GREEN City Council approved a resolution April 11 pledging $10,000 toward the ongoing efforts of the non-profit community organization, Coalition to Reroute Nexus (CORN), to stop the construction of a gas pipeline planned to pass through the city of Green, including across two city parks.
Council President Chris Humphrey said that while the city continues to mount its own legal opposition to the pipeline, it also stands behind CORN’s efforts.
"Though we can’t predict what the outcome of this legislation will be, this makes a donation to CORN to use as they see fit," Humphrey said, noting that the city has made efforts to assist Nexus with locating the pipeline along "a more southerly route, outside the city, in a less populous area with fewer environmental issues, and not as much of a cost to Nexus."
Humphrey also clarified that Summit County’s previous pledge of up to $25,000 in support of the cause is not earmarked specifically as a match for the city’s CORN donation, but rather can be used in a variety of ways.
Tammy Daly, speaking on behalf of CORN, was one of several residents who spoke prior to the vote. Daly said CORN is prepared to file a federal lawsuit against Nexus, its pipeline infrastructure partner Enbridge, Inc., and the Federal Energy Regulation Commission, citing lack of safety and environmental concerns and various civil rights violation.
Daly commended the city’s efforts thus far that have "stalled," but not stopped the pipeline project, including an economic impact study, providing the pipeline interests with a re-routing plan and fighting various permitting requests.
Resident Susan Ridgeway argued that, in her opinion, that there is not "an empirical need" for Nexus to construct this particular Nexus pipeline through Green.
"We have a duty to residents to fight this," Ridgeway said.
Ward 1 Councilman James Ahlstrom recused himself from voting on the issue due to an unstated conflict of interest.
New service department van
Approve the $30,866 purchase of a 2017 Ford Transit cargo utility van for the service department. The resolution appropriated a total of $40,000 for the purchase.
March tax receipts take a dip
As part of his finance committee report to council, committee chairman Humphrey reported a 12.6 percent – or $746,486 - decrease in March income tax revenues, compared to March 2016.
Humphrey said the decrease, from $5.9 million in March 2016 to $5.2 million in March 2017 is due in large part to a "timing issue."
"We of course will follow this, but we don’t feel it is any cause for concern at the moment," he said.
New position in engineering department
Council also approved the creation of the entry-level position of Engineer I in the engineering department and establishing a rate of pay for the position, ranging between $40,617 and $56,845 annually.
"There currently is not an entry level position in the engineering department and as the engineering department has grown, they feel there now is a need," said Councilman At-large and rules and personnel committee chairman Stephen Dyer.
Paving contract awarded
Council approved a resolution awarding Northstar Asphalt with a contract for the city’s 2017 concrete rehabilitation project in Raintree Estates and on Corporate Woods Parkway, based upon the company’s low bid of $671,847.
"This will be for asphalt coating in the areas we ground the surface in," said Ward 3 Councilman and Transportation, Connectivity and Storm Water Committee chairman Ken Knodel. "They will be putting the finishing coating on."
A second piece of legislation out of Knodel’s committee was also passed unanimously by council. The ordinance calls for requiring persons or businesses engaged in activities subjecting city roads and bridges to frequent and sustained use execute a "roadway use repair and maintenance agreement" with the city.
"If any companies are using roads not designed for heavy travel, like Massillon or Arlington (are), this may force the companies to obtain a bond," Knodel explained.
Council also approved an ordinance authorizing the city to execute a water utility easement granting Aqua Ohio a 10-by-128-foot easement on city owned property at 4310 Massillon Road.
Intergovernmental and utilities committee chairman Ahlstrom explained that the easement is part of the infrastructure improvement portion of the city’s multi-year agreement with Aqua Ohio.
Mayor Gerard Neugebauer, in his report to council, gave an update on a mapping project at the circa 1820 Klinefelter Cemetery, near E. Nimisila and Arlington roads.
Members of the city planning department; University of Akron Archeology professor, Tim Matney; and UA senior lecturer and 2003 Green High School graduate, Jerrad Lancaster, joined 40 volunteers in the project April 8 and 9, using GIS mapping, drone and 3D modeling technology to locate gravesites inside and the perimeter of the cemetery, one of the oldest in Ohio.
"The goal is to establish the borders (of the site) and honor (those interred) with fencing and markers," Neugebauer said. "It is from the early 1800s period and we think, well we pretty much know, there is a Revolutionary War veteran buried there."
A public presentation of the mapping project group’s findings is scheduled to be held Oct. 26 at Green High School.