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Cuyahoga County: Mayors, state lawmakers push to let cities share, sell services

3:45 AM, May 11, 2010   |    comments
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The two cities are having preliminary talks about the City of Cleveland picking up South Euclid's trash. There's also discussion about snowplowing.

A private firm, Allied Waste, now collects South Euclid's trash, charging the city $1.35 million a year, a figure that keeps going up. The contract expires soon.

South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo says, "We truly believe the City of Cleveland could save us dollars but we want to wait until we see their proposal."

South Euclid Service Director John Gallagher thinks it's important to keep Cleveland strong and believes deals like this could help do that.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson suggested the Ohio legislature consider changing the law to permit such relationships between cities.

The law now allows mutual aid agreements for firefighting, police and emergency medical service.

It does not allow for spending tax dollars from one community to provide other services in another community.

Mayor Jackson recruited state Sen. Nina Turner and state Rep. Mike Foley to introduce the proposal in the legislature.

Foley calls it "low-hanging fruit" and does not see serious opposition. The lawmakers hope to pass it this year.

Turner said this would be "an important tool" to help cities work together.

The Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association supports the idea.

Bratenahl Mayor John Licastro, spokesman for the group, said, "Regionalism is a topic we discuss often. This defines regionalism. It's an opportunity to share not as one community but as 57 in the county."


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