TASCforce 2021 Highlights and 2022 Goals
TASCforce Board Members from left to right are Bill Sepe (Co-Director), Ron Brubaker (Founder and Co-Director), and Austin Rau (Cuyahoga Falls Representative). Not available at the time of this photo are Board Members Mike Hulver (Event Promoter and Map Maker), Amanda Clapp (Pro Bono Attorney), and Henry Gulich (Silver Lake Representative.)
During 2021, TASCforce:
Attended many meetings and gave presentations to government officials and community minded organizations. This resulted in 15 more letters of support being added to the 11 from the prior year.
Among those letters were 4 formal resolutions in support of the Veterans Trail being unanimously passed by the city councils of Stow, Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls, and Silver Lake.
Worked closely with others to successfully persuade the County Executive to drop opposition to the northernmost portion being converted from rail to trail.
Encouraged Hudson, Stow, and Cuyahoga Falls to submit applications for TASA grants which resulted in two applications being submitted.
Encouraged Metro RTA to begin lease negotiations with the communities along the trail. These negotiations got underway in December.
TASCforce's expectations and goals for 2022 are:
At the end of January, we are expecting AMATS to formally approve a second TASA grant for the trail. This application was submitted jointly by Hudson and Stow and is for 3.3 miles of trail on the very northernmost section of the right-of-way.
This new section will tie into the previously funded 1.5 mile section approved in 2019 resulting in 4.8 miles out of 12.5 being funded and planned.
We plan to encourage Metro RTA and the communities to approve leases for the right-of-way and then seek Federal Transit Administration approval to convert the usage from rail to multipurpose trail.
TASCforce also plans to encourage Silver Lake and Cuyahoga Falls to seek funding in 2022 for the next 2.2 miles down to Broad Blvd.
We also want to work with land conservancy organizations to protect natural surroundings along the sections of the trail that are approved.
And, we want to develop a stronger relationship with the City of Akron to convince them to plan for the extension of the Veterans Trail all the way to the Northside Station where it will connect to the Towpath Trail.
The Veterans Trail project will convert a long-abandoned railway into a 12.5 mile long multipurpose trail that will connect five communities in Northern Summit County. Click to see a map.
"Accomplishing a large and complex project like this requires ongoing effort from many stakeholders. TASCforce truly appreciates the support of all who are involved in making this trail a reality."
- A TASCforce philosophy