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Published: Wednesday, 4/20/2005

Perrysburg safety issues, lower debt eyed as goals

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Perrysburg's administration has created a list of goals that includes expanding safety services in the south and west parts of the city, improving railroad safety, and reducing the city's debt.

City Administrator John Alexander generated a list of policies to guide the city after meeting with Mayor Jody Holbrook and other top administrators. He has been circulating the list to City Council members.

"The policies will lend focus and make sure city officials are making informed decisions," he said. "It is meant to provide a road map to the future."

One goal is for the city to upgrade services in the south and west parts of the city. Over the past 15 years, the city's population has grown from about 12,550 to an estimated 19,490 people, and the city's land area has expanded from 8.4 square miles to 9.8 miles. Much of the growth has occurred in the south and west, so officials want to make sure those areas are adequately served by the police and fire departments.

Another safety issue to be examined is procedure at the city's railroad crossings. The city plans to improve its response to train mishaps, its communication with trains, and enforcement of quiet zones.

In the financial realm, the city wants to focus on reducing its debt load while still maintaining its level of services.

"There's a lot of work to be done," Finance Director Dave Creps said. "I think the debt reduction is the biggest thing we have to concern ourselves with."

Some of the things on the policy list are under way, such as an update to the city's planning and zoning code. The city hired a consulting firm last month to help revise the code.

Other goals on the list include:

w●instituting a pay-for-performance system for city employees;

w●assisting O-I in moving its world headquarters from downtown Toledo to Perrysburg;

w●examining whether to create a joint economic development district with Perrysburg Township.

City administrators are having ongoing talks with O-I executives about the headquarters relocation, but O-I has not announced whether it will stay in Toledo, move to the Levis Development Park in Perrysburg, or move to another area.

Tax abatements that Perrysburg offered to O-I on behalf of Perrysburg Township without notifying township officials temporarily stalled discussions between the city and township on a joint economic development district, but administrators from the two entities met last week and discussed the issue.



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