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Published: Friday, 10/12/2007

FedEx seeks zoning for Rossford truck lot

BY JC REINDL
BLADE STAFF WRITER

As part of its plan to possibly build a new regional hub in Perrysburg Township, FedEx Ground is looking to put a truck parking lot and staging area next to the Ohio Turnpike.

The lot would be used for assembling or disassembling triple-trailer rigs into singles or double tandems, FedEx spokesman David Westrick said yesterday.

The smaller rigs then could be driven 1.5 miles north to the I-75 Buck Road exit, near where the package shipper is considering building an $87 million hub facility.

Triple tandem trailers are important to FedEx Ground s business, and while they can travel on the Ohio Turnpike, they are not permitted on I-75, Mr. Westrick said.

The Ohio Turnpike and Indiana Toll Road are the only roads east of the Mississippi River upon which triple tandems are allowed.

The firm s present hub facility is located in South Toledo on Reynolds Road near Angola Road and has about 400 employees. Though FedEx last week applied for a tax abatement to construct its new larger regional hub in Perrysburg Township, it claims it has not committed to building there, and continues to look at other sites.

The FedEx spokesman said the Rossford truck lot is part of the overall plan for the Perrysburg Township hub. In preparation for the truck lot, FedEx Ground filed a request last month with Rossford to change the zoning of two parcels that total about 44 acres from planned commercial district to planned industrial district.

The parcels are adjacent to the turnpike s Exit 64 toll plaza and on the east side of Bates Road. Their owner is listed as the late Mason Rowley of Perrysburg.

The zoning proposal is scheduled to go before Rossford s Planning Commission on Nov. 14.

Bates Road resident Paul Peters, who lives across from the proposed lot, said he is against the truck project and is considering hiring an attorney. Mr. Peters said he is concerned that the facility s noise and pollution would go above and beyond what he and his neighbors already face with the nearby highways.

I m not pleased with it for the simple fact that we ll be dealing with the fumes and the noise, he said. It s going to be 24 hours a day; they re going to be dropping trailers in and picking trailers up.

FedEx officials say that once the site is chosen, work on the new regional hub could begin as early as next month and finish in June, 2009.

In a last-ditch effort to keep FedEx Ground s hub in Toledo, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner in June offered the company the right to drive triple-trailer rigs on Rey nolds Road. Then when FedEx appeared more likely to build in Perrysburg Township than expand in Toledo, Mr. Finkbeiner accused Wood County and the township of poaching Toledo businesses and threatened to block FedEx s tax abatement and incentive applications.

But gradually things simmered down. Last month, Toledo and Perrysburg Township agreed in principle to a joint economic development district in which they would share a 2.25 percent payroll income tax.

FedEx Ground s income tax is said to yield about $200,000 annually for Toledo.

Contact JC Reindl at: jreindl@theblade.com or 419-724-6065.



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