On Tuesday night, Elida village council will consider whether to assess property owners for certain costs relating to projects initiated by the village. In the last council meeting, the mayor and village administrator proposed that assessments be used to defray particular costs of what has come to be known as “The Greenlawn Project.”
As stated on the Elida village website, “The Greenlawn Street Reconstruction project will consist of full-depth road reconstruction including storm sewer, waterline, limited sanitary sewer, sidewalks, drives and curbs along with pavement planning and asphalt resurfacing.”
In the last meeting, council members were presented copies of information concerning Ordinance 775-98, which includes the assignment of certain costs to property owners, including the costs of maintenance and repair or replacement of sidewalks, curbs and gutters upon council’s determination of a need for the work to be completed.
A preliminary proposal of assessments was presented to the council which range from a low of $399 to a high of $8,001. The properties involved are located in the area from 216 N. Greenlawn Ave. to 114 S. Greenlawn Ave., including certain properties located at the corners of Greenlawn at Main and North streets.
The village solicitor has determined that the ordinance applies to village-initiated projects and indicated that if council does not want to apply the ordinance to this project, a legislative remedy is needed. During council discussion, no one was able to point to similar cases in which this ordinance has been applied. The most recent projects, the North Street and Main Street projects, were pointed out as examples in which assessments were not assigned. Furthermore, there is no statement in the ordinance which indicates any intent to apply the ordinance in such a situation.
It has been my observation that council is reluctant to assess property owners for construction costs resulting from village-initiated projects. Nevertheless, there does seem to be a consensus that if we do take this step, it should apply to all such village projects in the future.
I do not believe that Elida village council is currently prepared to take this step. It is my position that before we consider taking such action, we need to have a long-range plan with stated goals and must consider all funding options. I therefore intend to make a motion that council request legislation be be prepared to amend or replace Ordinance 775-98 to state that this ordinance does not apply to village-initiated projects.
I invite all interested persons to attend the meeting, which will be held in the new Elida Village Town Hall, located at 406 E. Main St. The meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Claude Paxton is a member of Elida Village Council. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org