CUYAHOGA FALLS — City Council on Monday night unanimously approved an agreement that will lead to the Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board relocating about 100 of its employees from Tallmadge to a Second Street building in Cuyahoga Falls.
City Council member Tim Gorbach (D-At Large) said officials are “very excited” to have Summit DD bring a large number of employees to the Falls.
Council approved a land purchase and an economic development and lease agreement with Summit DD in a deal where the city will lease the parcels to Summit DD, but not charge the organization rent. The city will pay $1.675 million to purchase 11 parcels containing six structures that are next to the Summit DD site in Cuyahoga Falls to provide more parking spaces for the 100 employees. The city would spend about $800,000 to demolish the buildings and construct a parking lot with about 150 spaces.
Summit DD Superintendent John Trunk said the goal is for the employees to be moved into the Cuyahoga Falls building by mid-2021.
With a 2 percent income tax rate in Cuyahoga Falls, the $6.35 million in annual payroll is expected to generate $127,032 in income tax money in the first year that the jobs move to Cuyahoga Falls. Community Development Director Diana Colavecchio said the annual economic impact of bringing in Summit DD’s 100 jobs is estimated at $15 million.
Summit DD currently has six buildings: three on Howe Road in Tallmadge, a 15,800-square-foot building at 2355 Second St. in Cuyahoga Falls, a 15,200-square-foot building in Barberton and a 28,600-square-foot structure in Bath that was closed in 2010-11. The employees who had worked in Bath were moved to the Cuyahoga Falls and Barberton buildings.
From the early 1970s until the end of last year, Summit DD used three county-owned buildings in Tallmadge at Howe Road near state Route 91. Today, according to Trunk, the organization only uses one structure at the site — a 129,300-square-foot building that houses about 260 Summit DD employees. This building was once a school, but was transitioned into an office space.
Of these 260 employees, about 100 will relocate to Cuyahoga Falls, another 100 or so will move to Barberton and the remaining workers are mobile and will be able to perform office work in either Cuyahoga Falls or Barberton, according to Trunk. With this change, Summit DD will completely vacate the building in Tallmadge, according to Trunk.
Currently there are about 10 early intervention and case management employees and 26 parking spaces at the Second Street site in Cuyahoga Falls, which first opened in 2010.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.