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Green Council studying land reutilization plan

9/12/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

GREEN — At the Sept. 10 meeting of the Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee, Green City Council proposed a plan to acquire open land specifically left behind by a delinquent owner.

Council members focused on what could be done to obtain possession of empty lots resulting from the demolition of blighted structures in the city.

At the regular meeting, following the meetings of the committees, Council heard the second reading of legislation to adopt and implement procedures to facilitate effective reutilization of nonproductive land.

City officials explained the Ohio Revised Code enables Council to adopt and implement procedures to facilitate effective reutilization of nonproductive land in the city.

The proposed ordinance explains the purpose of a Land Reutilization Program is to foster the return of land to tax revenue generating status or devotion of that land to public use.

“This would give us an asset we don’t have,” Councilman John Summerville (Ward 4) explained.

He said a “handful” of properties in need of demolition recently were identified. If approved, the legislation would provide the city with an avenue to obtain the land after the blighted structures are torn down, he said.

Council Vice President Gerard Neugebauer (at large) said the issue will be discussed again later this month.

Also during the regular meeting, Council President Dave France (Ward 2) wanted residents to be aware of an issue on the Nov. 5 General Election ballot.

The issue asks “shall Green’s Codified Ordinance be amended to permit the abolishment of municipal utility districts created under Ohio Revised Code 6115.69; and further to permit strategic partnerships between utility districts existing under Section 6115.69 of the Revised Code and further allowing the creation of utility districts upon petition from property owners?”

He reminded residents the proposed charter amendment was a petition initiative, and Council had the responsibility to place the issue on the ballot since all the necessary requirements to place the matter on the ballot were met.

If approved by voters, the initiative — started by Massillon Road resident Joel Helms — would abolish municipal utility districts in the city and permit strategic partnerships between utility districts, city officials have said.

France announced the city administration soon would provide voters with further information on the issue, specifically why it would not be a proper charter amendment for the city.

During the regular meeting, Council also heard the first reading of a resolution awarding a contract to H.M. Miller Construction for the Hightower Estates/Melanie-Royce Storm Water Improvements Project at a cost of $98,217.

Council additionally listened to a presentation by Jerry Craig, director of the Summit County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADM) Services Board. He explained the work of the ADM, which sees that treatment and support service are available to adults, teens and children with mental illnesses and/or alcohol/drug addictions. He specifically asked for Council’s support of a 2.95-mill renewal levy on the Nov. 5 ballot. Craig explained the levy provides for 75 percent of the agency’s operating budget for six years and would continue to cost the owner of a $100,000 home $7.50 a month.

A discussion also took place Sept. 10 concerning the city’s road pavement maintenance program, which would ensure each roadway is addressed regularly to keep it from being completely rebuilt one day.

The next regular Council meeting will take place Sept. 24, starting at 5 p.m. with committee meetings and followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd.

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