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Published: Thursday, 1/29/2004

Rossford: School land annexation sought

BY JANET ROMAKER
AND ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

Rossford City Council has consented to an annexation petition by the Rossford Exempted Village Board of Education for the annexation of 45 acres of school-owned land from Perrysburg Township into the city.

Glenwood Elementary School in the Rossford school district is situated on the land on the east side of Lime City Road, north of State Rt. 795.

James Rossler, treasurer for Rossford schools, said that when the school board tapped into the Rossford city water line about seven years ago, the board reached an agreement with the city about the annexation of the school-owned land. Under that agreement, annexation of the school property could occur when property contiguous to it became part of the city of Rossford, he said.

Real estate taxes on the property will go to Perrysburg Township “forever,” Rossford law director Keith Wilkowski said at the City Council meeting this week, if the use of the land ever changes. Schools do not pay real estate taxes.

Rossford Mayor Bill Verbosky said, “Hopefully it will remain a school for a very long time.”

But Rossford will get income tax from school employees who don t live in the city. “That will become a new source of income tax for the city,” Councilman Kenneth Hermes said.

Laurie Sabin, acting Rossford city administrator, said she doesn t know how much money that amounts to.

Perrysburg Township tustees Barbara Gunn and Bob Mack, and Township Administrator John Hrosko declined to comment about the annexation.

Wood County commissioners are to consider the annexation petition on Feb. 10, but Mr. Wilkowski said they don t have any discretion whether to approve it or not. It s under 500 acres, it s a “100 percent petition” because all the property owners approve – in this case there s only one owner. “The township will have an opportunity, if it wants to, to consent,” he said. But there s “not really a basis for an objection.”

Based on a 1998 Ohio Supreme Court ruling, municipal-service issues take a back seat to what the property owners want in an annexation case.

If the city approves a land use for the annexed land that is clearly incompatible with the adjacent land, a buffer zone would be required, based on a resolution also approved by the city Monday night. Because the adjacent land is residential/agriculture, there is no problem at this time.

The council also agreed to provide a variety of services to the proposed annexed territory, including water, sewer, public works, planning and zoning, police, fire, and rescue services.

Votes on the three resolutions related to the annexation petition were unanimous.



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