Business owner voices concerns over lot purchase

Tiffin City Council members heard concerns from a local business owner about a pending riverfront project during a meeting Tuesday evening.

Shirley Valentine, owner of the building that houses the Kears Speed Shop, 8 Market St., addressed council during public comments about possibly having an easement created — 60-70 feet — to allow trucks to access the back of her building to be loaded and unloaded. The easement would make much of city lot 238 unusable. The lot is to be included in a purchase agreement, that had its second reading Tuesday, for the pending The Tiffin Riverfront Project which includes the creation of a hotel and loft style housing.

Councilman Steve Lepard said he was in support of the riverfront project, but had concerns that Valentine wouldn’t be able to further operate her 49-year-old business.

Lepard made a motion to have the ordinance of the purchase agreement to

be tabled until further information could be obtained. Lepard also initiated the possibility to either sell a portion of lot 238 or the entire lot to Valentine. The motion did not pass due to a lack of a second.

David Zak, president and CEO of Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., along with Ed Hernando gave an update on the Tiffin Riverfront Project. Hernando — a Florida-based developer, entrepreneur and Heidelberg University graduate who is spearheading the riverfront project — said once the purchase agreement is passed by council members, he still will have 30 days to make the project official.

“Time is critical right now,” he said.

Lepard has planned to meet with SIEDC administration and Hernando to ask questions about the project.

Hernando also addressed Valentine’s concerns that having 60 feet in a straight line is feasible, but 60-70 feet in a circumference around the building would be a hinderance to the project.

The third and final reading of the ordinance is to be read in special session at 4 p.m. today.

In another matter, council members approved the passing of an ordinance to respond to petition 907, vacating of an alley running from East Market Street in the First Ward.

Petitions 909 and 910 also were read during the meeting, to vacate allies running between lots 501 and 502, commencing at the southerly right of way line of Adams Street and between lots 479-484 on the east and 483-486 commencing at the northerly right of way line of Frost Parkway. These petitions were given to the Streets, Sidewalk and Sewer Committee for further discussion.

Finance Director Kathleen Kaufman requested legislation to amend the 2018 budget to approve the return of the advance to the Traffic Enhancement Grant in the amount of $72. This request was then given to the Finance Committee for further evaluation.

In other business, council heard:

• The second reading of a resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the Budget Commission authorizing necessary tax levies and certifying them to the County Auditor.

• The first reading of an ordinance to amend section 1501 of Tiffin ordinances to adopt and update the reference to the 2017 Ohio Fire Code.

• The first reading of an ordinance to amend the 2018 budget to appropriate funds for a down payment for the purchase of new finance software.

• The first reading of an ordinance to amend the 2018 budget to appropriate funds for a fire/rescue division ambulance.

• The first reading of an ordinance to respond to petition 908, vacating the alley north of Benner Street, running east from South Sandusky Street located in the Third Ward of the City of Tiffin. Council President Mark Hayes scheduled a public hearing about the petition to vacate of the alley during the Sept. 17 meeting.

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