When: Akron Borough Council meeting, Oct. 12.
What happened: Council looked at a concept plan for a town center with small retail shops in Akron. John Williamson, a member of the the borough’s comprehensive plan implementation task force, said the group met recently and discussed some ways Akron could support small businesses. He said businessman Tim Weiser suggested a town center with a coffee shop, an ice cream shop, a microbrewery and possibly small retail shops. When asked where such a center would be, Weiser suggested on a portion of Broad Street Park.
Questions: Council President Nathan Imhoff asked if Borough Council is willing to look further into deed restrictions on the park property, and he voiced concern over using the park. Borough solicitor Ken Shirk warned that deed restrictions could well be enforced if challenged in court, even though a former athletic group that conveyed the park land to Akron no longer exists.
Alternative location: Another possible location for a town center is an unused portion of Ten Thousand Villages’ property adjacent to the park. Williamson said he spoke with the CEO of Ten Thousand Villages who expressed interest “in cooperating.” If this concept is pursued, Williamson said, “maybe that’s where the focus should be.”
In other business: Council took no action on whether or not to contract police services from West Earl Township. West Earl police Chief Eric Higgins said the township attorney has drafted a tentative agreement based on a proposal submitted two weeks ago, and both parties need to meet to iron out several issues.