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Toledo City Council approves more money for Summit Street legal fight

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 11:55 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The City of Toledo is spending more money on its legal fight in the Summit Street construction project.

City Council on Tuesday agreed to spend another $75,000 to hire a law firm “for assistance in cooperating with a federal investigation related to the Summit Street Roadway Improvements Project.”

13abc reported in April that the FBI is asking city officials questions about the project. It’s still not known what or who federal authorities are investigating.

The firm, Spengler Nathanson, is the same one Council agreed to bring on last month for $75,000 to help with its lawsuit against Buckeye Broadband’s parent company, Block Communications Inc. The city is trying to recoup the costs from moving Buckeye’s utility lines for the Summit Street project.

Councilwoman Cassandra McPherson voted against spending the money this time. She said she worried about how the city would look having the same firm representing it in both situations.

“We should have looked at hiring a different law firm so it doesn’t look to the citizens of Toledo that we are not doing our due diligence,” McPherson said.

Separately, City Council also agreed to spend up to $400,000 to remove the third and final pedestrian bridge that remains above Summit Street.

In other business

TARTA is one step closer to hitting the streets throughout Lucas County.

Council voted to add Toledo to the list of cities green-lighting TARTA’s expansion and funding changes. Voters will ultimately make the final decision on expansion in November.

“I’m excited about the progress they’re making,” said Council Member Sam Melden. “It’s a vital resource for so many in our communities.”

In September, voters will cast ballots in the primary for Toledo City Council and mayor.

But if the citizens approve, Toledo’s municipal primaries could be in May starting in 2023 like other Lucas County communities.

Council agreed to pose that idea to voters on the November general election ballot as a charter amendment.

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