Lima council approves alley vacation for downtown Rhodes State project

By Sam Shriver -

LIMA — Another hurdle has been cleared in the downtown Rhodes State College project.

Lima council approved the vacation of an unnamed east-west alley that lies between South Main Street and South Union Street in Lima’s Town Square.

“It is extremely important for us. Current plans have this building over the top of this alleyway, so it’s very critical for us,” said Russell Litke, vice president for finance and business at Rhodes State College.

“We’ve had to work with AEP, Centurylink and Dominion to make sure we meet their needs as well,” Litke said.

Dominion still has to move a natural gas line, and Centurylink will have to have its cabling encased in concrete under the building. Rhodes State College will have to pay AEP to move utilities that are currently in the alley.

There are still other hoops to jump through before ground could be broken.

“We finalized our construction documents. We have submitted them to the state, where we are seeking our building permit,” Litke said. “Once we get that permit from the state, we’ll be able to submit an RFP, a request for proposal, and select a general contractor. Once we get contractors interested in bidding, at that point, we’ll have to get them familiar with the project, with the plans, so they can put together a quote. Once they put together those quotes we’ll be able to review that and present it to our board of trustees. After they’ve selected, or approved, the contractor, we have to get that approval from the state, and at that point, we’ll be able to then award the contract to the successful bidder,” said Litke.

The process from the time a request for a proposal is made to the actual awarding of the contract could take about three months. That would push back groundbreaking to January and possibly February.

“We’re excited to be moving forward. The project is taking a life of its own, and we’re moving forward and we’re excited,” Litke said.

In other business:

• Detective Kent Miller reported on the city crime lab activities.

• Ric Stolly, with the parks and recreation department, gave Lima council a wrap-up of summer activities.

•Randy Kohli, chief park ranger gave council an update on a memorial to be placed at Metzger Reservoir. Elida High School senior Jon Frueh is working to rebuild the William Metzger Memorial as his Eagle Scout project. Metzger is one of two Medal of Honor recipients from Allen County.

By Sam Shriver

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

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