Panel gets more time to make park suggestions

Committee recommendations are nonbinding.
WARREN -- The committee appointed to make recommendations about the city's parks has five more months to complete its task.
At a meeting Wednesday council members passed a resolution extending the committee's assignment to Aug. 1. Legislation establishing the committee passed in March 2003, but it took a few months to appoint committee members. The first meeting was last August.
Committee members are to make recommendations to council on what to do with the 21 parks in the city. Recommendations are nonbinding and could include selling, donating or park shepherding.
Councilman James A. Pugh, D-6th, initially suggested that Quimby, Gould-Stewart and Southwest parks be removed from the list that parks committee members are considering because three community groups have been trying for years to work out a shepherding agreement for those parks.
Councilman Gary Fonce, D-at large, said committee members should be able to fulfill the task they were asked to do.
Law Director Greg Hicks said there were some differences between what the community groups Pugh spoke of considered park shepherding and what the city considered it to be. That's something committee members may consider as well.
Pugh supported the legislation extending the committee's time frame when Councilman Felipe M. Romain Jr., D-at large, said he would set up a meeting between council and park committee members.
Council members also passed an ordinance authorizing a contract for separation of a combined sewer at Monroe and Washington streets. The project is being done with $247,000 in Issue 2 funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission, $50,000 in Community Development Block Grant money and $40,600 from the city's storm-water utility account.
William Totten, director of the engineering, planning and building department, said the project involves removing inlets that feed water into the city's sanitary sewer system and directing the water into the storm-water system.