Napoleon council approves land purchase, one-way street designation | Local News

Napoleon council approves land purchase, one-way street designation | Local News

NAPOLEON — Two developments near Napoleon’s north Maumee River bank were handled by city council here Monday evening.

During its regular bi-monthly session, council not only approved an ordinance allowing purchase of the former Loose Field on West Riverview Avenue, but also approved a motion making a nearby street one-way.

Council also presided as Mayor Jason Maassel delivered his annual “state of the city” address (see related story, Page A3).

Council unanimously passed the third and final reading of an emergency resolution allowing the acquisition of the former Loose Field on West Riverview Avenue from the Cultural Center of Henry County (CCHC). Approximately 3.3 acres would be purchased for $100,000.

The CCHC is attempting to raise funds to ensure that the old school property next to Loose Field — including the John L. Johnson Auditorium — can be preserved and turned into a cultural center.

City Manager Joel Mazur said the property is being sold at “fair market value,” and considers the property a key component of development in that area. The city’s master plan calls for a “mixed use” development there while the zoning is R-3 (residential), he said.

“In my opinion it’s a critical piece of property,” Mazur stated. “Leaving it in the hands of the unknown I don’t think will be in the best interests of the city. … It’s better for the city to own it so that we as a city … can have something put there that would make the most sense — the highest and best use — and that being potentially a mixed use commercial/residential development. It’s an opportunity cost and hopefully it pays off. Is there risk? Yes. There’s always risk.”

Council Member Lori Siclair questioned the price being paid while Mazur believes the amount is “fair.”

Not far from there, the city plans to make one-way a section of Front Street, between Scott Street and Riverview Avenue. Parking will be allowed on the north side of Front Street, between Perry Street and Riverview.

Council approved a motion Monday directing Law Director Billy Harmon to draw up legislation concerning the above parking plans on Front Street. Legislation concerning the one-way designation will wait until Front Street is paved as it’s not known when this would go into effect.

In other business Monday, council:

• passed two emergency legislative items (one a resolution, the other an ordinance) allowing the finance director to make appropriation transfers among various budget line items and undertake certain fund balance transfers for the fourth quarter 2021. The emergency clause allows each to become law immediately rather than after the regular waiting period.

• approved an ordinance allowing fourth-quarter adjustments to the 2021 budget, thus closing out the city’s financial matters for last year.

• passed the first reading of an emergency resolution authorizing a housing revolving loan fund administration agreement with the Ohio Department of Development. This concerns grants through the state — run through the Defiance-based Maumee Valley Planning Organization — to improve housing. The resolution will return for a second reading at council’s Feb. 7 meeting.

• approved the third and final reading of an ordinance amending Sec. 143.01 of the city’s codified ordinances to reflect the past hiring of a full-time position in the fire department, increasing the firefighter total from five to six. This reflects a position added due to additional funds the city is generating by a change in the reciprocity provision of its income tax. Fire Chief Clayton O’Brien reported that six candidates have been narrowed to three.

• passed the second readings of emergency ordinances increasing pay for two city officials — Law Director Billy Harmon and Mazur. Each will return for third and final readings at an upcoming council meeting. Mazur’s bi-weekly pay beginning Dec. 27 will be $4,444.61, or $115,559.86 over 26 pay periods; Harmon’s bi-weekly pay will be $4,199.78, or $109,194.28 over 26 pay periods. The ordinances will return for third readings on Feb. 7

• passed a motion approving the city’s power supply cost adjustment factor for January.

• approved a motion authorizing plans for the Ohio 110 water line project. This will connect a line on the city’s Perry Street bridge to the new bridge on Industrial Drive and Ohio 110. The estimated cost is $130,000 with American Rescue Plan Act funds paying the bill, according to City Engineer Chad Lulfs.

• passed a motion allowing plans to proceed with the Ritter Park boat ramp replacement project. The estimated cost is $50,000.

• approved a motion authorizing a contract with Peterman Associates, Inc., Findlay, to design the Safe Routes To School project. The city has obtained a $207,000 grant to install sidewalks near the Napoleon Area Schools campus. Peterman’s cost is $28,235, according to Lulfs.

• passed two motions directing the law director to draw up legislation authorizing replacement pages for the city’s codified ordinances — reflecting state and local legislation changes in the past year — and a contract for crack sealing through a state purchasing program.

• approved a motion allowing purchase of a backhoe for the city’s water distribution department. The cost is $124,663. A used backhoe will be sold on, according to Mazur.

• passed a motion allowing application for a federal firefighters assistance grant. O’Brien noted that a one-ton pickup would be purchased to haul a trailer needed for the department’s new grain rescue trailer. An minimum local match of 5% will be needed, he indicated.

• met in executive sessions to discuss litigation and personnel compensation.

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