Defiance City Council approves another contract for building removal

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The removal of homes and businesses in the flood plain around Defiance’s Kingsbury Park will continue following city council action Tuesday night.
Council approved an ordinance concerning the demolition of a building in that area, one of four legislative items it passed before meeting in executive session to discuss an appointment and compensation of a public official.
The emergency ordinance council approved on the flood plain effort allows a contract with OZ Tire & Equipment, Ltd., to demolish a building at 200 Second St. — the former Sterling store — at a cost of $17,900.
The demolition is the latest in a series in that area by the city, primarily with grant funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Funds are being used to remove buildings in the flood plain and turn the land into greenspace.
The ordinance’s emergency clause means it becomes law upon the mayor’s signature rather than after the regular 30-day waiting period.
Law director David Williams indicated that the money must be spent before June 1.
Expenditures in that program were a large part of an ordinance council passed Tuesday amending the 2014 budget to include an additional $932,195.86 in appropriations.
Specifically, some $895,595.86 in capital improvements were added “to carry forward the unexpended balance of the FEMA Grant Flood Hazard Mitigation Program,” according to information provided to council by city finance director John Lehner. He noted that “87.5 percent of this amount is offset by projected federal and state grant revenues.”
The remaining funding is coming from the city.
The budget amendment also makes provision for an additional $25,000 in permissive tax funds for signal maintenance and $11,600 in the fire damage repair and removal fund “to permit the refund of insurance monies received for a dwelling fire on Perry Street.”
In other business:
• council approved an ordinance correcting a “scrivener’s (clerical) error” correcting the purchase price of a Ford pickup truck through the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. The cost should be $24,170, not $21,170.
• council passed an ordinance authorizing purchase of three all-wheel drive utility vehicles as police cruisers from Mark Moats Ford, Defiance. The cost is $79,800.
• council approved an emergency resolution declaring municipal services to be provided on land proposed for 2.783 acres in lots 1-2 of the Riverview Addition, lots 21-24 of Riverview Extension and a part of vacated Elmwood Drive. The properties are located in section 19 of Richland Township near the Kroger store.
• Defiance City Schools superintendent Mike Struble addressed council to “clear up” some information about the district’s 3.78-mill, 32-year bond issue for a new grade 6-12 school that will be decided Tuesday. He said $12 million in repairs would be needed to the existing schools if the levy does not pass. According to Struble, “we have taken care of the facilities. We’ve not allowed them to fall into disrepair.  
• Defiance County economic development director Jerry Hayes provided his monthly update. Among other things, he noted that “two different groups” are working on plans for two industrial spec buildings. These would provide shell buildings that could be offered to prospective businesses. He also said that the former Browns Bakery property in Defiance has been submitted to JobsOhio.
• Mayor Bob Armstrong mentioned a few upcoming city activities, including the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on May 9.
• Ward I Councilman Pete Lundberg announced that the National Day of Prayer breakfast is scheduled at 6:30 a.m. Thursday at the K of C Hall.
• resident Ron Posey, 1917 Darbyshire Drive, questioned a land sale council approved last week near the city reservoir property.
• At-large Councilman John Hancock said a buildings and lands committee is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 13 to discuss cemetery fees.
• At-large Councilman Mike Ketcham announced an upcoming finance committee to review first quarter finances. The meeting will be held on May 13.

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