APRIL, 2019



With the passage of HB62, the state has enacted a 10.5 cent per gallon to gas and a 19 cent per gallon to diesel fuel that will go into effect state wide on July 1, 2019.  On 4/8/19 the Ohio Department of Transportation issued an estimation of what this new local fuel tax would bring to villages, cities and townships.  Antwerp is estimated to receive $104,549.00 for calendar year 2020 and $105,708.00 for 2021.  The Village usually estimates $55,000 of fuel tax for the annual budget. This should help the Village perform more street improvements.



The Village received notification that we have been approved to submit a 2019 TAP project application for extension of sidewalk from Water Plant Drive to Dollar General.  A full application is due to ODOT by May 17, 2019.   Grant award announcement is expected in the fall.  The new estimated project cost is $97,682.28 as the project would not go into actual construction until the Summer of 2021.  I spoke with the engineer and advised them that this cost was out of reach for the Village and they agreed.  It would be better to find other sources of money and have a local contractor do the work.  I have asked a local contractor to give me an estimate to complete 4’ sidewalks in so the Village would have an idea of what this would cost without outside funding.  I am sure it could be half of the cost.  Once I have the estimate the Village can look into other alternatives to get this section completed.



Harvest Farm Management and Keith and Susan Wiesehan, Trustees, who farm land inside the Village corporation limits have filed with the Village an Application for placement of farmland in an agricultural district.  This application is allowable under Ohio Revised Code Section 929.02.   The process is as follows:


Any person who owns agricultural land may file an application with the county auditor and the clerk of the municipal corporation if the land lies within a municipal corporation to place the land in  an agricultural district for five years if, during the three calendar years prior to the year in which the person files the application, the land has been devoted exclusively to agricultural production or devoted to and qualified for payments or other compensation under a land retirement or conservation program under an agreement with a federal agency.  The total amount of land for which application is made must not be less than ten acres or more or the activities conducted on the land produced an average yearly gross income of at least $2,500.00 during that three year period or the owner has evidence of an anticipated gross income of that amount from those activities.


Two public hearings were held to allow for comment in the applications, no adverse comments were received.  I have attached the minutes from both hearings for your review.


There are only a few reasons why an application can be rejected or modified by the municipality; they must be able to demonstrate that having the land placed in a district would create a substantial adverse effect on:


1.        The provision of municipal services within the municipal corporation.

2.        Efficient use of land within the municipal corporation.

3.        The orderly growth and development of the municipal corporation.

4.        The public health, safety or welfare (ORC 929.02 (B)).


The applications will be presented for passage, modification and passage or rejection at the April 15, 2019 council meeting.



It has come to the attention of the Village that Water Plant Drive was never designated as a village street.  The Antwerp School in the development of a new concession stand requested that a new gas line be ran to the site at which time the Ohio Gas Company discovered that the street was not dedicated and requested an easement from the Village.


Further research revealed that the village granted an easement in 1996 to the Antwerp School a driveway easement for the purposes of ingress and egress to Stat Route No. 49 (Erie Street) and also the Canal Road.   Over the years the road was assumed to be a dedicated street and improvements were made to pave and patch this busy street.


In order to continue to use permissive tax and/or gas tax dollars for needed improvements, this street needs to be dedicated.  This would also assist the Ohio Gas Company in not requiring an easement to improve the gas line to the concession stand.  An ordinance is included in the council packet and this will be presented as an emergency action in order to allow the school to proceed with their improvement and allow the village to repair pot holes in the street as part of our summer paving program.



The County Treasurer has informed this writer that the property located at 204 E. Daggett has started the process with the Land bank to be demolished.  An asbestos and interior inspection will be completed before the property can go into bid process to tear it down.  This property was foreclosed on and did not bring any offers.  The foundation and residence was in terrible dilapidated condition and was accepted by the Land bank for demolition.  This is a property that the Village has had to mow for years.  This is definitely a welcomed decision.


I also was informed that the first two properties that the Landbank acquired and demolished will go to sealed bid in the next couple of weeks.  No minimum will be required in the bids and they will be the first two properties offered for sale since the County initiated the Land bank.



Village of Antwerp

Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at 5:30 p.m.


The Council of the Village of Antwerp held a public hearing on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers to consider any written or public comment on the Application for Placement of Farmland in an Agricultural District filed by Keith L. and Susan R. Wiesehan, Trustees.  Village Council members present were Mike Rohrs, Keith West, Dean Rister, Ken Reinhart, and Jan Reeb.  Also in attendance were the Village Administrator Sara Keeran, Mayor Ray Delong, and Solicitor Melanie Farr.  Joe Barker and Dave Nice appeared on behalf of Harvest Farm Management and Mike Wiesehan on behalf of Wiesehan Farms.


On March 5, 2019, Keith L. and Susan R Wiesehan, Trustees, filed with the Village of Antwerp an application to place 11.772 acres of land in an agricultural district for a five-year period, subject to renewal if the same land requirements and land use are met, in accordance with ORC 929.02.


The public hearing was opened by Village Administrator Sara Keeran, noting the purpose of the public hearing, as noted above, and stating she had not received any comment or written statements for or against the placement of the farm ground at issue into an Agricultural District.  She also stated that the purpose of placing agricultural land in an Agricultural District had been discussed in-depth at a previous public hearing on March 20, 2019, and she asked if there were any additional comments or questions from the attendees.  Council member Rister asked Solicitor Farr if she had researched the question of whether a portion of land can be withdrawn from the district once the land is placed in an agricultural district.  Solicitor Farr stated she did not find a definitive answer to this question, but she did not find anything that would appear to prohibit a portion of land from being withdrawn from an agricultural district during the five-year period.  Any land withdrawn would be subject to any penalties as further discussed below.  The definition of “withdrawal from an agricultural district” is provided in ORC 929.01(B), which was discussed, and that the only reference to “all or part of the owner’s land” is in ORC 929.02(C), which addresses the renewal process.


A discussion was held concerning penalties that would be levied if land was removed from an agricultural district, to which Dave Nice of Harvest Farm Management stated he was not sure what the penalties would be as no ground had been removed from any of the property he farms, but assumed it would be similar to the difference in what is charged for removing farm ground out of the CAUV designation.  ORC 929.02(D) addresses the penalties if land is withdrawn from the district.  Again, it was stated that placing farm ground in an Agricultural District would not prevent economic development if opportunities presented itself to the property owners.


Mike Wiesehan, representing Wiesehan Farms, stated they have been a member of the Antwerp community and want to continue to be a member of the community.


With nothing further to come before the public hearing, a motion was made by Mike Rohrs, seconded by Keith West, to adjourn the public hearing.  5 yeas, 0 nays.  Motion carried and approved.  The public hearing was adjourned at 5:35 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,




Sara Keeran,

Village Administrator