New council president opens busy meeting

New council president opens busy meeting
Lori Feeney

New Philadelphia City Council President Don Kemp with his grandson, Grayson Kemp, who led council in the pledge of allegiance.

                        

Don Kemp opened his first New Philadelphia City Council meeting on Monday, Jan. 13, asking his grandson Grayson Kemp, a local Boy Scout, to lead council in the pledge of allegiance. Kemp began a four-year term as council president on Jan. 1.

Council proceeded with business that included reports by the mayor, law director and several committees. Mayor Joel Day reported Requests for Proposal have been issued, searching for companies or individuals willing to manage Harry Clever Field airport as a Fixed Base Operator. Interested parties should contact city service director Ron McAbier or download the RFP from the city’s website at www.newphilaoh.com. The city’s contract with the current FBO expires in February.

Day also reported the city cemetery board has selected Schoenbrunn Meadows Cemetery as the name for the cemetery that is under construction on Delaware Drive Southeast. He said work will resume when the weather breaks in spring, and the cemetery should be ready to start selling lots in August or September.

Day will travel to Columbus on Feb. 6 to meet with Rep. Brett Hillyer. He and officials from JobsOhio, along with members of Team Northeast Ohio, will discuss the shortcomings of the Howden Buffalo (formerly Joy Manufacturing) property, how to make developers more aware of it and the potential it holds for redevelopment, and why the 13-acre site remains unsold amid numerous reports of interested buyers.

McAbier reported bids will be opened on Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. for work on the Wabash Avenue storm sewer and water-line upgrade. He also said the city is moving into the final design phase for curb and sidewalk improvements on Poplar Avenue.

McAbier further reported Ordinance 753, the Peddler Ordinance, should help residents feel safer by prohibiting peddlers from soliciting before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

Success reported on clean-up case

Law director Marvin Fete reported a first-round success in the probate case that is holding up clean-up of the former site of the Big Scotty gas station, where storage tanks had leaked and contaminated the ground. Fete said the fiduciary of the estate had transferred the real estate into a shell LLC having no assets, thereby hampering efforts at remediation. Because the estate did not notify the appropriate parties at the time of the attempted transfer, the city successfully joined Marsh Industries to have the transfer action rescinded with the court ordering the estate be responsible for the clean-up.

The estate is objecting, and appeals are expected, but Fete said winning this early round was important because only about 2 percent of cases are overturned on appeal.

“It’s very important that the responsible party remain responsible for cleaning that up in a way that protects our citizens, our schools and our industry,” Fete said.

The land is the current site of Marsh Industries.

Feral-cat issue addressed

Kelly Ricklic reported the safety, health and service committee met prior to the council meeting and heard from a resident who is still concerned the proposed ordinance to deal with feral cats will not be effective in addressing the problem. Ricklic said he had been in contact with a member of Dover City Council and has added language from the Dover ordinance into the New Phila ordinance the committee had prepared.

“Dover hasn’t had a problem since they instituted their ordinance last year,” Ricklic said.

Ricklic said the committee is looking at policies in other communities as well to determine which methods have been most effective.

“We don’t want to pass an ordinance and then be unhappy with it,” Ricklic said.


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