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Published: Wednesday, 8/20/2003

Perrysburg's police chief decides to retire next month

Perrysburg police Chief Nelson Evans, who was left off the invitation list of dignitaries invited to the groundbreaking for the city's new police station, has decided it's time to leave.

His retirement, effective Sept. 16, was announced during City Council's meeting last night. Chief Evans, who has served with the city police division for more than 25 years, has been chief since May, 2000.

He did not attend the council session but said in an interview last night he decided to retire because of “a combination of things,” including changes in health care benefits in his pension program at the end of the year. He said he needed to tap into the retirement system this year or likely would have had to stay five more years to receive the same benefits.

He also cited ongoing issues at city hall, particularly during the last year.

Though there was a lot of finger-pointing going on after the chief wasn't invited to the groundbreaking in June, he said he has had no specific problems with Mayor Jody Holbrook. At the time of the groundbreaking, some city officials said the chief was absent from the ceremony because of an oversight, but some residents contended the matter was related to the arrest by Perrysburg police of the mayor's son on drug charges.

The mayor never asked for special favors, the chief said, noting that even if the mayor had asked, “I never would have done it anyway.”

Mayor Holbrook said he did not ask Chief Evans to retire, and repeated his earlier comments that he did not ask for special favors for his son and took no retaliatory action after his son's arrest.

In other business, council announced fire Chief Dean Woods will retire effective Sept. 5. Interviews with some of the finalists for the job are to be conducted today.

Council also gave first reading to a proposed tax-increment financing structure for a Levis Commons project.

Under the proposal, property tax dollars would be diverted over 10 years from 116 acres in the eastern portion of Levis Commons to repay infrastructure and roadway improvements connected to phase one of the Levis Commons town center project, a mixed-used development of homes, offices, shops, and entertainment venues.

Mayor Holbrook said the infrastructure and road improvements would cost about $4 million. The project is expected to bring 400 to 500 jobs, he said.

Council also approved an agreement with the Northwestern Water and Sewer District that is designed to resolve a variety of issues related to water service in the city and two neighboring townships.

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