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Barberton council back from summer recess

Bob Morehead

Herald Staff Writer

Barberton City Council returned from its August recess Sept. 7 for a committee work session.

Council voted that night to hear an ordinance paying $80,000 for an enclosed-cab tractor with a boom mower for roadside and ditch work. Councilman Justin Greer said he was told the existing tractor is 22 years old, breaks down frequently and is a safety hazard.

“The boom they’ve been using has already broken in two twice,” Greer said.

Greer also announced that the season of extensive road work is contractually obligated to be done by Halloween.

The rezoning measures discussed before recess will be on the council floor Sept. 13. They rezone several parcels on Norton Avenue to medium industrial and a few George Street lots from single-family to multi-family.

The George Street request comes to council with the Planning Commission recommending no and council isn’t totally on-board anyway. The commission’s recommendation is based on apartments being poorly suited for the neighborhood; the owner is expected to bring a new plan forward for the land.

Councilman Shaun “Rocky” Jaber told council he had heard of a $200,000 grant the city received around 2016 to put cameras in the park. He said no one at the moment knows what became of the money. Officials were researching.

Councilman Thomas “Bebe” Heitic introduced legislation that would make the current moratorium on so-called “skill game” parlors in Barberton permanent. The two already here could stay but no new licenses would be issued.

“Every time we get one of these the residents fight hard against it,” Heitic said.

With questions of why it would be necessary when the existing zoning code makes it all but impossible to expand beyond the two already hear, this measure did not move out of committee that night.

Money transfers from grants, loans and donations went to the floor for readings and votes. The Fire Department will be able to accept a $220 donation from Abundant Faith Ministries to replenish EMS supplies. The Service Department will access $361,000 in grant and loan money for the next phase of the waste water treatment plant upgrades.

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