Twinsburg eyes federal funds for Cannon, Highland fixups

Ken Lahmers
Special to MyTownNEO
.

TWINSBURG – City officials are hoping to receive federal assistance through the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study to pay for improvements to Cannon and Highland roads.

City Council on April 27 authorized the mayor to apply for federal Surface Transportation Block Grant funds to help with resurfacing and improvements. The applications are due May 5.

The special round of funding is for 2023-24 and involves Cannon from Ravenna to Liberty roads, which is classified as a federally functional roadway, and Highland from Route 91 to Hadden Road at the city’s western corporation limit, which is classified as a federally functional minor collector.

Both projects are eligible for an 80% federal and 20% local split. That means about $540,000 federal and $135,000 local for Cannon and $464,000 federal and $116,000 local for Highland.

City Engineer Amy Mohr said the grants are competitive and not guaranteed, and if they are not funded for 2023-24 the city will apply again this fall for the 2025-26 round of funding.

Mohr announced the Ravenna Road resurfacing project, originally programmed for 2024, is now proposed to occur in 2022. It was approved during the 2019 round of AMATS funding.

OTHER BUSINESS

Council granted a conditional use permit for Dr. Larry Miller to operate a personal training studio in his home on Alling Drive. The OK was given after Miller presented a letter showing the Ethan’s Green Homeowners Association did not object to the use.

Receipt of the monthly financial reports for January to March was acknowledged as submitted by the finance department.

Council postponed action on an ordinance which would make appointments of the five members of the capital improvements board non-ward specific, instead of the current requirement that each ward must be represented.

The reason for the proposed change is because it has been difficult to find a representative from Ward 1. However, some Council reps said since the ordinance was introduced several residents have expressed interest in serving, so there may not be a need to amend the guidelines.

Mayor Ted Yates reported Rock the Park concerts and summer camp for children will return this year after a hiatus because of COVID-19. Officials are discussing what health restrictions to implement.

Yates also announced one of the city’s Police Explorers units placed second in a recent Northeast Ohio competition, and dedication of a memorial in honor of former Mayor Jim Karabec will take place June 12 at 9:30 a.m. at Liberty Park.

FINANCE TIDBITS

Finance Director Sarah Buccigross reported income tax revenue so far this year is down about 8.6 percent. She added the city received $1.62 million in CARES Act funding last year, of which $1.18 million went toward police, fire and dispatch wages and pensions.

Councilman Scott Barr said there were no public safety layoffs attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. He pointed out the Ohio legislature is discussing how income tax revenue should be distributed for people who have been working at home.

“Under the current proposal and according to RITA estimates, the city’s tax withholding for every 10 percent of those working at home would be reduced by 3 percent, or about $688,000,” he said. “This is all in flux, but it could have a negative impact on city finances.”

Barr explained starting in 2022, debt service relating to the Gleneagles Golf Course clubhouse will be consistent with that prior to building of the facility, and in 2023 it will be lower than in years past. “That should be encouraging news to all the naysayers out there,” he said.

Barr explained City Hall technology options and holiday lighting were among items discussed at the finance committee’s April 27 meeting.

Contact the newspaper at twinsburgbulletin@recordpub.com.