GREEN In spite of the recent COVID-19 related economic downturn, the city of Green is moving ahead with the most ambitious road project in the city’s history.

Green City Council passed two key pieces of legislation April 14 related to the city’s Massillon Road North Improvement project; a $12.2 million contract to Karvo Construction, and an ordinance authorizing the issuance of $9.9 million in bonds to pay the costs of the project.

Councilman Rocco Yeargin said passage of the latter piece of legislation was necessary in part for the city to meet a July 1 start date requirement in order to receive a $4.6 million federal grant.

Mayor Gerard Neugebauer said the city received six construction bids, each “close in their bidding,” rare for such a large project and indicating “an honest bid process.” He added that in spite of uncertain financial times, proceeding with the project is the right thing for the city to do.

The bond issuance legislation passed 7-1, with Councilman Matt Shaughnessy voting no. Prior to his the Karvo contract vote, Shaughnessy also confirmed with City Engineer Paul Pickett that Karvo was indeed the lowest bid received.

Relief to businesses during COVID-19

Council also authorized the city’s participation in two new programs designed to financially assist local businesses affected by COVID-19 related shutdowns.

The city entered into agreement with the Great Akron Chamber of Commerce at the April 14 meeting, to participate in the Summit County Small Business Emergency Relief Grant program to assist small businesses in Green affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The city agreed to contribute $50,000 to the county program, which will be awarded to businesses in $5,000 grants. Neugebauer noted that the program has generated $1.3 million from communities throughout the county thus far.

Council also approved the establishment of a citywide economic assistance loan program, to provide 100 $6,000 no-interest loans through the Green Community Improvement Corporation to small businesses in the city affected by COVID-19.

Planning Director Wayne Wiethe explained that in addition to being a three-year loan, the funds from which will be repaid and returned to the city’s general fund, this program differs from the Summit County grant program in that it does not require a company to have a certain number of employees, or that all employees live in Summit County.

Wiethe said the loan program is intended as a temporary “stop gap” to help “mom and pop” type businesses pay for necessities such as rent, utilities, and payroll for up to three months.

In other action, council:

• Approved the expenditure of $100,000 to hire a heavy equipment construction company to assist in cleanup of Greensburg Cemetery and Southgate Park related to an April 7 tornado.

• Awarded an $82,270 contract to Chagrin Valley paving for the city’s 2020 parks pavement maintenance project, to include repair and paving of parking lots at Greensburg Park.

• Approved the disposal of unneeded equipment in the fire and service departments by online auction.