Rossford hopes for state help with school demo


ROSSFORD – The demolition of Eagle Point School may be covered by a grant.

Council has approved authorizing the city administrator to apply to the Brownfield Ohio/Demolition Grant Program.

“It would cost too much money to repurpose it,” Mayor Neil MacKinnon III said, of the reason for demolition.

He said that the estimates of upgrades would be approximately $4 million.

“My mom and dad went to school there. My brothers went to school there. I love the place. I had a great experience there. I had a great experience there, but we basically spent the last three years showing it to just about every developer in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan and there’s just zero interest in it. The sooner we raze it the sooner we can put that site into play,” MacKinnon said.

Council President Caroline Eckel requested a committee of the whole meeting, which will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Rossford Recreation Center.

“The committee of the whole is about the future of Eagle Point and Indian Hills. The city has applied for a grant to tear down Eagle Point and clean up the site. I think it is important to get the community’s thoughts on what could or should be done with the property,” Eckel said. “We had a group pre-COVID that wanted to turn it into an arts community and multipurpose building. Sadly the administration didn’t give the idea much thought and there were a few council members who were against it.

“People have been asking about the future of those two properties for years and it’s time we get the conversation going. They need to be able to have a voice and an opinion. Both of the properties are in neighborhoods. We need to be very thoughtful about what we allow to happen there,” Eckel said.

The Indian Hills site is undergoing investigations as part of the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 program determines the historical significance of properties.

Raises for future council members and the mayor were approved at the Jan. 24 city council meeting.

Council passed a pay increase for the mayor and council members. The increase includes an automotive adjustment for the future, which is meant to eliminate the need for future reevaluations of the compensation packages.

The first reading for the ordinance was at the Dec. 13 meeting.

“I’ve been on council for 18 years and we’ve never given ourselves a raise, so it’s time. Due to the charter, none of us will experience this raise, only council members elected after the ordinance passes will,” Eckel said.

The council salaries have not been adjusted in 25 years. The new pay rates will only apply to council members elected after Nov. 1, 2022.

Prior to the adjustment, council members were paid $7,000 per year. The new pay will increase annually by the lesser of a 3% or the percentage increase in the consumer price index of the previous year from September to September.

The mayoral pay increase will be from $7,000 annually to $15,000 annually. As with council, the new pay rate will only apply to the mayor next elected.

The Jan. 10 council meeting was canceled because of a closure of the municipal building that week.

“No member of council, nor myself, would receive a raise unless we were reelected,” MacKinnon said.

In other business, a participatory agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation was passed for a signal upgrade at the intersection of Ohio 795 and Lime City Road.

Council authorized the change of council meeting times to 6 p.m. They will remain on the second and fourth Monday of the month.

The mayor’s appointment of Sue Yoder to the Wood County Board of Health was passed by council, as well as the appointment of John Rust Jr. to the Wood County Port Authority.

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