Colony residents threaten to detach from city if road work not completed
By Beth Church
Eagle Point Colony residents have proposed several options for the city to complete $3 million of road improvement projects in their neighborhood.
However, if the work is not completed by November 15, the citizens are threatening to detach and join Perrysburg Township.
At a Monday evening meeting, Don Leary of Riverside Drive repeated the concerns of the Eagle Point Colony Homeowners Association to Rossford City Council.
They would like to see the reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, curbs and storms sewers, all estimated to cost about $3 million.
The residents set a November 15 deadline “because everyone works better when they have a deadline,” Mr. Leary said.
“There’s a lot to do to accomplish the goals,” he added.
Meeting last month with City Administrator Mike Scott and Finance Director Karen Freeman, the Colony residents noted three options the city could take:
•Re-introduce the income tax credit reduction,
•Sell bonds beyond the current percentage of capacity determined by the finance director.
“We understand that the city is using less than half of their bonding capacity at this time,” the Colony proposal states.
•Place a property tax levy on the ballot dedicated to roads, alleys, bridges and sidewalks.
If those options fail, the Colony neighbors would petition Perrysburg Township to leave Rossford and become part of the township.
“The major advantage of this option is that there is no income tax in the township, which would benefit some residents now and help future real estate sales,” the proposal states.
Following the meeting with residents, Mr. Scott explained at the April 10 council meeting, “They want their roads repaired, and we don’t have the money. We don’t have an answer.”
Council’s public works committee has a plan to improve all the roads in town, estimated at about $20 million.
Councilman Moe Minarcin also reported at the previous council meeting that the finance committee had reviewed the issue, and continued discussions at another finance meeting Monday.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, the process of detachment would require the approval of city council, the Perrysburg Township trustees and Wood County commissioners.
Also the detached area would have to calculate and take with it a share of the city’s indebtedness.
Eagle Point Colony is contiguous to the township by Grassy Island.
The township trustees also have been discussing the need for funds to complete road improvement projects and are considering the option of a property tax levy.
The impact on Rossford of Ohio’s new legalized marijuana law was discussed at a recent meeting of council’s zoning and technology committee, according Councilman Greg Marquette.
The state law allows municipalities to regulate the businesses.
Law Director Kevin Heban explained to the committee that there are three areas to be considered: cultivating, processing and dispensing.
“Initial discussion was very general concerning whether we would want to legalize or prohibit,” Councilman Marquette said.
Mr. Heban will research other states and their choices for regulation.
The law director also was instructed by the committee to research halfway houses.
A halfway house has opened on Elm Street, and zoning inspector Mark Zuchowski told the committee that the city has little regulations for the residences.
“He mentioned currently they are to be 600 feet from schools and 900 feet from each other,” Councilman Marquette said.
He defined halfway houses as serving “people with physical, mental or emotional disabilities or those with criminal backgrounds to learn the skills to integrate into or back into society.”
Another topic reviewed by the zoning committee was the use of portable car ports.
Mr. Zuchowski said Fire Chief Josh Drouard is concerned about the use of fabric or cloth car ports.
They currently are permitted, but are not fire rated, Councilman Marquette explained.
Mr. Heban will discuss the issue further with the fire chief and report back to the zoning committee.
In other business, council:
•Approved a summer and winter contract for 600 tons of road salt with the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Tyler Kolb, public works superintendent, said there are 700 tons remaining from the mild winter.
“1,200 tons is a good range for us,” he added.
•Heard a first reading of an ordinance changing the zoning for the Knights of Columbus hall, 172 Bacon Street, from R-1A high density single family to R-2 double family residential.
•Approved an ordinance updating policies for city credit card use and establishing a whistleblower policy, as recommended by the state auditor’s office and a recent fraud risk assessment.
•Agreed to reject all bids received for the new police firing range project, and allow rebidding on the work through an informal bid process.
Bob Williams, engineer from Mannik and Smith, told council that the initial bids were incomplete, and the city is having trouble finding contractors interested in removing the HVAC equipment in the old firing range and abating the lead dust and lead particles in the system.
A state grant is funding the new firing range project, and the deadline was extended to complete the work by August 19.
•Heard from Mr. Scott that 134 slips at the marina already have been rented for the season. Last year at this time, 137 were rented, he added.
•Heard that the recreation department has partnered with NECA to fix up the baseball complex on Lime City Road.
The union has agreed to purchase stone, and the recreation department’s youth sports program will be able to use the area.
Council’s next meeting is 7 p.m., Monday, May 8, at the municipal building, 133 Osborn Street, and is open to the public.