More economic development could be on the way in Rossford.
Rossford City Council voted 4-3 Wednesday night to approve an ordinance to rezone 200-300 acres of agricultural land on Lime City Road near Mandell Road to industrial and commercial. Mayor Neil MacKinnon has eyed the parcel for development, saying Rossford needs jobs.
“The top site selection people I talk to say it's primed for jobs and industry,” Mayor MacKinnon said. “I know we can do this responsibly.”
The legislation initially failed after a 6-0 vote last month, but Mayor MacKinnon urged council to reconsider. They agreed after zoning inspector Mark Zuchowski and NAI Harmon developer Dallas Paul advocated for the rezoning at the Dec. 11 meeting.
NAI Harmon has invested nearly $200 million in Rossford in recent years with plans for an entertainment district near Hollywood Casino and a business park at the Crossroads.
Residents have complained Lime City’s condition is not suitable for heavy traffic or trucks, and others have advocated for a housing development to go in the space. Mayor MacKinnon said residential developers have made it clear to him they’re not interested. He also said any developer wishing to build on the land can be forced to improve the road, and assured the citizens of Rossford they won’t foot the bill.
Councilman Robert Ruse says the rezoning runs counter to what a 1993 land-use plan suggests for the area.
“We have a school at both ends of the road and a church in the middle,” he said. “We have a road in dire need of repair. To add to that at this point, I don't think is the best choice.”
Council also voted 4-3 to establish a city-wide storm-water sewer utility. Homeowners will see an additional charge of $4 a month on their water bills.
The charge is calculated using Equivalent Residential Units (ERUs). City Administrator Mike Scott said homes would count as one ERU, while larger businesses would count as more. The utility will bring in as estimated $450,000 annually, or $2.25 million over five years.
Money raised from the measure is part of a three-pronged approach to fund street repairs; the other two methods are taking excess funds from the city's reserves and raising the income tax rate.
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