With bipartisan support, Summit County Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday night endorsing Issue 1, a renewal of the State Capital Improvements Program, on the May 6 ballot.
Before the vote, Summit County Executive Russ Pry addressed council members asking for their support of the State Capital Improvements Program and Issue 1. He said it was not a tax increase and outlined some of its advantages. They are:
• In the program’s 27-year existence it has assisted in Summit County projects through $185 million in grants, loans and credit enhancements.
• More than $30 million has been dispersed throughout the county in the past three years.
• 11,500 projects throughout the state have been affected — roads, bridges, water supply systems, wastewater treatment and collection systems, storm water collection systems or solid waste disposal facilities.
• Issue 1 funds will pay up to 90 percent of the cost of repair and replacement projects and up to 50 percent of new projects.
• If reauthorized, an estimated 3,500 jobs will be created throughout the state in the next cycle of the program.
• It would allow for the sale of $1.8 billion in bonds over 10 years for community road, bridge, sewer, water and other infrastructure projects.
“It’s a great program and we need to make sure people know about it and how it has successfully helped Summit County get the infrastructure we need,” Pry said. “It was put on the ballot with bipartisan support with 31-0 in the Ohio Senate and 90-2 in the Ohio House.”
In other action, council approved the county executive to enter into two lease agreements with Akron Phoenix Development Co. at 1200 Firestone Parkway, the Triangle Building of the former Bridgestone/Firestone tire manufacturing campus. The leased space is to house the Department of Job and Family Services under one roof. It is currently in four locations. The second lease will house the Department of Environmental Services, the Board of Revision, the Department of Administrative Services-Physical Plants, Summit Soil and Water, the Ohio State University Extension and the County Records Center.
Council also approved advertising for bids for Phase 2 of the Riverview Road Improvement Project in Boston Township.
All three phases of the project are for resurfacing the road and widening the shoulders to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Eighty percent of the project is federally funded. Phase 1 was from the Cuyahoga Falls corporate line to the village of Peninsula. The 1.45-mile project was completed last summer for $812,000. Phase 2 will be from Peninsula’s north corporate line to Boston Mills Road, which is nearly a mile. The estimated cost is $635,000.
County Engineer spokeswoman Heidi Swindell said the engineer’s office also plans on completing Phase 3 this year. The last phase is 1.2 miles long and runs from Boston Mills Road to the southern Cuyahoga County line at a cost of $784,000.
“A lot of cyclists and hikers access the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Boston Township off that road,” Swindell said. “It’s part of our larger program to improve the roads in the national park and for other modes of transportation to the park.”
Council also approved leasing the garage (1,300 square feet) of the former Veterans Service Commission headquarters on Park Street in downtown Akron to the Haven of Rest Ministries Inc. at $1 per year for a five-year-lease. The house on the property was demolished and only the garage remains. The building was demolished in July because of safety issues.
Marilyn Miller can be reached at 330-996-3098 or firstname.lastname@example.org.