Toledo Council holds off vote on resolution to get Summit Street money back

Published: Jun. 16, 2021 at 7:20 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Toledo city council members, at least for now, are holding off on a resolution to get tax payer money back from the Summit Street reconstruction project.

Every council member attended a special meeting Wednesday for that potential vote, a vote they decided not to have.

Normally special meetings are called for an urgent matter than needs attention. That seemed to be the Summit Street issues but in the end council took no action.

Wednesday marked the first in person Toledo city council meeting since COVID-19 stopped them in early 2020. Front and center were questions about the Summit Street reconstruction project. All of the utilities that needed to move their lines for this project paid to move their own expect Buckeye Broadband. The company refused.

Council members Wednesday pointed out that the utilities were advised they’d need to pay in a 2019 city memo.

“The predevelopment letter that was dated references the project as a complete reconstruction of the roadway and puts the utility on notice that necessary field work to the utility, including conflict for this public infrastructure project must be completed by 1/1/20 or the city would seek compensation for all additional costs incurred by the city related to the failure to complete relocations by the required date,” said Councilman Nick Komives.

That’s why Councilmen Komives and Rob Ludeman have introduced a resolution demanding the city do whatever it takes to get the money back. Which includes legal action.

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

But despite calling a special meeting, council did not vote on the resolution Wednesday. Even though some still made their case that in a construction project the utilities should pay and not taxpayers.

“Council was not advised at any time that this project was being undertaken for a purely aesthetic reason and the presentations of this administration after the fact are irrelevant,” said Komives.

That’s important because Block Communications has argued this was an aesthetic project, not needed for transportation or city use. The city’s law director agreed with that argument in a 2020 email. But now the city is arguing it was a construction project in the lawsuit.

We may see a vote on the resolution next Tuesday.

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