Metamora is going to allow a regional land conservancy to explore the idea of selling the reservoir.
The village council heard a presentation Oct. 17 by Rob Krain, executive director of the Black Swamp Conservancy, about some farmland an unnamed person wishes to donate. Krain offered some options about the farmland and the reservoir before council made its decision.
The conservancy is a regional non-profit organization working to protect farmland and set up park lands.
The conservancy has been approached by a landowner willing to donate their farm to the conservancy in hopes it would be developed into a nature preserve. Historically, the conservancy works together with local park districts, townships and villages to help establish a park and then hand it off to them.
One option is it could donate the land to the village to be farmland forever, Krain said.
He approached Amboy Township trustees who weren’t interested in the donated land being developed into a park, but did pitch an option of acquiring the Metamora reservoir and running it as a park; naming it after the donor and maintaining it with proceeds from the sale of the donated farm land.
The landowner has yet to be involved with this option.
Alternatively, there is the idea of the village retaining the reservoir, the conservancy would facilitate the donation of the farmland to the village with restrictions that it would have to be farmland forever or turned into natural habitat. Rental proceeds from the donated farm must be used exclusively to operate the park.
If village would prefer selling the reservoir, the conservancy, through grant programs they work with, are generally able to pay 70 percent of the appraised value.
Council member Richard Sauerlender was not sure village wants to be a landlord, but could see the plus side of selling the reservoir. The conservancy would pay the cost to appraise the reservoir and all associated selling costs.
Council member John Hudik asked council to step back from a decision now and take time to review all options. Hudik had some concerns with giving up a source of water, in the event someday the village would need to produce water again.
Most thought it would be economically impossible for Metamora to restart the water plant.
Council voted to allow Krain to pursue viable options for the sale of the reservoir.
In other news:
Fire Chief Ray Kelble is concerned with recent information provided him that involved closing off access from the park to Garnsey Avenue and Shawnee Drive.
The chief’s concern is if the bridge were to go out how would fire and emergency vehicles get to Garnsey and Shawnee residences? Access from Memorial Drive.
Mayor Wysong said the back of the park would always be accessible to emergency vehicles from Memorial Drive to Garnsey.
The village’s only discussion was to close the parking lot behind left field on the north ball field. Access would remain north along Shelter C around backside of north ball field to Garnsey.
Kelble questioned closing the parking lot. He would like to see it extended with road base all the way around to Garnsey, thus permitting fire access during all types of weather.
Wysong said the purchase of the five acres on the west side of the park, allows for most of the parking to occur there, thus keeping most of the park traffic-free, and pedestrian safe.
Sauerlender said a fire lane may be fitting, and will be included in development plans.
The Personnel and Finance Committee reviewed the year to date cost of $2,700 to pick up brush on a weekly basis and agreed to continue weekly service, Council member Justin Kreischer said.
The refuse franchise agreement is up for renewal at the end of March 2017. The committee recommends retaining Advanced Sanitation for a 2-year agreement if prices remain the same.
John Pupos said Sue Stough told him it hadn’t been out for bid in five years or more and legally we may have to put it out for bid again.
The current franchise agreement provides village use of two free Dumpsters. Stough to ask solicitor if village legally has to bid out “Refuse Franchise Agreement.”
Hudik shared the Lands and Buildings Committee Report:
I&I – Saurelender said he is unable to see all sewer lines in videos. Street Superintendent Chip Vance used tape to locate sewer line and an infiltration.
Road Repair – Reviewed additional $695 quote from Premier Patching to make large crack repairs on Wildflower Drive and Swanton Street.
Kreischer said some repair locations were missed and would like Vance to make sure they are taken care of before the additional 500 pounds is used.
Park Gates –recommend installing removable bollards to open gates for pedestrians. Sauerlender motioned to spend up to $300- to revise gate.
Bridge – Hudik inquired about weight limits on bridges in town. ODOT just completed bridge inspections this year, but the village has not as yet received the report. The village didn’t receive the 2015 bridge report, Vance asked for 2015 report when they were in town doing this year’s inspection. He can review previous bridge reports for weight limits. Hudik suggested load limit signs posted on bridges.
Street Superintendent Report
Verbal quote from Mike Anderzack for $50,000 to $100,000 remove clear well.
Council approved $175 to replace light on park entrance.
Fulton County Public Utilities Director Ziad Musallam forwarded info on a Lagoon Workshop offered in Defiance by the Ohio Water Environment Association. Registration fee $50 and offers six contact hours for the operator. Vance said it would be beneficial to attend.
Council agreed to allow Vance to attend workshop and the village to pay the registration fee. In addition, Vance will receive two hours of travel time (at straight pay) and eight hours of straight pay to attend the all-day workshop.
The Fulton County Health Department would like to give council a presentation on the impact of marijuana dispensaries. Council agreed to schedule presentation at a future date.
•Sheriff’s Report – Deputies spent a total of 43 hours patrolling Metamora during September. They spent 14 hours in the morning, 13.5 hours in the afternoon and 15.5 hours on the midnight shift. Officers handled 13 complaints and one accident.
•EPA sent approval notice of PTI for solar bee.
•Pipeline Safety Survey – mayor will complete