1955 to 2005, Fifty Years of Progress in Avon

Read about some of Avon's historical issues as written by Taylor J. Smith and published in the Morning Journal on March 20, 2005.

  1. Introduction
  2. The Sanitary Sewer Problem
  3. The Mall Wars Begin
  4. Interchange Obsession
  5. Avon's Real Problems

Avon entered the 1950s with a bang. A city water system was begun; and, in 1958, a new City Hall was built on Detroit Road. Mayor Lavern Pickering, in his dedication, said "This is a building that will provide adequate space for our growing community for many years to come. We hope you are as proud to accept it as we are to present it to you." In 1998, this municipal building was turned over to the Police Department.

Northgate became Avon's first experience with a large housing development. Avon was forced to operate the Northgate sewage treatment plant to protect the health and safety of its citizens - storm water infiltration often wiped out the activated sludge - bringing Avon into direct confrontation with the State of Ohio Water Pollution Control Board (EPA in the 1990's), which issued its first discharge permit to Avon in July, 1955.

By the late 1950s, a few Avonites had enough of progress. A major salt mining company wanted to begin a large underground operation in Avon. It was turned down. In 1961, because of the census of 1960, Avon Village became the City of Avon.

The new prosperity was coming at Avon from all directions. The State had decided to build Interstate 90 through the middle of Avon from west to east. Avon was to be blessed with two interchanges and the proposed relocation of State Route 83. The relocated SR-83 would be a limited access connection between I-90 and I-480 (Route 10).

Some citizens feared that the only thing to be relocated would be the SR-83 - I-90 interchange, and that the rest of the new SR-83 would never be built. Avon had lived for years with the dog-leg intersection at Center Road and SR-254. The State's proposal threatened to saddle Avon with a super dog-leg of indefinite duration at Center Road, Chester Road, and I-90.

Hostility toward I-90 intensified during the actual construction. Avon found itself caught in a web of regional energy and transportation needs. The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company (called Centerior in the 1990's) supplied fill for the construction of the first section of I-90 in Avon. This fill was taken from borrow pits on CEI property located near the I-90 - SR 611 interchange. In 1967, CEI applied for a permit from Avon to fill the borrow pits with fly ash from its electricity generating plant in Avon Lake.

In October, 1967, Avon's Mayor, acting as Safety Director, denied CEI's request for a permit. CEI appealed the Mayor's ruling. In 1969, CEI won its suit in Common Pleas Court. Avon entered the 1970's with fly ash hauling and highway construction in progress. Avon has recently purchased the filled CEI borrow pit.