NAPOLEON — An agreement with a Defiance company to expand economic development opportunities here was approved by Napoleon City Council Monday night.

An emergency resolution authorizing a community reinvestment area agreement with Defiance-based Keller Logistic, Inc. was one of seven legislative items handled by council after it watched a state official present a financial award to the city (see related story, A8).

Approved after a third and final reading Tuesday was an emergency resolution allowing a community reinvestment area agreement with Keller Logistics, Inc., which plans to build a new speculation building on a city-owned site — comprising just over 10 acres — next to JAC Products, 620 Independence Drive. Such an area allows tax abatements on new investments in the specified area.

Keller plans to build a 100,000 square-foot spec building to provide a shell for a prospective company.

The resolution contains an emergency clause allowing it to become law immediately rather than after the regular waiting period.

Council also approved an ordinance during its Sept. 20 meeting allowing an economic development agreement with Keller in which the city will sell the land to Keller for $30,300 and waive the city’s electricity hook-up cost to the building.

In another matter Monday, council approved the second reading of an ordinance amending chapter 913 of the city’s ordinances concerning reimbursement for construction and repair of sidewalks, curbs and gutters. The ordinance will return for a third and final reading at council’s Nov. 1 meeting.

The legislation would increase the curb allowance from $20 to $40 per linear foot and from $1.50 to $3 for sidewalks, as the costs were last upgraded in 1998, according to City Manager Joel Mazur. This would represent a portion of the cost property owners would incur for such improvements as they would pay the balance.

Councilman Ross Durham noted that the sidewalk change would cover about 54% of the typical cost, and he favored raising it even further, perhaps to 70% or more.

But others, such as Mayor Jason Maassel and Finance Director Kevin Garringer, urged caution. Maassel, for example, said he didn’t want the city using up the $25,000 it will budget for the program by next June.

Mazur noted that under the current funding arrangement, the city doesn’t usually break $10,000 in sidewalk expenditures each year.

On another topic, council approved a motion directing the law director to draw up legislation allowing bids for a bicycle and pedestrian path in Ritter Park.

According to City Engineer Chad Lulfs, a multi-use path down Jahns Road will connect to Ritter Park (along West Riverview Avenue) and then to the downtown.

The estimated cost is $833,000 with an Ohio Department of Transportation grant making available approximately $800,000 and an additional grant providing funds for design work.

Lulfs told council the state recently informed him that a contract must be awarded by Jan. 14.

In other business Monday, council:

• approved the second reading of an ordinance amending the city’s traffic schedule to convert the intersection of Westmoreland Avenue and Bales Road to a three-way stop. The administration’s hope is this would alleviate traffic backups at certain times at the intersection. The legislation will return for a third reading at council’s Nov. 1 meeting as a motion to suspend procedural rules and proceed to a final vote Monday failed.

• passed the third and final reading of a resolution approving a $50 additional surcharge to city employee health insurance premiums from 2022-2024 as part of the city’s contract with BORMA.

• approved the third and final reading of a resolution allowing the expenditure of more than $25,000 for a wash water basin control upgrade.

• approved an emergency ordinance supplementing the city’s 2021 budget ordinance.

• passed an emergency ordinance allowing appropriation transfers from one line item to another.

• approved a motion approving the city’s power supply cost adjustment factor for October.

• passed a motion allowing a change order of approximately $25,000 in the American Road improvement project. Mazur said this cost will be covered by Love’s, which built a new gas station/convenience store on the road, just north of U.S. 24.

• approved a motion directing the law director to draft legislation extending the city’s recycling contract with Werlor Waste Control for three years.

• passed a motion authorizing an application for a body-worn cameras grant for the police department.

• approved a motion agreeing to extend a moratorium on certain residential building fees for another year.

• met in executive session to discuss personnel.

• heard Council Member Molly Knepley compliment the Napoleon Fire Department for its preschool field trip.

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