A plan to expand Defiance’s outdoor refreshment area (DORA) made its expected comeback at city council’s meeting Tuesday night, but in a reduced form.
A related ordinance was let lie without discussion after a first reading, although some public input was received on the proposal. Council also received three ideas from Defiance High School’s CAD class on improving Defiance’s South Jefferson Avenue entrance point (see related story).
The refreshment district was set up in 2019 in the downtown area and allows liquor-permit establishments to serve alcoholic beverages in special DORA cups.
Council had defeated the original DORA expansion proposal on April 13, but new legislation was brought forward Tuesday that tightened the boundaries. This one excludes areas north of the Maumee River and east of the Auglaize River.
Previously, the inclusion of both areas produced objections from some council members who didn’t want alcoholic beverages allowed in park areas, particularly Kingsbury Park.
However, the present legislation does retain a proposal to extend the DORA’s southern boundaries on Clinton Street to the CSX Railroad viaduct. Thus, the D-Town Food Market & Oasis property will be included.
While council did not comment on Tuesday’s ordinance — which will return for a second reading next week — three residents (Katlyn Grimes, Megan Hahn and Carrie Kimmons) commented through correspondence read by Council President Dave McMaster. Each supported the D-Town property’s inclusion in the DORA.
As a corollary to the DORA expansion, council also is considering an ordinance allowing expansion of the downtown revitalization district.
This would have the same boundaries as the DORA district, and would increase opportunities for businesses within it to receive state liquor permits. However, those businesses must receive at least 75% or more of their gross receipts from food sales.
The related ordinance also was let lie Tuesday following a first reading and will return for a second next week.
Earlier Tuesday, council held a required public hearing on the DORA expansion proposal, but no input was received during that session.
In other business Tuesday:
• council approved an ordinance awarding a contract to J & N Builders, Defiance, to repair concrete slabs in Bronson Park’s shelterhouses and add sidewalks connecting them to the parking lot. The cost is $41,222.09.
• resident Mike Simon, 2240 Power Dam Road, provided council with correspondence alerting officials that trucks are violating 25 mile per hour speed zones next to park facilities and school buildings. “This can and must be corrected,” Simon stated.
• At-large Council Member Jill Krutsch reminded that the annual Lilac Festival will be held Saturday in downtown Defiance while the Stroede Center for the Arts, 319 Wayne Ave., will show the 1935 Marx Brothers movie “A Night at the Opera” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday free of charge.
• council met in executive session to discuss the purchase of property.
• Ward 2 Councilman John Hancock asked the administration about traffic-study strips placed across certain streets. Mayor Mike McCann said this is part of an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) study. According to ODOT, the counts are part of a regular “general database update.”
• McCann announced that Jayne Yoder has resigned from the Defiance Public Library Board effective June 1.
• council approved the mayor’s appointments of Michael Weisenburger to the parks board and Brian Eitniear to the shade tree commission.
• At-large Councilman Steve Waxler asked when the former warehouse at South Jackson Avenue and Davidson Street — destroyed in a fire earlier this year — will be removed. McCann said the project was waiting on a permit acquisition, but said work should begin “anytime I think.”