CUYAHOGA FALLS — “This is a win-win-win-win.”
That’s how Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters describes the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board’s plan to move its administrative operations from Howe Road in Tallmadge to Summit DD’s Cuyahoga Falls site at 2355 Second St.
Summit DD’s plan to bring 100 jobs and an estimated $6.35 million in new payroll dollars to Cuyahoga Falls was announced during council’s finance committee meeting Monday night.
“We’re very excited about it,” said Diana Colavecchio, the city’s community development director. She added the annual economic impact of bringing Summit DD’s 100 jobs to Cuyahoga Falls is estimated at $15 million.
In connection with this plan, council’s finance committee reviewed legislation for the city to spend $1.675 million to purchase 11 parcels that are adjacent to the Summit DD site to provide more parking spaces for the 100 employees. The city would then spend about $800,000 to demolish the buildings on the 11 parcels and construct a parking lot with 150 spaces. Colavecchio said the plan is to have the parking lot constructed by November 2020.
Council is scheduled to vote on the land purchase and an economic development and lease agreement with Summit DD on Sept. 23.
John Trunk, superintendent of Summit DD, said his organization will renovate the building at 2355 Second St. to accommodate the 100 employees. While the interior of the building needs to be reconfigured to house 100 employees, Trunk said he anticipates that the existing footprint will provide enough space. He said the goal is to bring the 100 administrative, professional, skilled and support staff workers into the Second Street building sometime in the middle of 2021.
Currently there are five to six employees at the Second Street site. The building is centrally located for employees to visit families that the Summit DD provides services for, and is close to state Route 8, according to Trunk.
While noting Tallmadge had a been a “great partner,” Trunk said the building on Howe Road in Tallmadge is “rapidly aging,” and has roof, HVAC and other infrastructure issues that are “becoming cost prohibitive.”
He added the Tallmadge building’s design “no longer fits our operation.”
Trunk noted Summit DD has been “welcomed” in Cuyahoga Falls since constructing its Second Street location in 2010.
“We’re excited about being and potentially playing a greater part of this vibrant community,” said Trunk.
Through the relocation, Trunk said he believes his organization will get to enhance “an already strong partnership” that Summit DD has with the city.
See the Sept. 22 editions of the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press and the Tallmadge Express for more on this story.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.