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Green eyeing ‘conservative’ 2014 budget

11/28/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

GREEN — While other municipalities across Ohio will continue to struggle financially, the city of Green is predicted to remain fiscally sound in the coming year.

At the Nov. 26 Green City Council Finance Committee meeting, held prior to the regular meeting, members of City Council praised the administration for continuing to operate the city without creating significant debt.

“We have a healthy fiscal position in the city going into 2014,” said Councilman Chris Humphrey (at-large).

The Finance Committee meeting served as a time for Council to review the proposed 2014 annual operating appropriations for the General Fund and other funds for the city.

The proposed 2014 operating appropriations are $34.6 million, the proposed budget shows.

Council spent time discussing various aspect of the budget, including dollars being allotted for debt services, park improvements and road preservation and maintenance.

“The administration really has given us a good, conservative budget,” Councilman John “Skip” Summerville (Ward 4), said.

Humphrey said Council will continue to review the budget next month, before approving it at the close of 2013.

Additionally Nov. 26, Councilman Gerard Neugebauer (at large) gave a summary of the Nov. 20 Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) meeting during the Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee meeting.

He said the PZC denied an applicant’s request for a freestanding sign for a new building at 4576 Massillon Road. Neugebauer said the sign was to be located within the Greensburg Area Sign District. The sign was to be slightly smaller than the allowable maximum size of 40 square feet, he explained, but an electronic message component of the sign was proposed to be 36 percent of the total sign area. Neugebauer said an electronic message center in the Greensburg Area Sign District can be no larger than 20 percent of the total sign area.

Neugebauer reported the PZC approved a consolidation request for two landlocked parcels of land near Christman Road. He said a variance is required for the consolidation since the parcel would be 1.13 acres of land — below the 1.26 acres minimum lot size in a rural residential district in the city — and lacks frontage on a public roadway. He added the property could be accessed from an easement along the western side of the property that extends from Ohio Drive to Killinger Road. The requested consolidation would next be reviewed by the Board of Zoning Appeals, Neugebauer said.

Also during the meeting, the PZC favorably recommended that a 61.24-acre parcel on Koons Road revert back to its original R-1 (Single-Family Residential) zoning since the general development plan approved for the site in 2007 has expired. Neugebauer explained the previous parcel owner has secured Council approval to develop the site as a planned development featuring a mix of townhomes, assisted-living apartments and single-family residences. However, the current owner has no desire to renew the previous development plan, he added.

In addition, the PZC voted in favor of a change to the Land Development Code to allow additional automotive-related uses in an I-1 (General Industrial District). Existing automotive-related uses allowable in the I-1 District include automotive body repair, automotive rental and automobile repair and service. Neugebauer said the additional uses would include automotive car washes, automotive fuel sales and automotive sales.

Also during the committees’ meetings and regular meeting, Council:

  • held a public hearing on a resolution establishing a street lighting district for Kings Ridge, Phase IV Subdivision. Councilman Joel Reed (at large) said the district would serve 16 lots, with the project developer paying the installation costs and the future owners to be assessed for the operating and maintenance expenses associated with the street lighting;
  • learned petitions were withdrawn to have the unnamed, unimproved right-of-way known as Tim Drive, which abuts Berna Road, narrowed and vacated. Law Director Steve Pruneski said legal assistance could yield a resolution soon to an ongoing dispute among neighbors regarding the right-of-way;
  • awarded a contract to Lockhart Concrete Co. for the Meadow Wood Lane/Sunnyview Drive Storm Water Screens Project — the last storm water capital project for 2013 — and making an appropriation of $102,300 for the work. City Engineer Paul Pickett explained the project involves modifying debris screens and creating an overflow area and diversion channel to prevent future flooding on Meadow Wood and Sunnyview;
  • heard the second reading of a resolution requesting the Ohio Department of Transportation declare a reasonable and safe speed limit for Mount Pleasant Street, between Frank Avenue and Pittsburgh Avenue (Mayfair Road), to be 45 mph, as opposed to the current 55 mph;
  • confirmed the final plat of the Campo D’Amore planned development; and
  • accepted the replat of a property that is part of the Neptune Extension Subdivision so two lots would exist.

During the regular meeting, Council additionally introduced legislation:

√ allowing Mayor Dick Norton to apply for federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) or Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funds programmed by the Akon Metropolitan Area Transportation Study to improve or construct several projects within the city;

√ authorizing the city to enter into a consent judgment entry to resolve litigation filed by Josephine Murdocco, Jeffrey Davis and Julie Davis and Redwood Management Co. regarding the zoning of two parcels of property consisting of approximately 12.36 acres;

√ changing the zoning classification of property containing approximately 61.24 acres of land located at 1745 Koons Road from PD-1 (Planned Development) to R-1 (Single-Family Residential); and

√ adopting the most recent edition of the Ohio Fire Code as the applicable fire code in the city.

In other city business, Council President Dave France (Ward 2) announced Council would have several appointments to make in 2014. He said there would be one opening on the Design Review Board and two appointments on the Historic Preservation Commission. Those interested should contact Council Clerk Molly Kapeluck to learn more about the requirements for the openings. Applications will be accepted through Dec. 18, he said.

Norton announced a new Infinity dealership on South Arlington Road and CVS Pharmacy and Minute Clinic on Massillon Road recently opened in the community.

In addition, it was noted Christmas in Town Park will take place Nov. 30 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Central Administration Building (CAB), 1755 Town Park Blvd. The event will include the arrival of Santa, children’s activities, story time, refreshments, a run/walk, fireworks and more. [For more on that event, see Page 14.]

The next Council meeting is set for Dec. 10, starting at 5 p.m. for committees and the regular meeting at 7 p.m., in Council Chambers at the CAB.

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