Toledo City Council Authorized 2018 Sidewalk Program, Human Relations Commission Members


Toledo City Council today authorized spending $1 million from the city’s capital improvement Fund and $560,000 from the special assessment improvement fund to pay for the Kapszukiewicz administration’s planned 2018 sidewalk program; authorized spending up to $800,000 from the capital improvement fund to comply with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency orders to permanently close a landfill on the 26-acre property formerly known as the Unitcast Foundry; appointed 12 members to the newly-formed Human Relations Commission; and extended hours for the Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area.

“We have selected about 700 locations from existing complaints and areas that we know need to be repaired,” said Doug Stephens, engineering services commissioner for the city. “Sidewalk work should start next month.”

The city of Toledo owns the former 26-acre property known as the Unitcast Foundry. The property is divided into two parcels – an 18.8 acre parcel on which the foundry operation was located and a 7.1 acre parcel upon which a residual waste landfill was located. Orders issued by the Ohio EPA on May 2, 2007 required the city to complete the remediation of the property, including the closure and capping of the landfill. The city reached a tentative agreement with the Ohio EPA to extend the closure deadline to Dec. 31, 2019. The $800,000 expenditure from the capital improvement fund approved today allows the city to complete the closure by the deadline, said Paul Syring, general counsel for the city.

“The landfill consists of spent foundry sand generated as a byproduct of a former iron works facility,” Mr. Syring said.

Those selected by the Kapszukiewicz administration for the Human Relations Commission, and confirmed today by council, are:

  • Deborah Barnett, owner of n-Sync, LLC and a former Huntington Bank executive.
  • Thomas Douglas, an attorney in private practice and a trained mediator who trains mediators.
  • Anna Leck, who is experienced working with children at Children’s Resource Center.
  • James Hartung, executive director of Toledo Sister Cities.
  • Guiselle McDonald, a Welcome Toledo Lucas County board member.
  • Najwa Badawi, executive committee member of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.
  • Ramona Olvera, sociology Instructor at Owens Community College.
  • Raina Dawson, a University of Toledo Law School student and trained mediator.
  • Michael Alexander, AFL-CIOUAWliaison to the United Way of Greater Toledo and  a Neighborhood Health Association board member.
  • Jules Schwartz, a licensed pharmacist and researcher who is trained in conflict management and leadership.
  • Rachel Richardson, executive director of Art Corner Toledo.
  • Lauraine Carpenter, principal trumpet for The Toledo Symphony.

The mission statement of the Human Relations Commission is: “The Human Relations Commission shall endeavor to support a safe, energetic, and livable city.  The commission will support residents working to overcome prejudice and build mutual respect.”

The new hours for the Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area are 12 p.m-1 a.m. Hours were previously 12 p.m.-12 a.m. More information can be found at

Council today also:

  • Authorized spending up to $1,702,800 from the unappropriated balance of the sewer replacement fund; $877,200 from the unappropriated balance of the storm water replacement fund, and $1,595,000 from the unappropriated balance of the water replacement fund to purchase of vehicles and equipment for the Public Utilities Department. The department intends to trade-in existing vehicles or equipment toward purchases when possible.
  • Authorized accepting a $100,000 grant from the state of Ohio that will be used toward the purchase of an Agilent Technologies gas chromatograph mass spectrometer. The city will spend $2,452 from the general fund for the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer, which costs $102,452.
  • Approved a resolution recognizing WTOL-TV Anchor Jerry Anderson on his retirement.