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Published: Thursday, 7/24/2008

Findlay tire dump issue on Nov. ballot

FINDLAY - An initiative seeking to reverse a decision by the city of Findlay to lease the former Brandman Tire dump site and Swale Park to a developer will be on the November ballot.

Lori Miller, deputy director for the Hancock County Board of Elections, said the petition sponsors gathered 1,771 valid signatures, well more than the 1,238 required to get the issue on the ballot.

The group that worked to get the issue on the ballot said it feared developing the flood-prone site near downtown would exacerbate flooding problems along the Blanchard River.

Voters will be asked to reverse an ordinance passed by City Council in November that authorized leasing the city-owned property to the Thayer Group, of Lexington, Ky., which is planning a $90 million office, retail, residential, and recreational development.

The three-part initiative also seeks a requirement that city voters decide any future development proposals for the land and a prohibition on council from making any decisions on development there as "emergency" legislation. When council passes ordinances as emergencies, it does not have three readings of the legislation at three separate meetings.

City Law Director Dave Hackenberg has said he did not think the initiative would be enforceable if approved by voters, but said any legal challenges would come after the election.

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