Perrysburg to put levy for trash on ballot
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 10:16
PERRYSBURG - Trash, transit and tax abatements were on the minds of council Tuesday night.
Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring the necessity of levying a replacement tax for refuse collection. The matter was given a first reading last month.
The two-year, 1-mill levy, generating roughly half of the operating budget for the city's refuse and recycling services, would appear on the November ballot. The measure has been passed every two years since 1987, with no alteration in its rate. The levy would collect about $580,000 per year, meaning a charge of roughly $30 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home.
The city must still pass an ordinance asking the Wood County Commissioners to place the levy on the ballot.
The city is working towards rolling out its automated refuse system the week of April 22, which is Earth Day.
Council also unanimously passed an ordinance permitting the city administration to enter into contract discussions with St. Louis-based transportation firm Ride Right LLC, in anticipation of a 0.8-mill transit levy passing on the May 7 ballot.
Ride Right provided transit service for Perrysburg from the end of September until late November of last year, when a 1.45-mill transit levy failed.
Councilman and Health, Sanitation and Public Utilities Committee chair Todd Grayson took the unusual step of asking Law Director Mathew Beredo to read the measure in full; the vast majority of ordinances are read by number and title only. The measure, among other rationales, notes that Ride Right has had previous experience in the city.
"I think the point here was to more clearly delineate why the committee and, I think the administration, think it is appropriate to move forward rather than go back to a bidding process," said Grayson of the reading.
In other business, council approved, by a vote of 5-2, a community reinvestment area tax abatement agreement with V Couture, a men's clothing store at 123 W. Indiana Ave., following a debate.
The business intends to tear down an existing residential property at 135 W. Indiana Ave. and build a new facility, which will include a salon and high-end offerings similar to a spa. The investment in the property would total $1.25 million.
Council President Joe Lawless expressed discomfort with offering a tax abatement to what he considered a retail business.
"I'm against doing tax abatements for retail business," he said, later saying he feared it could create a slippery slope.
Councilman Tim McCarthy sided with Lawless, saying "I don't think it needs abatement to make the location they've chosen desirable."
Councilman Mike Olmstead, while he questioned the use of such abatements for similar businesses in the future, said he "could not say 'no' in that situation because the tool already exists." Such reinvestment area abatements are only available in the downtown corridor.
A V Couture representative pointed out that the property they would be tearing down has been designated a nuisance, and that the business would incur costs in removing the property.
"So that's a big merit," he said, saying that a portion of the abatement would be used to remove the "spot blight" property.
Grayson, while he agreed with McCarthy, said "it's conceivable to me, as a businessman, that V Couture could simply go out to Levis and still be in the community" but "not take blight off of our hands."
Lawless and McCarthy served as the only 'no' votes on the measure.
Among further business, council tentatively scheduled the annual joint meeting with the Perrysburg Township Trustees to discuss Fort Meigs Cemetery for May 7 at 6 p.m.
Due to scheduling conflicts with Perrysburg Schools' spring break, the council meeting was held on the second, rather than the first, Tuesday of the month. Because of this change, the next council meeting is scheduled for April 23 at 6:30 p.m.