JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center Council addressed a variety of issues at its meeting Monday, Sept. 24.
In old business, Jackson Center council opted to table an ordinance that would change the zoning on several pieces of property in the village. Council heard the third reading of the ordinance but chose to table the motion until the next meeting on Oct. 8 after Mayor Scott Klopfenstein opened the floor to comments and Zoning Officer Ed Maxwell suggested a delay.
“While checking to see if everything was in order for passage of the ordinance one land owner, Todd Ratermann, indicated there were still a couple of loose ends concerning the finalization of some paperwork; it’s nothing to be concerned about but I suggest waiting until everything has worked it’s course before moving ahead. I told Todd not to worry about more delays and that if everything is in order and the ordinance is confirmed at our next meeting he can have shovels in the ground on the morning of Oct. 9,” Maxwell said.
Council agreed that it was best to wait until all the paperwork was in order. Passing the ordinance will change the zoning of 2.95 acres located in the 600 block of College and Pike streets from R-1 Residential to R-3 Multi-Family residential district.
The Jackson Center Planning Commission had met previously on July 23, 2018, to consider the requests from Todd C. Ratermann, Scherer Post 493 American Legion, and Kevin and Jill Bergman to rezone their properties located at 619 E. College St., 627 E. College St. and 624 E. Pike St. respectively from R1, Single Family Residential District to R3 Multi Family Residential District.
Ratermann purchased his property for the construction of a multi-family apartments. The proposed apartments will have off-street parking with single floor, two and three bedroom units. The American Legion property pre-exists as a non-conforming with a “conditional use” permit in an R1 District. It would be changed to a “permitted use” designation in an R3 District. The Bergman property is a non-conforming, pre-existing multi-family apartment complex in a R1 Single Family District. Rezoning would bring the properties into compliance.
In new business council heard the first reading of an ordinance granting Vectren Energy Delivery a 10-year contract with provisions to automatically renew the contract every five years unless notice is given by the village to end the contract.
“We decided to go with a 10 year contract with provisions instead of a 25 year plan for more flexibility,” said Village Administrator Bruce Metz.
Council approved an ordinance authorizing Metz to enter into a contract for funds administered by the State of Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), Jobs and Commerce Economic Development (JCED) for road improvements to support the expansion of the new Airstream Manufacturing Facility under construction on the newly annexed land on the west side of town.
“The roadwork will be similar to “Project Bambi” at the main plant, including a new stop light at the intersection of the new drive and state Route 274. We will also be applying for funding from ‘Jobs Ohio’ as before so hopefully there will be help from there as well, “Metz said.
Acting on prior information and reports indicating there is a need for repairs and upgrades on the municipal swimming pool, council approved an ordinance authorizing Metz to file an application for financial assistance with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“I will be applying for grant money to repair leaks in the pool as well as making several much-needed upgrades. Choice One Engineering in Sidney will handle the details and get the paperwork lined up concerning the gathering of information necessary to present our application,” said Metz. “The application process is very lengthy and complicated and they have the experience and expertise to get the job done right, we don’t want to overlook anything or make the wrong decisions so we will let them handle the preliminaries.”
An emergency resolution to provide a remedy for the water quality issues in the village drinking water supply was approved by council.
“We have been working hard to find the best solution for improving our drinking water; while it’s perfectly safe to use, the look, smell and taste of the water fluctuates and at times is not what we want or expect. I want our residents to know I feel your pain in putting up with this situation, I use the same water too and want to get it fixed ASAP,” said Metz.
“We have been working quite some time on a real fix, not a band-aide; it will be at least a couple or three years before a major reconstruction of the water treatment plant takes place, so until then we want something that will work. I have had several complaints and I don’t blame anyone for having concerns, just know we are doing all we can to get this situation fixed as soon as we possibly can, and I appreciate everyone’s consideration and patience until the new filter media arrives and is installed by Artesian of Pioneer (AOP),” Metz said.
Council passed a resolution authorizing Metz to enter into a contract for professional services with Electro Controls for the waste-water plant. Implementing this system will connect the Waste Water and Water Treatment plants and streamline the effectiveness of the both.
Before hearing the Administrators, report council discussed the Natural Gas Aggregation program. Metz noted there seemed to be a little confusion as to whether or not some residents were locked into the $0.377 per ccf price which is a better deal. Zoning Officer Ed Maxwell noted that not everyone had received notification about their designation.
“If you have not received a letter you need to call Volunteer Energy at 800-977-8374 to see if your name is on the list. You can switch anytime but may have to wait until the next billing cycle to see a reflection of the change. If you have any trouble or questions do not hesitate to give me a call at the village office; I will do my best to help those with any questions,” Maxwell said.
Metz said he wants to make sure everyone understands the opportunity at hand.
“You can get the fixed price which is better, or leave things as they are but prices under IGA will fluctuate and costs could go up; I just want everyone to be aware of the advantages available, all it takes is a phone call, “Metz said.
The next Jackson Center council meeting will be held in the council chambers on Oct. 8, 2018.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.