and widening project and otherwise improving certain streets in the city.
• A request for $1.01 million in notes for parks and recreation, specifically for the planned Central Park off Town Park Boulevard adjacent to the Central Administration Building, was delayed while more financial information is gathered.
• Service Director Randy Monteith said applications for proposed capital improvement projects in 2015 are due at his office by 4 p.m. June 27. Each project must cost more than $25,000 and have a useful life of at least eight years.
George W. Davis can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org