CUYAHOGA FALLS -- When City Council votes on the 2017 budget on Dec. 12, it will include a $1 million "place-holder" to join a proposed Council of Governments for a regional dispatch center as well as the funds needed to equip paramedics with stun guns and bullet-proof jackets.

During the Nov. 28 meeting of City Council's Finance Committee, Bryan Hoffman, the city's finance director, said he budgeted $1 million as a "place-holder" for membership in the COG. Hoffman said it is an estimate of the total cost to be a part of it.

Council President Mary Ellen Pyke (R-2) requested Hoffman provide Council with a breakdown of how he arrived at that figure. He said he would.

Councilwoman Carol Klinger (R-At Large), said she believed $1 million was a figure given at a recent joint meeting of the governing bodies of communities showing an interest in forming a COG. The list of communities includes Stow, Tallmadge and Hudson.

In another matter, Klinger, who chairs the Finance Committee, said when she was reviewing the five-year capital plan, a couple of proposed purchases for the fire department "jumped out" at her.

"Under Fire (Department), we're purchasing Tasers and ballistic vests I was kind of surprised to see those under the fire department," said Klinger.

Assistant Fire Chief Fred Jackson said the purchases would be to equip four medics. "We have never to this point provided them with a defensive tool and the Police Department is in the process of getting new Tasers across their department and we've asked to be a part of that process."

Jackson said, "We're sending four of our medics into harm's way to SWAT operations and we've never provided those tools We added four Tasers to (the Police) budget."

Police Chief Jack Davis said his department would train the medics in stun gun handling.

Hoffman said the Tasers are budgeted at $6,500 and the vests are budgeted at $15,000 for the Fire Department.

Council also heard the five-year capital plan includes rebuilding 18th Street between Ohio and Phelps avenues. City Engineer Tony Demasi said this project would replace the existing concrete surface with new concrete.

According to Demasi, the total project is budgeted at $860,000 -- $360,000 in the Capital Projects Fund and $500,000 in the Sanitary Sewer Fund.


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Twitter: @SteveWiandt_RPC