BELLEVUE — Prior to the start of Monday’s City Council meeting Mayor Kevin Strecker presented Sharon and Kyle Barnes, of Barnes Nursery, with a key to the city.
Mayor Strecker emphasized hows the Barnes’ took over the city’s compost facility and have been an asset to the community by donating compost to programs like The Bellevue Hospital’s Community Garden and mulch to Central Park.
“They run a community minded business and they are someone we want to have on our team,” said Mayor Strecker.
During his report, Mayor Strecker informed council that Huron County Public Health will be holding a training and distributing free Narcan kits on Tuesday, May 31 at the Bellevue Public Library from 5 to 7 p.m.
Safety Service Director Mike Lantz then delivered his report to council providing updates on several departments.
“The work on bridge on Near Rd. is set to begin tomorrow (Tuesday) and that’s a time table of a couple weeks to get done,” Lantz said. “There are some catch basis that are being installed in front of the water treatment plant due to some flood issues. Kevin Scagnetti wanted to get someone down there, since that is going to be an area we are looking to some new asphalt.
Lantz also informed council that work had begun on the clarifier at the water treatment plant.
“They will be finishing up the sandblasting in another two weeks or so before they get that coated,” he said. “All of the metal that was in bad shape has been replaced. They are working on sandblasting the super structure that’s in there now.”
None of the council members had anything new to report; however, First Ward council member Duane Baker did express some concern about the number of abandoned houses with high lawns.
“I’ve been getting calls from people about the high lawns at the abandoned homes,” Baker said.
Baker did tell his constituents that the city is aware of the issue and the houses are on a list of lawns that still need to be mowed.
“I read an article about how Sandusky is tearing down abandoned houses and I think it’s something council should look into this year,” he said.”We need to find ways to get money to take these houses down. Some haven’t had utilities in three or four years, those aren’t going to come back and I don’t think the CRA is going to help that.”
Mayor Strecker told Baker the city is looking into funding to take down some of the buildings, including the old Ben Franklin building downtown.
Third Ward council member Steve Hill agreed with Baker and said that the city should “find a way to make it work,” suggesting they speak to Sandusky to see how they handled the issue.
Hill then gave the floor to Bellevue Parks and Recreation Director Marc Weisenberger to explain Resolution R-9-16, which was on the agenda to be given it’s first reading on Monday.
The resolution would authorize Weisenberger to apply for a grant through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in Huron County. Weisenberger explained the grant would cover a Nature Works project, which will be used to repair and improve Robert Peter’s Park.
The Rec Department is looking into adding better lighting, resurfacing the tennis and basketball courts, building restrooms that are more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and adding a proper back entrance.
“We want to keep this park in good shape,” Weisenberger said.
Weisenberger noted that the grant is an 80:20 reimbursement grant, which means the city would have to appropriate 80 percent of the project funds from the budget, which would later be reimbursed by ODNR. The other 20 percent of the funds would have to come from donations or good-will offerings.
In total, Weisenberger is estimating the project will cost around $98,000, of that $78,000 will be reimbursed once the project is complete.
During the legislative portion of the meeting, the rules were suspended and Resolution R-9-16 was given all three readings and was unanimously adopted by a 7-0 vote.
Council also suspended the rules and gave Ordinance No. 8-16, which authorizes the city to enter into a union contract with the America Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) for service, maintenance and clerical employees working for the city. Ordinance No. 8-16 was also passed by a vote of 7-0.
Council then heard the second reading of Resolution R-5-16, which renews the contract the city has with Huron County Emergency Management Agency for emergency management services.
Also on the agenda to be given their second readings were Resolutions R-6-16 and R-7-16, which are companion resolutions for a renewal of a one-mill tax levy for the parks and recreation department.
The first resolution R-6-16 is simply requesting the auditors from Sandusky, Erie and Huron counties certify to council what the one-mill levy will do and how much money it will bring in. The second resolution R-7-16 is for the board of elections. It simply states that council did request the information from the auditor’s office and would like the levy to go on the ballot.
Council At Large John Miller made a motion to spend the rules and give Resolution R-6-16 it’s third and final reading. Miller’s motion was granted and Resolution R-6-16 was given it’s third reading and adopted by a vote of 7-0. Since the two resolutions go together, Hill then made a motion to suspend the rules for Resolution, R-7-16, to give it a third and final reading. It was adopted unanimously.
Although the resolutions were adopted by the council on Monday, the reports from the county auditors still have to justify the levy and the board of elections has to approve the measure to go on the November ballot. Council is unable to pass the levy themselves because it surpasses their 10-mill limit, so it requires voter approval.
Ivy Keller can be reached at 419-483-4190 ext. 1967. Follow us on Twitter @BellevueGazette.