Twinsburg eyes zoning code consultant, purchases vehicle
TWINSBURG – City Council is considering awarding a contract for consulting services relating to a rewrite of the zoning code. Legislation was introduced Jan. 24, and will be on second reading at council’s Feb. 14 meeting.
The city is looking to award the contract to ZoneCo, one of six firms that submitted proposals. Cost would be $158,905. City officials hope to have a new code ready for residents to vote on at the November 2024 general election.
At council’s Jan. 10 session, Director of Planning and Community Development Rebecca Ziegler said the process will take about 18 months, and the firm will conduct several sessions to receive citizen input.
“We want to put our best foot forward, and we believe ZoneCo will get us through the process very smoothly. Our attitude is ‘let’s do it right,’” she said.
She noted information will be posted on the city’s website, and ZoneCo will reach out to residents through meetings with homeowners associations, at the library and more. ZoneCo’s work would start immediately after the contract is awarded.
“Getting the public involved is very important since we’ve had several concerns about the code,” said Councilman Greg Bellan. Added Council President Scott Barr, “The process needs to be lawful, open and transparent to eliminate any concerns citizens may have.”
Council authorized the purchase of a 2023 Ford Expedition Max for the fire department from Montrose Ford under state of Ohio contract pricing of $54,208. It will replace a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has been used by the fire chief and has logged 108,000 miles.
Mayor Sam Scaffide was authorized to enter into a contract for prosecutorial services with Frank Beni. He will be compensated $50,000, paid in equal installments on a biweekly basis.
Beni will not be entitled to the benefits full-time city employees receive, but will be eligible to participate in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, and the city will be obligated to contribute the proportionate employer’s share only.
Scaffide also was authorized to accept a grant of $331,240 from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for improvements at Glen Chamberlin Park. The city will pay $483,760 of the estimated $815,000 total cost.
The project consists of replacing playground equipment and restrooms, and making access to the amphitheater compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Council passed a motion to get bids for three 2022 or newer pickup trucks for the service department, and authorized Scaffide to utilize joint and cooperative purchasing programs with the Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Omnia Partners and Sourcewell.
A resolution was adopted to honor Black history in the month of February, while a memorandum of understanding with Tinkers Creek Watershed Partners Inc. went to second reading. The latter group assists the city with management of stormwater runoff and related issues.
A Gleneagles Advisory Board would no longer exist if council repeals Chapter 155 of the codified ordinances. Legislation went to second reading. The board was established in 1996 to provide advice to council and the administration regarding golf course operations.
Scaffide reported the city is looking into ways to deal with blighted properties, so they can be made “more functional.” Finance Director Sarah Buccigross noted income tax collected in 2022 amounted to $25 million, 9.25% above 2021’s figure.
Councilman/finance committee chairman Bill Furey reported the city’s general fund balance increased from $12.4 million to $15.8 million in 2022, with cash on hand of about $34 million.
“The city is in good financial shape, and we’re trying to be conservative and conscientious as we move into 2023,” he added.
Actions on Jan. 10
Scaffide was authorized to enter into a federal/local let project agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation establishing the requirements for the federal funds associated with the Cannon Road resurfacing project from Ravenna to Liberty roads.
The city will receive $540,000, which amounts to 80% of the anticipated total project cost of $675,000, leaving the city to chip in $135,000. The work is expected to be done in August, and should take about three to four weeks.
Council also authorized Scaffide to enter into a contract for 2023 with the Summit County Legal Defenders office to provide representation for indigent defendants at a cost of $170 per case.
Council agreed with the planning commission’s approval of a site plan for a two-story veranda/deck at Greenbridge Teahouse on Church Street and issuance of a conditional use permit for outdoor dining.
An ordinance accepting the lands and improvements dedicated to public use for the Whispering Woods Phase 3 subdivision was approved after Law Director Matt Vazzana said some pending issues were resolved.
Fire Chief Tim Morgan reported his crews handled 3,789 service calls in 2022, up 11% from 2021 and 24% in the last two years. A vast majority of the calls were for EMS assistance.
Morgan said ambulance billings are expected to be up between $250,000 and $300,000 over 2021, bringing them to between $650,000 and $675,000.
He also told council “we need to decide how to proceed” with the emergency sirens system after the most recent test showed only two of nine sirens were working properly.
Scaffide reported city officials will meet with the operators of the city’s Gleneagles golf clubhouse restaurant to discuss possibly updating the contract.
His comments came after resident Bob Thewes appealed to the mayor to allow golf leagues to bring in their own food when using the pavilion at Gleneagles rather than having the restaurant operators provide food.
Contact the newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Twinsburg eyes zoning code consultant, purchases vehicle