ELIDA — A motion passed by Elida Village Council Tuesday night helped relieve some residents’ concerns that they would be assessed hundreds to thousands of dollars to help pay for a major village-initiated project that has been two years in the making.
Due to an ordinance passed by council in 2008, Elida village law requires that property owners be assessed for curb, sidewalk and gutter repairs. With the $1.4 million Greenlawn project waiting in the wings, Village Administrator Dave Metzger brought that law to the attention of council to see whether the legislative body wanted to move forward with those assessments or change the law to avoid those assessments.
“I brought this to council to let them know this is what the law says to do. If they want to change it, they will have to do that. As it is, we have to assess it,” Metzger said.
After a number of heated exchanges between village administration and local residents upset with the possibility of such assessments, Elida council motioned to have Village Solicitor Barry Schroeder prepare legislation amending the village’s language.
According to Schroeder’s reading of the 2008 law, he said the original ordinance was most likely passed to better align village code with the Ohio Revised Code.
Metzger said the Greenlawn project could move forward as early as February depending on what council decides. The $1.4 million project would reconstruct major street infrastructure in the area of Greenlawn Avenue as well as upgrade the three-way intersection of North Street and Crites Place.
Elida has already bid the project, awarded the contract and secured the funding — including a $500,000 grant and a $500,000 no-interest loan — to pay for the project. Metzger said he has held off sending notices of a town hall meeting that would lay out what Elida residents should expect in terms of disruptions from construction until council made a decision on whether it would change the law that would place assessments. Village administration does not have the legal authority to make the decision on assessments.
“I think we need to do what (Councilor Mike) Sebenoler motioned,” Council President Darryl Nichols said. “The ordinance has to be amended. If we tear up 10 feet of sidewalk, we need to fix it.”
Elida Village Council will officially decide on amending the assessment language once the legislation is prepared by Schroeder.
In related news, Councilor Claude Paxton also motioned to update the council’s agenda to better reflect the ordinances it will be considering during its regular scheduled meetings.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.