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Economy and Business

Akron council considers measures to ensure sewer money, jobs stay in town
Resolutions address contractors, job training and taxes

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Combined sewer overflows were designed in the early 20th century to handle heavy storms by directing the water into sanitary sewers. Today, they're an environmental problem.
Courtesy of Michael Pereckas, Beige Alert
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Akron is preparing to spend some $800 million to fix its sewer system, and expects to take the first steps tonight to ensure the city, its residents and its businesses get a piece of that money. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on City Council’s attempt to steer where the jobs and funding end up.

LISTEN: Akron council, sewers, money and jobs

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City Council will get its first look tonight at three measures linked to how money is collected and spent on the massive sewer project. One measure pushes contractors to hire Akron residents.  A second sets aside $25,000 to begin a training program so city residents can qualify for those jobs.

Jeff Fusco is an at-large council member. He says the city knows the kind of jobs that will be available, including ones that require commercial driver’s licenses.

“The rate payers are going to be responsible for this, and so this is an opportunity for us to step up and say, OK, we want Akron residents who are going to be paying for this to get some of the work. It’s just fair.”

The third resolution would beef up the city’s enforcement to ensure contractors are deducting  income taxes from employee paychecks and forwarding them to the city.

The sewer project is to keep millions of gallons of raw sewage from flowing into streams and rivers. The first part of the project will be bid in August. 

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