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City Council honors food family matriarch

The intersection of Front and Consaul streets, known to Toledoans as the location of Tony Packo's, is now officially Nancy Packo's Way.

Toledo City Council voted to add new signs to the corner - which already bear signs honoring the Rev. Martin Hernady - in honor of Nancy Packo Horvath, the late matriarch of the Packo family.

“She would be glowing,” said her son, Robin Horvath, who attended yesterday's council meeting with his wife, Terrie, and daughter, Brittany, 14. “Being recognized this way would be the ultimate to her.”

He said his mother wouldn't be bothered by the use of her better known maiden name, and neither is he. He noted she was listed in the phone book under both names.

Mrs. Horvath, former co-owner of Tony Packo's Cafe and founder of the Tony Packo Food Co., died last Wednesday of cancer in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township. She was 70.

Council has had the honorary street-renaming on its agenda for several weeks, but delayed acting on it until after Mrs. Horvath's death, in order to protect her privacy, council members said. Mr. Horvath also said that the family believed such an honor was appropriate only for a person who had died.

The metal signs in red, white, and green will be posted on four poles at the intersection. Consaul Street is already decorated with honorary street signs for the late Father Hernady, longtime pastor of the Hungarian community Birmingham neighborhood.

Council members recalled Mrs. Horvath's community involvement and dedication to the family business.

Councilman Bob McCloskey called her “one of the hardest working women I ever met in my life.”

Also last night council approved an emergency payment of $58,000 to help CitiFest, Inc., pay bills, and it voted to object to the renewal of a liquor permit for Harry's Sports Center bar at 3325 Lagrange St.

An ordinance “walked on” to council's agenda and approved unanimously last night awards $58,000 to CitiFest after negotiations with a sponsor failed to yield a commitment by last week, according to acting director Julie Champa.

Ms. Champa said CitiFest typically receives $100,000 a year from the city. She declined to identify the sponsor, saying they were still talking.

Councilman Michael Ashford said the CitiFest board asked for the help to pay a series of bills, including insurance payments and salaries. He said the board is discussing merging with the Erie Street Market Development Board. That board voted in March to disband and return control of the market to the city.

Council voted unanimously to oppose renewal of a liquor permit for Harry's Sports Center in response to complaints from Lagrange Village Council over what it says is a pattern of tolerating drug-dealing, prostitution, and disorderly behavior.

Vice Detective Al Jones said that there were 26 reports of crimes at the bar's address in 2002, of which 22 allegedly occurred inside. On April 18, police made an undercover drug buy of crack cocaine, powdered cocaine, and marijuana.

“We're trying to revitalize the neighborhood,” said Jennifer Wise, who runs the village council's “weed and seed” program that pays for extra police presence in the neighborhood.

The permit is up for automatic renewal June 1. Council can trigger a hearing if it notifies the state of its objection by tomorrow, council President Louis Escobar said.

Owner Ken Bak complained that he was notified Thursday of yesterday's planned action, and said he didn't have time to get representation.

The liquor permit was one of six on council's agenda, but the only one that council agreed to oppose through the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.

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