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Published: Thursday, 2/26/2004

Oregon: City Council approves capital funds budget

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Oregon City Council unanimously approved this week the city s capital improvements and major projects budget for 2004.

The council also passed a measure formally objecting to the proposed expansion of Envirosafe Services Of Ohio, Inc. s hazardous waste landfill.

The $6 million capital funds budget includes nearly $4.8 million in road, bridge, sidewalk, waterline, and sewer work. It also allocates $80,000 for new police vehicles, which will pay for three new cars in the city police fleet of 12. The city usually purchases six police vehicles each year, officials said.

“Our budget needed to be streamlined this year because of falling revenues, lower returns on our investments, and escalating health care costs,” Councilman James Seaman, head of the finance committee, said.

The city s financial forecast predicts Oregon will earn a quarter of the investment income in 2004 that it earned in 2002, city administrator Ken Filipiak said.

The budget includes $200,000 earmarked for road repair. Councilman Jerry Peach said he would support passing the measure because Mr. Filipiak said more money could be added to that endeavor throughout the year.

“The amount allocated for road repair has really plummeted,” Mr. Peach said. “In the past it has been as much as $800,000.”

The council passed a measure requesting that Mayor Marge Brown take all action necessary to oppose Envirosafe s proposed expansion. The landfill operator has requested that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency allow it to increase the height of its active waste pit by 70 feet. If approved, the height of the landfill cell south of York Street - commonly called Cell M - would be about 120 feet.

“There are some people on the state level who have no idea of our battle,” the mayor said. “This is not just a battle of one person. It is the battle of all the 20,000 people of Oregon.”

In other business, council:

w Cleared the way for a 40-home subdivision to be called The Drake near Pearson Metropark. It granted a zoning change from A-1 agricultural to R-2 medium density for 4775 and 4855 Seaman Rd. near Wynn Road.

w Delayed for 30 days granting a special-use permit for Nextel Communications to operate a cellular communications tower at 4703 Cedar Point Road. The city is waiting for the company to report on any possible interference with Oregon police and fire communications.



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