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Summit County COG Considers Economy, other items

A recent meeting of Summit County’s Council of Governments looked at a variety of issues—from street addresses to the national economy.   

The so-called COG—which includes some County Council members and representatives from Summit’s municipalities, got a report from Economic Development Director Jeff Jones on signals in the national and local economy.

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher said the indicators are mixed,  but they show a softening of the economy could be in our future.

“We’re not seeing it much in consumer sentiment yet, or in visitors, or in projected visitors into our tourist economy.   But sometimes those are lagging indicators.    And so, we’re as a government taking that as, it’s a time to continue to stay on the track that we were on, which was we’re gonna build fund balances to certain levels that we’ve determined will help us through any type of softening in the economy.    And a softening in the economy  to us means a downturn in sales tax revenue.”

On another topic, the group heard about the impact of new legislation, House Bill 61.    It deals with how street addresses are set up in subdivisions, and how that impacts emergency responders.

“Y’know, we have cases in the county where we have similar road names in different parts of the unincorporated county, or within cities, and then close by in the unincorporated county.   And if our dispatchers don’t kinda know those nuances of our past addressing, they have a difficult time dispatching police or fire or emergency medical response to those places.    So this law was put in place to help communities kinda standardize that, and cause communities to really work together a lot stronger.”

The attendees also were reminded that the Recreation Arts and Parks tax goes to the ballot for re-authorization next year.

Fisher noted that  after about 20 years, the RAP tax revenues in Summit County are divided 50-50 between  grants for arts and culture and funding for recreation projects.   Most recently the tax generated about $2 million annually, with $900,000 for arts projects.    The half for recreation went to pay off a bond, and to fund other items.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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