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Council votes for zone change

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
FPS Reporter

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Carrollton Council pondered many decisions during the lengthy meeting Monday night, finally approving all motions, including one that changed a contested area from residential to commercial. 

A public hearing was held before the meeting regarding a zone change from residential to commercial for an approximate 2.5-acre area located along W. Main St. and Moody Ave.  The property currently has four residences facing W. Main St. and a parking area facing Moody Ave. 

When discussion resumed during the council meeting, approximately 10 residents and Robert Glover, the developer, talked back and forth with council members.  When Mayor Frank Leghart opened discussion, council was silent and indecisive.  Leghart asked them to either move on the issue or table it until the next meeting, noting they would have to take action sometime.

The issue, however, wasn’t so much about the zoning classification as it was water run-off.

Glover told those in attendance he is serious about storm water issues. Resident Barb Roudebush has experienced water related issues on her property, which borders the current parking lot area.  The village installed a retention pond on Moody Ave. near the intersection of Courtview Dr. to handle excess storm water run off. The pond reportedly does help with the area below Courtview Dr. 

Per the State of Ohio’s guidelines for storm water, the state would calculate what the current run off amount is and Glover would be responsible to be sure construction did not create a greater amount of run-off.  Glover noted the engineer’s design may improve the situation. 

Councilwoman Wilma Lambert said she is not against progress but knows there is serious water problems and (construction) could be devastating or helpful.  She suggested the issue be tabled until the next meeting since it seemed council was very undecided about the issue. Lambert then made it a motion.  Chris Barto seconded, telling visitors he wanted to hear from the public because he knows they were in attendance for a reason.  Roudebush said the area has been a residential area with a parking lot.  “I ask each of you. Would you want this behind your house?” she said to council.  “What’s it going to do to the value of your home?”
Dan Locke, Mary Ann Miller and Andy Gonda voted not to table the issue and the motion failed. 

Leghart told everyone he was under the assumption the retention pond fixed the water problem and this is the first time it has been addressed. He reiterated the parking area is zoned residential but Glover could develop the front and use the back portion for a parking lot and still be within village ordinances. 

Discussion continued with residents noting water run-off cannot get to the current retention pond without going through two properties.  “Is the city going to pay money to get the water out?” questioned Gene Roudebush.  “Is the village going to pipe the water around 400 feet?”

Again Leghart told visitors he didn’t realize the problem wasn’t fixed but he would look into it and do what he can from the village’s end.  He said he will watch the developer to be sure he does not exacerbate the problem.  There can be no guarantees of lessening the flow but each will do their part to ensure it doesn’t increase.

Carrollton resident Janet Smith introduced herself and Father Anthony Batt from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. Smith said the church has been located on the corner since 1929 and at times it is hard to hear during the service with the traffic passing by. She told everyone she had a warranty deed from 1984 which stated the church was permitted continued usage of the 1.5 acre parking area for congregation parking. Thus, making the agreement a restriction in the deed.

Village Solicitor Clark Battista felt it wasn’t a deed restriction but he and Smith both agreed to have an underwriter review it and make a determination.    The area in question is owned by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, who filed the request for the zone change.

Smith told council, “I know this doesn’t affect the zoning but might influence your decision. Do you want to take the happiness of the church congregation for a commercial building?”

Leghart said if council wasn’t going to move on the issue, he was moving the meeting forward.

He reminded council they had appropriated gas and oil money for a new brush truck for the fire department. After advertising for bids, one was received from Guess Motors.  Leghart told council he assumed since there was only one bid it was the one council would accept. He said, “I am going to ask council to accept the bid and award it.” The truck is a 2014 GMC Sierra HD 3500 crew cab with accessories such as wench, spray-in bed liner and undercarriage protection shields. Retail cost of the truck is over $42,000. The bid came in at $26,600 and some odd cents. A motion was made to accept the bid and approved.

Ordinances were passed separating the water and sewer superintendents job into a working water supervisor and working wastewater supervisor.  The positions were created not only due to the retirement of former superintendent Mike Leslie, but because new regulations require a supervisor at the wastewater treatment plant 40 hours per week and someone at the new water treatment plant (once it goes online) for 20 hours per week. One employee can no longer do both jobs.

The water treatment supervisor salary was set at $45,000 plus benefits with the requirement of having a class II operator’s license. Derek Kaltenbaugh is scheduled to take the test for a class II license next month. He is currently the interim water supervisor with a base salary of $37,000-$38,000 which does not include the $1 per hour raise during the interim process.

The working wastewater supervisor salary was set at $55,000-$60,000. Interviews have been conducted and village officials have two viable candidates with a class III license and experience. Leslie was making $47,000 per year at the time of his retirement.

Leghart said the $16,000 increase will net the village two licensed employees. Miller wanted the public to know that even though “we were saying we couldn’t pay the electric bill (at the wastewater treatment plant) a few months ago, this is a situation the village was put in due to regulations.”

During the question section, Miller made a motion stating if an employee works 40 hours and is called in on Saturday they are paid time and a half.  If they are on vacation and are called in Saturday, they receive straight time. Miller said her motion was for the continuation of how it has been.

While Leghart and Gonda both agreed the vote should wait for a full council, Miller’s motion was seconded and passed. Barto and Lambert voted no.

Lambert then revisited the public hearing situation. She said, “I truly feel water is a huge issue. I feel if the zoning is changed, we will have a situation similar to zoning issues on SR 43. I would like to make a motion to deny the zone change.” She continued, stating she knows historically what has been done with water in the village and it has not always been to the resident’s advantage. She admitted her comments were partly personal because the village does not always get things done.  

Locke admitted he felt council owed the people a vote. “I am going to be honest. I don’t know whether to vote for or against. I have mixed feelings. I see both sides of the issue and agree with Wilma. I think a lot of times the residents get the shaft but I can also see where this may help.”

“We don’t want to table it, but we don’t want to vote on it either,” said Lambert. The motion died for lack of a second.

Glover spoke up mentioning the economic benefit of having a commercial business instead of homes and a parking lot, noting Carrollton is growing in all directions.

Barb Roudebush appealed to council saying progress is good but “put it out the road, don’t come into the residential area.”  Resident Leslie Lucas told council she does have something to gain from the zone change and believes the change could improve the situation. She believes the issue is a water issue not a zoning issue and residents are just trying to get the issues solved.

Miller made a motion to approve the zone change.  Gonda seconded it to force a vote and see what would happen. The motion carried. Lambert and Barto voted no. 

In an unrelated matter, Clerk-Treasurer Judi Noble explained the employee health insurance renewal issue to council. If the current plan is renewed by Dec. 1, there will be a 27 percent increase, but the plan will remain the same.  However, if council waits until the actual renewal date (Feb. 1, 2014), the increase will be 37.5 percent and the policy will change due to the Affordable Care Act. Miller made a motion to renew now but Barto wanted to see the plan before he makes any decisions. He told the group he has been involved in various insurance committees in the past. Barto will contact the village’s agent and report his findings at the next meeting.

In other business council:
-HEARD the water treatment plant construction is going well. Progress is moving along on schedule.  The water treatment plant could be online by the end of April or beginning of May, 2014.
-ENTERED into a water reservation agreement with Carroll County Energy LLC. When asked, Battista told council he was comfortable with the agreement and this is not a final agreement.

-GRANTED permission for the Carroll County Antique Collector’s Club to hold their annual tractor parade Oct. 18 at noon.  Tractors will line up at the county fairgrounds and proceed down Lisbon St. to High St. to 2nd St. in front of the Municipal Building.  The parade will go around the square and back Lisbon St. to the fairgrounds. The parade is held in conjunction with the club’s Power Show being held Oct. 18-20 at the fairgrounds.

-LEARNED of property owners concerns following the water line replacement on Brenner Rd. The project was completed and areas seeded down. However, a dry spell caused a portion of the seed not to grow, causing erosion and settling. Spano Brothers are to take care of the issues.

-APPROVED emergency legislation for tax budget rates for 2014 determined by the county budget commission.

-EXCUSED Councilman Tom Parker and Village Administrator Denny Roudebush. Both are out of town on vacation.

-PAID bills totaling $60,095.08 for vendors, $39,195.88 for payroll Sept. 8-21, and $29,705.76 for payroll Sept. 22 - Oct. 5.

-SET the next council meeting for Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. in council chambers.


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