City might sell pair of properties

Cary Ashby • May 6, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Norwalk Zoning Officer Mitch Loughton is recommending the city sell two properties by bids.

Those two properties are the site of the former foundry, 53 Newton St., and the old DeForest house, 80 E. Seminary St. 

During the council work session Tuesday, Loughton said the house, similar to the former foundry site, is of no use to the city, “so it’s a good one to sell.” About 2015 or 2016, the East Seminary Street home was taken off the National Register of Historical Places.

Appraised at $51,790 by the Huron County Auditor’s Office, 80 E. Seminary St. has three parcels and is on .65 acres, Loughton said. The city has owned the property since 2000.

The site of of the former foundry has been appraised at $64,270, has four parcels and is on 2.45 acres, Loughton told council. The property is zoned for manufacturing business.

“It was a brownfield project. After all the work was done, we took ownership of it. It was given to us (in 2009). … We didn’t pay any money for it,” Loughton said after the meeting. “We are paying property tax on both (properties).”

A brownfield project is an industrial or commercial site that may need environmental remediation and where there may be some environmental contamination. Often the properties are unused and/or vacant.

The possible sale of the properties via bids is part of two ordinances being proposed to council. Finance director Michelle Reeder said the proceeds will go into the capital investment fund.

Council will decide the matter in a future meeting.

In other council action Tuesday, Reeder requested several supplements to the 2019 budget.

The finance director is requesting a $12,000 supplemental from the land acquisition and physical improvement fund. The money will go toward a $17,900 project for ceiling renovation and railing replacement work at the Perkins Family Gymnasium, the former recreation center on East Monroe Street. According to city hall records, “one-third of the cost is required to be a match from the general improvement fund.”

As a result, Reeder is requesting a $6,000 supplemental from the general improvement fund. According to city hall records, “the remaining $6,730 supplemental is for payments owned on the job creation tax credits and enterprise zone records for tax year 2018.”

In addition, the finance director requested a $3,000 supplemental from the aquatic fund to purchase exercise equipment. Reeder, in an April 23 letter to the mayor, said “there is off-setting revenue to cover this expense” due to a donation received in March.

Reeder also is requesting a $33,690 budget supplement for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Natureworks grant to create a path around the soccer field at Sofios Family Park. She told council the general services department will install the trail and ODNR will reimburse 100 percent of the money once the project is complete. The budget supplement would be for the parks and recreation fund.

Finally, the finance director has requested a $10,000 supplement from the safety-service director’s budget to hire an outside law firm to continue union negotiations with the Norwalk Fire Department.

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