PORTAGE - The mayor is asking for some help in the administration's attempt to annex three businesses into the village.
At Monday's meeting, council agreed to Mayor Mark Wolford's request to form an ad hoc committee. The committee, he said, is needed to persuade the lone property owner who's holding back the village's annexation attempts.
"I'm running into more roadblocks and more roadblocks," Wolford said.
The property owner, he said, asked him to meet with the three businesses about annexation and then report back to him. Wolford did hold a meeting with representatives from DayMark Safety Systems, Century Marketing and Greenline Foods, and they said they would abide by an agreement to annex into Portage if the contiguous property owner also agreed.
But Wolford said he has been unable to reach the property owner since then.
He hopes that an ad hoc committee could help persuade the property owner to agree to annexation.
"You need to continue to keep pressure on them," said Councilman Doug Maas. "Time's a-wasting on annexation, so any way possible."
The administration is under a crunch to annex property - which would come with income tax - because the village is in fiscal emergency under the state.
Village Administrator Ron Sharp said there are about 465 employees among the three businesses which are located north of Portage on Ohio 25. Their income tax paid into the village would equal about a 1 percent income tax on residents, or $59,000 annually.
Council enacted a 1 percent income tax in January, which is allowed without a vote by the Ohio Revised Code. It's also expected to put a 1 percent income tax on the May ballot.
Wolford said he plans on asking Judy Amend to join the annexation ad hoc committee. She is a member of the state-appointed financial planning and supervision commission.
Council was also asked if it could force the annexation. Maas said he understood the village could do so, through court proceedings, but it would cost more than $5,000.
"That would be a darn good investment," said Linda Glomski. "What bank is offering that kind of return?"
Also at the meeting, council:
¥ Heard leaf pickup will be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in November. Sharp said he is borrowing Bowling Green's truck and bed to collect the leaves, which will be distributed on properties in the village so no dumping fees have to be paid. The city also helped the village fix its salt spreader, Sharp said.
¥ Heard planning commission member Carl Crawford say it's been two months since council was asked to amend an ordinance requiring developers to pay all costs involved with developing a subdivision. Council asked Clerk-Treasurer Bruce Shepherd to have that amendment and an ordinance on a one-way street prepared for the Nov. 2 meeting.
¥ Canceled its second meetings of the month for November and December.
¥ Heard Crawford, who is joining council in January, started a village newsletter, the "Nitty Gritty." It is available every-other Friday.