My notes from tonight's committee meetings are below ...
Tonight was dominated by fairly innocuous zoning matters: a veterinary clinic on the corner of Fishcreek and Darrow adjacent to Bruegger’s Bagels, a Jehovah’s Witness church on Darrow Road, an electronic sign at Holy Family Parish (similar to the library’s sign), and the site plan for Christ Community Church on Kent Road.
As chairman, I called a meeting of the Roads & Safety Committee to discuss the purchase of a piece of equipment that could save us a lot of money in road patching and paving. The machine, which costs about $120,000, essentially allows us to recycle our old asphalt and repurpose it for coal patch. The material cost goes from $90 per ton to $6 per ton.
I think this is a great investment for Stow. You cannot complain when green thinking meets greenback thinking. The question is whether we purchase it alone, or with neighboring cities, in an equipment-sharing arrangement.
We also discussed the possibility of a mutual aid agreement with Kent, whereby the cities would provide assistance to one another in times of emergency. I had several concerns regarding liability, although Service Director Mike Miller (a fellow lawyer, whose opinion I greatly respect) does not think there are problems lurking.
Council president Jim Costello presented a legitimate concern: Let's make sure that we aren't getting a bad deal whereby Kent taxpayers are essentially passing off costs on Stow. I think this legislation could be good, but it needs to be examined more closely – with facts and figures about Kent's operations, budget and demographics.
Police Chief Lou Dirker asked the Finance Committee for an additional $30,000 in overtime costs for 2012. The initial allocation was $300,000. It should be no surprise that we surpassed that, given that we have gone months without the amount of officers we originally expected.
This is off-topic ... Since February, I have been training for the Akron Half-Marathon. I figured, since I won't be running for office this summer/fall, I should run for something. I'm definitely ready to conquer this thing! Please say "hi" if you're watching the race and see me chugging along.
Council will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday for a committee of the whole prior to the normal 7 p.m. council meeting.