August 7, 2003
Council considers selling rentals
Village Council indicated on Monday that it is willing to sell one of the Village’s residential rental properties to the tenants. Council also said that it wanted to find a legal way to sell its other rental property.
Earlier this year Council agreed to sell the Village’s two residential rental properties, a move that followed a recommendation from the ad hoc blue ribbon finance committee.
The committee, which studied the Village’s budget and capital improvement needs, released a lengthy report in January on ways the Village could cut costs and raise revenue. Selling the rental properties was one way the committee said the Village could raise cash to fund capital projects.
At Council’s meeting Aug. 4, Village Manager Rob Hillard reported that, based on information provided by Village Solicitor John Chambers, the Village could sell the Village’s property at 1274 State Route 343 in Miami Township to the tenants, Jamie Sharp and J.J. Yates, with the appropriate legislation and if the house was sold at fair market value. Sharp and Yates, who have rented the house for 11 years, told Council on Monday that they are interested in buying the property.
An appraisal of the property by Sheridan & Associates of Cedarville estimated the property’s value is $115,000. Sharp and Yates said that the appraisal was high. The Greene County auditor’s office appraised the property at $41,490.
Council member Joan Horn said that she “would like to see us go ahead” with the sale of the house.
While Council wants to sell its other rental property, 1140 State Route 343, it may not be able to. The property, located in Miami Township, also includes the Village public works garage and is bordered on farmland that the Village owns but is controlled with a conservation easement. The Miami Township Zoning Code requires a three-acre minimum for lot splits, making it difficult to create a new parcel for the house.
Council said that it would ask Tecumseh Land Trust, which holds the conservation easement on the Sutton Farm, about amending the easement to allow the Village to create a new parcel so it could sell the house.
The house’s tenant, Terry Cox, the Village parks and recreation director, said that he and his family may be interested in purchasing the house. If they are not, he said, they would like to be able to rent the house for one or two more years, which, he said, would give them time to “move on.”
Council president Tony Arnett told Cox, “It was Council’s intention to relieve itself of the property, but we didn’t want to create an undue hardship for the tenants.”
Sheridan appraised the property at $185,000, while the Greene County auditor lists the parcel’s appraised value at $105,950.
Several Council members said that they thought Sheridan’s appraisals were high. Council agreed to get a second appraisal on both properties before taking further action.
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Building a basin on the farm is viewed as one possible way to curb flooding that occurs on the north end of town, when water in an unnamed creek that runs through the Glass Farm spills over its banks.
Council member Joan Horn volunteered to survey other homeowners in that neighborhood to determine who else has a problem with flooding.
• Council approved 4–0 the first reading of an ordinance reducing to two years the terms of members of the Village Human Relations Commission. Currently, commission members serve four-year terms. Council member Denise Swinger was absent.
Horn, who serves as Council’s representative on the commission, recommended the action after HRC members said it would strengthen the pool of candidates who apply for the board. A second reading and public hearing on the measure will take place at Council’s next meeting, Aug. 18.
• Council approved 4–0 a resolution formally stating from what funds the Village pays off its debt on the remodeling of the Bryan Community Center. The multi-fund, or general fund, and the parks fund pay 37.5 percent of the bond, and the electric fund pays 25 percent. Though the Village has used this formula since 1998, it never formalized it through legislation.
• Hillard presented a quarterly financial report that showed that revenue and expenditures are generally meeting projections in this year’s Village budget.
• Council agreed for now not to place on the November ballot an initiative that would ask voters for the authority to tax earnings from out-of-state corporations. The Ohio Legislature approved a measure requiring Ohio municipalities to ask voters for permission to collect such taxes. Council said it wanted more information on the issue from Village Solicitor Chambers.
To get the question on the ballot, Council would have to pass an ordinance at its meeting Aug. 18. It is unclear whether the tax issue would financially affect the Village.
• Hillard introduced a survey the Village Solid Waste Task Force will distribute to local residents and businesses to gauge the community’s opinion about the annual brush pickup, spring cleanup and the used motor oil station at the Bryan Center. Council suspended the brush pickup and spring cleanup this year for financial reasons.
The survey will be distributed by next week with the Village’s 2002 annual report. Responses to the survey are due by Sept. 1.
• Council agreed to appoint Andrew Cook to the Village Environmental Commission. His term expires on March 31, 2004. At its last meeting, July 21, Council appointed Matt Reed to the commission. His term expires at the end of 2004.