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Politics

Council mulls selling 4 acres

Union group would build office, maintain property

Toledo City Council reviewed a proposal Tuesday to sell four acres in East Toledo at Ravine Park for just $50 to the Northwestern Ohio Building Trades Council so it can construct a new office building.

As part of the deal, the union group will have to maintain things like grass-cutting and lighting in Tribute Park, which occupies land on the upstream side of the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway East Toledo approach that used to be the site of ramps for the I-280 Front Street interchange.

A kinetic sculpture sits in the park as a tribute to the four ironworkers who died in a crane collapse at the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway construction site in 2004 and a carpenter who died there later that same year.

Bill Burkett, Toledo’s economic development commissioner, said the site was in need of upkeep, particularly lighting, and the union council expressed interest in taking on that role.

The Lucas County Auditor’s website values the 19.2 acres on that site at $381,000.

Mr. Burkett said the four acres is actually worth up to $20,000.

“It is park property so that is never the same as market value,” he said. “They contacted us and said the lights don’t work so they are going to really highlight that part of the park with the monument.”

Shaun Enright, executive secretary and business manager of the trades council, said the four acres the group wants to acquire is away from the park and the monument.

The proposed building would be 6,000 square feet and two stories, he said. The council plans to keep its current office building at 909 Front St.

In other business, the Hicks-Hudson administration told council the city is roughly one-third of the way toward soliciting the $302,000 needed to open and operate five public pools and the splash pad at 645 Vance St. this summer.

Public Service Director Bill Franklin told council that the city has $10,000 in donations for the splash pad. City Finance Director George Sarantou said the city has “verbal commitments” for $115,000 for the 2016 aquatics program.

“Hopefully, by the time pools open, we will have more than that $115,000,” he said.

Mr. Sarantou said there is $300,000 earmarked in the 2016 city budget that can be tapped for pools this summer if donations are not collected.

Toledo plans to open the pools June 25. They are: Roosevelt, 910 Dorr St.; Navarre, 1001 White St.; Willys, 1375 Hillcrest Ave.; Pickford, 3000 Medford Dr.; Wilson, 3253 Otto St., and Jamie Farr, 2140 N. Summit St.

Roosevelt pool is scheduled to open for the day on June 18 for SmithFest.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: imessina@theblade.com or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.

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