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Green Council OKs 2014 projects budget

2/27/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

GREEN — Green City Council approved its 2014 capital improvements budget, appropriating funding for 16 projects.

The budget, approved at Council’s Feb. 25 meeting, includes $500,000 for planning the proposed Central Park, the most heavily debated project in the $7.45 million budget. Council members called for more public input on the project before any contracts for planning are approved.

Mayor Dick Norton said the administration will set up two meetings for citizen input before Council is asked to vote on a proposed contract with OHM Advisors for design services.

According to city officials, the $7.45 million budgeted for 2014 is nearly a $10 million decrease from 2013. Director of Engineering Paul Pickett said the 2013 budget was much larger than normal, with the city tackling a large number of projects.

According to city officials, projects for 2014 include $4.76 million in street construction and maintenance; $1 million for the Lauby Road/Greensburg Road improvement project, a federal grant project; nearly $1.1 million for parks and $550,000 for tax increment financing (TIF) projects.

Notable among the 2014 projects are planning for Central Park and restroom renovations for Greensburg Park.

Council also approved $207,659 for repair and replacement of catch basins and inlets on Boettler Road. Steel plates currently cover damaged portions of the road, which was termed a hazard to drivers. The repairs will be performed by Spano Brothers, which submitted the lowest and best bid of $188,781. Work will commence as soon as the weather breaks, city officials said.

Following public hearings with no comments on either proposal, Council accepted applications of David Jacobs to place about 101 acres in an agricultural district and of Jerry and Mary Lou Williams to place about 102 acres in an agricultural district. Acceptance of the applications will allow the properties to be taxed at their current agricultural use value (CAUV) instead of full market value. To qualify for CAUV, a property must contain at least 10 acres used exclusively for agricultural purposes or generate $2,500 annually in sale of agricultural products produced on the property.

In other action, Council:

  • adopted on first reading an ordinance changing the name of a street known as Greenfield Farms to Greenfield Farms Drive. The change was made to reduce confusion with a similarly named street in the city, officials said;
  • adopted on second reading a resolution appropriating $30,899 for the purchase of three Stryker power ambulance cots for use by the fire department. The purchase will use $19,957 from a previously awarded Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation SafetyGRANT$ grant. The appropriated amount will come from ambulance fees, said Fire Chief Jeff Funai;
  • adopted on second reading a resolution for a $2,500 grant to the Green Historical Society;
  • approved an ordinance adopting the most recent editions of the basic building code, the international one- and two-family dwelling code, the Ohio plumbing code and the national electric code;
  • adopted a resolution amending the Green city charter to correct typographical errors, rearrange sections, remove inconsistent language and remove language that violates Ohio law. Law Director Stephen Pruneski said voters earlier authorized Council to make such changes without placing them on the ballot;
  • adopted a resolution allowing the city to contract with various engineering, construction management and testing companies for a three-year period. Each company whose services are used must submit an annual billing report to the city; and
  • adopted a resolution to contract with Environmental Design Group to provide municipal engineering services through 2016. The resolution was adopted on a 6-0 vote, with Council President Gerard Neugebauer (at large) abstaining.

Green City Council will meet March 11 for a regular meeting, starting with committee meetings at 5 p.m. and the Council meeting at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Central Administration Building, located at 1755 Town Park Blvd.

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