Last updated: March 31. 2014 9:59PM - 1018 Views
By William Laney wlaney@civitasmedia.com

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LIMA — After nearly a month to review proposed legislation, Lima residents will need support from each ward and hundreds of dollars to honor a person with the “naming” of a street.

Lima City Council Public Works Committee members approved several changes to the proposed legislation, which would permit a second sign on street posts to honor a person. The street sign would be honorary and would not affect the address for mailing or tax purposes.

“I think it was a good review and I think it was good that it stayed in committee,” said 5th Ward Councilor Teresa Adams, who chairs the committee. “The Engineering Department reviewed the numbers in regard to the manpower and the costs and something that was written seven years ago of $300 is now up to $450 and if the application gets approved by the Traffic Commission and passed by City Council then those people will be responsible for another $200 to pay for materials and installation.”

Public Works Director J. Howard Elstro presented a more detailed breakdown of the costs, which showed the major costs would be $200 for public notification, $108 for review of the application and $81 for a city engineer to create a report.

During a meeting on March 3, committee members struggled with a set fee to apply for the honorary street name and the required number of signatures for the application to be considered by the city Traffic Commission and City Council.

First Ward Councilor Todd Gordon, 4th Ward Councilor Tom Tebben and Adams also supported two other requirements, including five signatures of support from each of the city’s seven wards for a total of 35 signatures. Adams said people could rely on neighborhood groups to help get the name and this would encourage them to provide background to Lima residents about the person to be honored.

The second is the honorary street name would need the support of a simple majority of the property owners along the street where signs are to be posted. Adams called this the 50 percent plus one rule. At the March 3 meeting, committee members discussed requiring 75 percent approval from the property owners on the street to have the honorary name added.

The proposed ordinance continues to provide three signs for a two block section of a street.

“As it stands right now, the honorary street name would stay up for five years and then the renewal process is the same way — there would be a fee, signatures, the whole process starts over,” Adams said. “As Councilor Gordon mentioned, there would be new signs made to replace the ones that had been up for five years and those would be returned to the original applicant.”

Adams anticipates Law Director Tony Geiger will provide an ordinance for city councilors to vote on in late April or early May with the committee’s formal recommendation.

Elstro also provided a stormwater update, which showed $2.1 million was spent in 2013 on improvements and $2 million was collected. He said 75 percent of the cost was $827,080, or 39 percent, for engineering, administration, maintenance and labor and $770,305, or 36 percent, on materials.

He said the city is required by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to be in compliance with municipal separate storm sewer system permits and must provide an annual report in March.

“It was positive what we have been able to accomplish and how we have been able to help citizens,” Adams said. “Like councilor Tebben said before it had to be an emergency before we could spend funds. This helped give hope to some water issues.”

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