GREEN  After passing the city’s $32 million operating budget at its final meeting of 2018, Green City Council approved the city’s $11,988,000 2019 capital projects budget.

Councilman At-large and Finance Committee Chair Chris Humphrey said the most significant amendments to the originally proposed capital projects budget were the removal of an appropriation to fund the city’s planned third fire station, and an increase road resurfacing funding.

Humphrey said that the fire station project is still expected to proceed, but the adjustment to the capital budget allows residents an opportunity to discuss concerns about the proposed funding source.

“The NEXUS settlement fund was suggested (as a funding source) due to (the Fire Department’s service to) the health and welfare to residents,” Humphrey said. “People wanted to weigh in on that.”

The amendment was made in order to allow time for these discussions, while approving the remainder of the capital budget, Humphrey said.

He also noted an increase in the resurfacing of roads line item, to $2.5 million.

“When the books are closed on 2018, we are expecting another half-million, to bring our road maintenance up to $3 million.”

Charter review commission

Council also accepted Mayor Gerard Neugebauer’s appointments to the city’s charter review commission.

“The role of the charter review commission is get input from the public (and) draft changes for different things people bring up,” Neugebauer said of the public charter review commission meetings.”

The appointments were University of Akron attorney, Ted Mallo, a member of the first Green charter review commission as well as the 2012 commission; Susan Allen, a local architect and member of the 2005 and 2012 commissions; Vivianne Duffrin, an attorney and assistant law director for the city of Canton; attorney Christopher Meager;  Sherry Neubert, vice president and chief information officer for Goodyear Global.

Ward 4 Councilman Matt Shaughnessy was the lone vote against the appointments, stating concerns that some of the members “vocally opposed” Issue 14, the ultimately successful vote to make the Green law director an elected position, in November.

Shaughnessy added, however, that he does not suspect that any of the commission members would violate their duty to remain unbiased in their work.

Councilman At-large Stephen Dyer voted to approve the mayor’s appointments, but said he shared Shaughnessy’s concerns.

“There were 5,638 residents who voted for Issue 14 and I’m not sure if any of them are represented on this charter review commission,” Dyer said.

Other actions

Council approved a three-year contract with EMH&T for professional engineering services, retroactive to Dec. 1, 2018, for various hourly rates.

Resident Caitlyn Manwaring spoke during public comment about a planned bike and hike trail near Spikerman Drive and Comet Road. Manwaring said she and her neighbors are concerned with both the ability of safety services to access the proposed trail, and the potential destruction of wildlife and the ecosystem.