LORAIN — Council again sent a parks levy to the county auditor, following a vote at Monday’s meeting to correct verbiage in the original measure.
City Council unanimously approved the resolution to send a five-year, 1-mill tax levy for certification. It is the same resolution as passed at the July 1 meeting, but updated to reflect a change in Ohio Revised Code numbers made in April, Mayor Joe Koziura explained.
The city only has until Aug. 7 to certify the measure ahead of the Board of Elections deadline. Council will have to vote again to put the issue on the November ballot.
Similar to the last meeting, many Council members expressed support of the measure — which would go to the upkeep of the city’s parks, not city employee salaries. Many cited how important the parks are for the children of each ward, giving them some place to go during the summer.
Others were skeptical it could pass.
Greg Argenti, I-Ward 4, thought the timing was ill-advised.
“Our residents are reeling from increases in the water and sewer rates, which are continuing,” he said. “I understand it’s going to the voters, but it’s going to be a very low-turnout election, I’d like to see some more time (spent) on this.”
He said he talked to a handful of his constituents who told him they would not support the levy.
Josh Thornsberry, D-Ward 8, shared similar concerns, but compared it with when residents rallied to pass the Fire Levy in 2016.
“I think the community will rise to the challenge again,” he said.
Dennis Flores, D-Ward 2, wants the city to review its more than 50 technical parks, and sell off what it can. Safety/Service Director Dan Given explained many of the parcels the city has that are considered parks have been gifted to it over the years and some deeds have caveats that if the city were to try to sell the land it would be returned to the family or estate of the person who donated it.
He said the engineering and law departments are looking to create a database of all the city’s parks and catalog any deed restrictions, agreeing the city has too many parks for it to upkeep.
Quoting Koziura’s estimates, Given said the levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $3 a month.
The resolution passed unanimously.
In other news
The city is entering into a site access agreement with Demex Construction, after a measure passed Council. The agreement allows Demex to use a 100-foot by 100-foot property along the west bank of the Black River for material storage.
Given explained the company wants to use the area to store large stones for three to five days at a time, before removing them, putting them on a barge and taking them to their construction site. It will pay the city $2 per ton and the process will not damage the property involved, something Given called a “no-lose situation.” The city is allowed to terminate the contract with a 90-day notice.
Council recognized several area businesses for their decades on Broadway: Sun Novelty for 78 years of business, SQP Print Center Inc. for 45 years and Nielsen Jewelers for 142 years of business.
A Parks and Recreation Committee meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Monday. The Police/Fire Committee meeting will be rescheduled to a later date. A Streets and Utilities Committee is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 29.
The next regular Council meeting is Sept. 3, due to the August recess.