WATER TREATMENT PLANT IMPROVEMENT UPDATE:
The contractor has installed the air piping and new filter media in one of the filter vessels and it has passed coliform testing. The second vessel has been filled and we are awaiting test results. This should complete the project.
FORMER LIBERTY FUEL STOP ACQUIRED BY PAULDING LAND BANK:
The Paulding County Land Bank acquired the former Liberty Fuel Stop, 504 E. River Street. This site, located in front of Doug’s Trailer Park, has underground fuel tanks and is on the State of Ohio’s Buster List which qualifies it for funding through the Ohio Development Service Agency’s Abandoned Gas Station Cleanup grant. Tetra Tech will be completing the application and overseeing the grant. The project can be completed within a year after an award is made and depending on the level of contamination at the site. Maumee Valley Planning Organization will keep the Village updated on the progress of the grant award.
ODOT TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVE GRANT:
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 estimated project cost is $63,232.40. ODOT would pay for 95% of the project with the Village responsible for 5%, or approximately $3,162.00. Unfortunately, this grant, if funded, would not be available until 2023. The Village will continue to look at other funding in the meantime.
RIVERSIDE PARK DRAINAGE PROJECT SET TO GO TO BID BY END OF MARCH.
The Village’s CDBG project to install storm drain line and catch basins around the playground and main pavilion are set to go to bid by the end of March. The village was awarded $25,575.00 from Paulding County from their formula allocation program and the village is responsible for $3,836.25.
S. MAIN/E. CANAL WATERLINE PROJECT IS FUNDED:
This writer received confirmation from OPWC that the S. Main Street/E. Canal waterline replacement project is funded through the Ohio Public Works Commission. The award will be released after the state’s new budget year of July 1, 2019. The village received $305,000, with 50% being grant and 50% being loan. This project will replace old waterline on S. Main Street from Daggett Street to the end of S. Main Street and E. Canal from S. Erie Street to Water Plant Drive with new 8” plastic pipe. Both of these segments of line have waterline breaks all year long.
CITY OF TOLEDO PASSES THE LAKE ERIE BILL OF RIGHTS & HOW IT COULD AFFECT THE VILLAGE:
In a special election held in February, Toledo voters passed the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR). The Village could be impacted if the City of Toledo or citizens of Toledo bring legal action for an alleged violation of Lake Erie’s legal right. An example could be that our sanitary sewer permit issued by the EPA, could be deemed invalid to the extent they conflict with a citizen’s conception of the LEBOR’s provision. The LEBOR includes all of northern Ohio that drains into Lake Erie. An example of a lawsuit could be that villages and /or manufactures with a sanitary sewer system would have to reduce or eliminate any organic or chemical that is discharged into the watershed that contributes to the algae bloom in Lake Erie. This could result in Ohio farmers, taxpayers, government entities and businesses facing the prospect of costly legal bills fighting over a measure that likely will be found unconstitutional and unenforceable. A lawsuit has already been filed and more are anticipated.
Farmers have been encouraged by the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF) to place their farm land in Agricultural Districts with the hope that this would give some protection from lawsuits.
Consequently, 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.
Once the application is filed with the Village, a public hearing is scheduled within 30 days of receipt of the filing. The farmland owner is sent a certified notice on later than 10 days prior to the hearing. Within 30 days of the hearing, council may approve, modify and approve as modified, or reject the application. The clerk will then send a copy of the decision to the county auditor.
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)).
I have attached an outline on Agricultural Districts in Ohio for your review. We will not be voting on these 2 applications Monday night as the public hearings have not been held yet. The first public hearing for Harvest Farm Management is set for Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. and the second public hearing for Keith and Susan Wiesehan will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 5:30 p.m., both at town hall. The applications will be presented for passage, modification and passage or rejection at the April 15, 2019 council meeting.