Sunday, September 24, 2023

Toledo Council holds off vote on decision to get Summit Road a refund

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – Toledo City Councilors are holding back a resolution, at least for the time being, to get tax money back from the Summit Street rebuilding project.

Each council member attended a special session Wednesday for that potential vote, a vote they didn’t want.

Special meetings are usually called for urgent matters that require attention. That seemed to be the topic of Summit Street, but in the end the Council did nothing.

The Toledo City Council’s first in-person meeting since COVID-19 stopped it in early 2020 took place on Wednesday. The focus was on questions about the Summit Street rebuilding project. Any utility companies that had to run their lines for this project paid to move their own, Buckeye Broadband expect. The company refused.

Council members pointed out Wednesday that a 2019 city memo advised utilities that they will have to pay.

“The dated pre-development letter refers to the project as a complete reconstruction of the roadway and advises the utility that necessary field work for the utility, including the conflicts for this public infrastructure project, would have to be completed by 01/01/20 or the city would have to compensate Demand any additional costs the city will incur for failing to complete the moves by the required date, ”said Councilor Nick Komives.

Because of this, councilors Komives and Rob Ludeman have passed a resolution calling on the city to do everything possible to get the money back. This also includes legal action.

That’s exactly what the city did last week sues Buckeye’s parent company Block Communications for that nearly a million dollars back.

But despite convening a special session, the council did not vote on the resolution on Wednesday. Even if some still advocated that on a construction project, the utilities should pay and not the taxpayers.

“At no point was the council advised that this project was carried out for purely aesthetic reasons and that the presentations made by this administration are irrelevant in retrospect,” said Komives.

This is important because Block Communications has argued that this is an aesthetic project that is not needed for transportation or the city. The City Justice Director agreed with this argument in an email from 2020. But now the city is arguing that the lawsuit was about a building project.

The resolution can be voted on next Tuesday.

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