Akron City Council last night (Oct. 27) passed an ordinance which authorizes the city’s Director of Public Service to enter into contracts with three private companies to aid city crews with snow and ice removal should a major storm hit the area again.
Last winter, the city paid $80,000 to Kenmore Construction, H.M Miller and Cioffi and Son Construction to help with emergency snow removal after the storm of March 7 and 8 dumped two more than feet of snow on city streets and shut down schools, businesses and government offices. Council authorized the city to pay those companies another $80,000 if their services are needed again this coming winter.
“Because of the devastation caused by the winter storms last March, we think it is in the best interests of the people of Akron to plan ahead should a similar weather event happen this coming winter,” said Public Service Committee Chair Bob Keith (W-8).
In other business, Keith also offered an ordinance passed by Council which authorizes the Director of Public Service to apply for a $24,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes To School Program, a national endeavor to encourage and enable children to walk or ride their bikes to school.
If awarded, funding will help the city develop a School Travel Plan (STP) initially targeting four Akron Public Schools: Mason, Leggett, Forest Hill and Jennings Community Learning Centers. The STP is the city’s written plan to encourage what ODOT calls “active transportation,” traveling by means other than cars to and from school. The plan must include ways to reduce individual car trips, increase walking and bicycling and make walking and bicycling safer.
The STP is a requirement for further funding requests and serves as a guiding document to implement a Safe Routes To School program in the targeted communities. Safe Routes to School is funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by ODOT, which has awarded more than $4 million to 107 Ohio communities interested in creating and encouraging Safe Routes To School programs.