Rhodes seeks alley vacation for downtown project

Groundbreaking set for December or January

By Sam Shriver - sshriver@limanews.com

LIMA —Rhodes State College has filed a petition to vacate a portion of an east-west alley off South Main Street on Lima’s town square. It’s another sign that the college is moving forward with its downtown Lima project.

Not everyone was in favor of the alley vacation initially.

Centurylink formally objected because they have an underground duct run in the alley that consists of seven fiber optic cables and 12 copper cables. Moving these lines would be “very costly,” they said.

AEP Ohio also objected to the alley vacation saying the relocation of three-phase primary and secondary overhead lines running east and west through the proposed alley would mean they would have to move these lines and would expect compensation if that happens.

Dominion Energy expressed no objections, but did acknowledge they currently have a steel mainline in that alley that is part of their belt line around Lima.

“We have three utilities we’re working with and we’ve worked out agreements with them to where we’ll have to do a few things. … We’re satisfied we’ll meet what they need so we can build our building over the top and they’ll still have their utilities underneath the building,” said Russell Litke, vice president for finance and business with Rhodes State College.

A public hearing on the alley vacation request is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 21 in City Council chambers.

Rhodes State hopes to break ground on the downtown project in December or January.

In other action:

Lima Council voted to repeal a couple of previously passed ordinances surrounding special assessments connected to a PACE loan given to M & M Investing, LLC to make certain “energy efficiency improvements” to the 318 Restaurant and Bar at 318 N. Main Street in Lima.

The City of Lima had created an Energy Special Improvement District and the owners, which included Sam McLean, 2nd Ward Lima councilman and former councilman Ray Magnus, had to withdraw their application after it was determined that the contractors on the project did not pay workers a “prevailing wage” for their work.

“Whenever they brought this to us as a package they never mentioned the fact that we needed prevailing wage,” said McLean. “So we found out this after all of the paperwork had been done. That’s what stopped us from going further with that. We didn’t need the money. We thought we would use it as a crutch so we just didn’t accept it.”

The amount of money involved was $100,000.

McLean sold his interest in the 318 Restaurant and Bar to Magnus in July of this year and was not prohibited by council rules from voting on the measure.

• Council approved a resolution with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the resurfacing of State Route 117 which included Elm Street from Woodlawn Avenue to Bellefontaine Avenue and Bellefontaine Avenue to Interstate 75. The work should be completed sometime in 2020.

“This is one of the programs that ODOT offers that we are certainly grateful for. There is a substantial local match that the City of Lima must come up with,” said Howard Elstro, Lima Public Works Director.

The city will pay 20% of the estimated project, about $157,000. The city will pay 100%, or $150,000, for the replacement of non-conforming ADA ramps along the route.

• Council also passed resolutions congratulating the Lima Locos for winning the Great Lakes Collegiate League championship and expressing appreciation to Fathers Michael S. Houston and Jim Szobonya for their service to the Lima community through their work within the Catholic church.

Groundbreaking set for December or January

By Sam Shriver


Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

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