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Published: Wednesday, 4/27/2005

Sylvania negotiates new lease agreement

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Changes in a lease agreement for property developed as Fossil Park on Centennial Road have been approved by Sylvania City Council.

The amendments are in line with a proposal by the owner of the property, Hanson Aggregates Midwest Inc., according to Jim Moan, city law director.

The city had sought only to delete a clause that allowed for a one-year cancellation of the lease.

Mr. Moan said the company agreed, but wanted to alter the terms of the lease to a 30-year time frame with two, 30-year extensions, rather than the original 99-year lease.

Mr. Moan said that once the paperwork is signed, the city will submit the amendments to the Olander Park System, which had originally asked that the one-year cancellation clause be eliminated.

Gary Madrzykowski, director of the system, said the cancellation clause had caused trustees of TOPS to question how much money should be invested in improvements at the site if their operation of the site could end with only one-year's notice.

The cancellation clause, he said, was also a detriment in seeking grants from state and federal agencies for funds to improved the park.

Mr. Madrzykowski said it is difficult to secure any grants when a park district has less than at least 25 years of control in a lease agreement.

Without the lease change, he said, most grant applications wouldn't even be considered.

The facility now has no rest rooms or running water.

The park district wants to extend utilities to the site this year and construct a building that will have restrooms and a small office for the staff.

The park has attracted an average of about 20,000 each year even though it has only been open weekends.

Once the building is constructed, the system intends to be open from Wednesday through Sunday.

Fossil Park is at the base of a former stone quarry and Hanson delivers tons of fossil-bearing rocks for people to sift through.

The fossils are held in rocks mined by Hanson from active quarrying operations, but which have no value to the company in its business.

Contact Mike Jones at:

mjones@theblade.com

or 419-724-6096



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