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Published: Tuesday, 6/6/2006

Oregon close to vote on purchase of 56 acres

Oregon City Council is close to acquiring 56 acres next to the city recreation complex after discussing at last night's committee of the whole meeting whether to authorize the mayor and finance director to buy the land.

The city plans to take out a loan for up to 10 years to pay for the property that costs $950,000, Finance Director Jim Austermiller said. Council plans to vote on the measure to acquire the land and how to pay for it at its next meeting, June 12.

Council wants to buy the land, which is just east of the William P. Coontz Complex off Seaman Road, for future recreational or city needs.

In other business, each councilman voiced an opinion regarding a resolution that would ask voters to amend the city's charter regarding referendums.

According to the resolution, suggested by Councilman Sandy Bihn, two sections in the city's charter regarding referendums are "inartfully drafted" and "confusing for the public as well as awkward provisions for the city to comply with fully."

The resolution proposed repealing language in the city's charter relating to referendums and replacing it with language found in the Ohio Revised Code. Mrs. Bihn proposed the legislation after council was told a special election for referendums could cost taxpayers up to $100,000.

Several councilmen agreed with Councilman Jerry Peach when he said he wanted the charter to have language specifically relating to the city.

"Instead of making reference to state law - which isn't tailored to the city of Oregon - it might be better to spell out and modify Oregon's charter using language which applies to Oregon," he said.

Oregon Law Director Paul Goldberg said he'd draft several proposals on the charter change for council to consider at the June 19 committee of the whole meeting.



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