LIMA — Allen County commissioners have rescinded a June resolution permitting the annexation of a mobile home park from Bath Township into the city of Lima while adopting a revised resolution in its place, a move that could greatly impact pending legal action to reverse that annexation.
Commissioners adopted the original resolution after receiving a petition from Dan Campbell, the owner of the Walton Mobile Park on Leonard Avenue. The annexation had involved both the park and a separate parcel to the south. However, Bath Township trustees opposed the move, saying it could cause jurisdictional chaos in regarding to road maintenance and snow removal and that area residents may not want to live in the city.
“People live in the township because that’s where they want to live,” Bath Trustee Bill Degen said after the annexation was originally adopted. “As the city lines get closer to them, they don’t like it. So the residents that were there during that meeting, probably that was their biggest complaint, they didn’t like that the city was creeping closer to their property.”
That disagreement led Bath trustees to file an appeal in court to block the annexation, with part of the argument being that the commissioners’ resolution did not outline how the annexation would meet all the requirements needed to justify an annexation, according to the Ohio Revised Code. Such requirements included whether the benefits of annexation to an area would outweigh any detriments, assurances of the provision of services by the city, and whether it would create a segmented roadway, with different parts of the road under different jurisdictions.
The new resolution, approved Tuesday, enumerates each of the six Ohio Revised Code requirements for annexation, with commissioners asserting that they have all been met.
“Our original resolution did not include all six of those, so after discussions with our attorney on the appeal from the township, it was brought to our attention that it would be better to rescind the original resolution and pass a new one that would outline those six parameters more specifically, so that’s what we did today,” Allen County Commissioner Cory Noonan said.
Michael Rumer, the attorney representing the Bath Township trustees, said that removing the old resolution could render the trustees’ appeal moot, but he would have to go over the new resolution and to meet with the trustees to determine future action, which he said would happen on or after Nov. 11. Such action could include possibly amending the appeal, filing a new appeal or letting the matter drop.
“Whether or not there’s error in [the new resolution] I can’t say, and whether the trustees would want to appeal if there is error, I can’t say until I talk to them,” he said. “I’ll get together with them and we’ll decide what we’re going to do.”