Summit County is once again helping out needy families with school supplies.
The Department of Job and Family Services will spend $350,000 this summer on backpacks and fill them with pens, pencils, calculators and other items to give away to eligible children as they start school in the fall.
County Council approved the spending on Monday. It was the council’s last meeting before its summer recess in July.
“We really feel that we are meeting a need in the community,” Job and Family Services Director Pat Divoky said.
The county plans to buy about 3,400 backpacks in three different sizes for kids ages 4 through 18. They will be purchased, along with the supplies, from Staples.
Families must receive cash help through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to be eligible for the giveaway. The county will send out letters to specific families this month alerting them to the program and then distribute the backpacks and supplies in August.
The county has conducted similar giveaways since 2007, when it first handed out prepaid gift cards so families could buy clothes, coats and shoes.
In other business, the council:
•?Approved a three-year contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1229. The deal calls for a 1.5 percent raise this year, 2 percent in 2015 and 2.25 percent in 2016. The union has approved the deal.
•?Agreed to place an issue on the November ballot asking voters to approve consolidating information technology departments now run independently by the county executive, fiscal officer, engineer, sheriff, prosecutor and clerk of courts. It also would create the County Information Technology Board to oversee the combined department.
•?Approved a resolution supporting the Gay Games, which will be held Aug. 9-16 in Akron and Cleveland.
Councilwoman Gloria Rodgers cast the lone vote against the resolution.
“It’s a celebration I’m not able to endorse,” she said after the meeting.
•?Agreed to provide $100,000 to the county engineer for stormwater and ditch maintenance projects. The proposed work includes removing beaver dams and trapping beavers.
•?Agreed to hire Karvo Paving Co. to resurface and pave the shoulders of Quick Road between Akron-Peninsula Road and the Cuyahoga Falls city limit in Boston Township. The $1.69 million project will begin this month.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com.