MINIMUM HOUSING STANDARDS:
The Public Service committee met again on April 4th, 2016 to review changes to the minimum housing standards ordinance. It was decided by the committee that the housing inspector needed to enforce this ordinance should not be a village employee or elected official. It was felt that this would make it more unbiased if we contracted with someone who had no connection to village operations. The committee will meet with an interested applicant and report to council on their decision. The housing standard ordinance would not trigger automatic inspections of residential properties in the village but rather offer a process and remedy for complaints of substandard housing being occupied in the village. It was suggested that the proposed cost for each inspection should be around $50.00. In talking with a potential inspector, he felt that the $50.00 per inspection might be too low and that $100.00 per inspection would be more appropriate. These issues can be firmed up before any inspections are scheduled. The first reading of this ordinance is planned for Monday night’s council meeting.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PROJECT SUBMITTED:
This writer submitted to Maumee Valley Planning Organization a CDBG application for funding of a new roof for the Fire Department. MVPO will present all applications requests to the Paulding County Commissioners. They will decide which projects get funded in early June. We requested $20,000.00 in the form of a grant and if funded the project would go forward next year. Our match would be approximately $11,900.00. As noted before the Commissioners stated at the first public hearing that they were leaning towards projects in county that would fund tornado sirens. The Commissioners normally fund 3 projects a year. According to the Fire Chief Ray Friend, if the project isn’t funded, we will have to replace the roof no later than next year with our own dollars as it can’t be put off any longer. We should know by late May or early June if our project is approved by the Commissioners.
REAL WASTE DISPOSAL CONTRACT EXTENSION:
The first year of village-wide garbage contract with Real Waste Disposal has passed. According to the original agreement, the village could extend the agreement for four successive one year periods. Melanie is working on an addendum to extend our contract with Real Waste, at the same price, for another year. Real Waste has done a great job in the village and works closely with my office and the utility billing clerk on move-in and move-outs.
In talking with the Mayor about the two lots the village owns on Oswalt Street, it was decided to advertise for sale the two lots without requiring the minimum bid of the appraised values. The lots will need to be advertised for 5 consecutive weeks. Council will be asked to approve putting the lots back up for sale at Monday’s night council meeting. Melanie will provide an ordinance authorizing the sale if council agrees. Please note the village may reject any bids found to be nonresponsive or otherwise deficient, or may reject all bids.
ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT TO INCLUDE NEW BUSINESS DISTRICTS LANGUAGE AND ZONING MAP CHANGES:
Planning Commission reviewed new zoning ordinance language prepared by Randy Mielnik of Poggemeyer Design Group. The Village wanted to develop commercial zoning for the S. Erie Street property and entered into an agreement with Poggemeyer to work with the planning commission to develop these guidelines. In the process, it was determined that there would be three distinct business districts in the village. B-1 would by the Downtown Business District which would provide for downtown retail activity, along with housing options and professional and service uses in a downtown environment. B-2 would be Gateway Commercial District which would provide for a high quality mixed-use development area located near US 24. This area is identified as being important to the Village in it’s Comprehensive Plan and B-3 would be General Commercial District which would provide for areas where general suburban-scale commercial development is desired to serve the needs of local area residents and visitors. With the three business districts identified, the zoning map needs to be amended to reflect these new districts and they are also included in this amendment. The Planning Commission recommends that the council approve these districts and maps. A public hearing will be held on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at town hall on these proposed amendments. Council will be presented with a new zoning ordinance when we meet in our regularly scheduled council meeting on May 18th.
WATER TRAIL DESIGNATION PLANNED FOR MAUMEE RIVER:
On April 5, 2016, Mayor Delong, Park Board Member Mark Greenwood and myself attended a stakeholder meeting at Farnsworth Metropark in Waterville. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of establishing a state-designated Water Trail of the Maumee River through five counties in Ohio, which would include Paulding County, from the Indiana State line to Lake Erie.
As the park board has been working to develop a canoe and kayak launch in Riverside Park, this would be a great opportunity to partner with the counties along the way to develop this water trail. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources spoke to all in attendance and stated that once a state designation to the Maumee River was given, the River Access Sites would be eligible to access ODNR funds for signage, brochures, maps, and access development assistance. I have attached a map listing the proposed River Access Points that the Toledo Metroparks has identified for the water trail. Metroparks has volunteered to coordinate and help assist us with meetings, public information notices, developing standard signage that paddlers along the Maumee would recognize and associate with the water trail and where access points are. ODNR offered reimbursement of the signs, brochures, maps, etc. Metroparks has offered to include these new access points on the website, which is interactive, assist with brochure design and printing costs, and the ODNR would put the Maumee River Water Trail on the state site. This was a very encouraging meeting and all counties represented are committed to participate. The group will continue to meet and apply for the water trail designation through ODNR. We will keep council up-to-date on the progress.
STORM WATER MEETING WITH COUNTY ENGINEER:
The undersigned met with Travis McGarvey, Paulding County Engineer along with Lee Rausch of Poggemeyer Design Group on April 7, 2016 to discuss options the village might have in addressing storm water runoff from the farm field south of Buffalo Street. Discussion was had about how many acres of the Skillen and Landon farm drains into the village. A letter from the County Engineer to Antwerp in 1994 noted approximately 24 acres were draining into the Buffalo Street area and that a storm drain of at least 27” in diameter would be required to handle this run off. The County Engineer’s office is going to update this information for the village but it is looking like a retention pond might be the only alternative to slow the water entering the storm drain system in the village. On the south side of the village the current size of storm line is only 18” on S. Erie connecting into a 24” line near E. Canal. Connecting a larger size new line to these smaller lines would only fill the system quicker. Slowing the intake to the system is what might have to be done. We will wait for the updated information from the county and then meet with Utility Committee on our options.
MEETING CONTINUING ON FUTURE OF CHAMBER:
The committee to help decide the fate of the Antwerp Chamber is continuing to meet and interest has been high in keeping the chamber active and in place. The committee has been interviewing chamber members asking for their opinions and suggestions on what the chamber can do to assist their business along with contacting surrounding chamber of commerce organizations to see what they do to promote their business communities. It is felt that the end result of these meetings will find a re-energized chamber for Antwerp and that the Chamber will continue. Any business, organization or individual who would like to attend these meetings or become a member can contact the Village Administrator at 419-258-2371 or stop out to the depot for more information.