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Mayor urges vote on tow lot

Mayor Jack Ford urged City Council yesterday to act quickly on two proposed ordinances to set up a 35-acre police tow lot in North Toledo.

His request could put him on a political collision course with Republicans on council who want to put off a vote until March 22 so a public hearing can be held.

The mayor warned the city budget is counting on the tow lot generating $454,000 in revenue this year. But the longer the lot is delayed, the less money the city will get.

Council passed an ordinance in January allowing the city to run a tow lot. However, the lot still faces several hurdles. Now awaiting action are two ordinances to purchase a 35-acre site on Dura Avenue for $700,000 and to borrow $2.8 million to purchase and develop the site. The ordinances were referred last week to the finance committee for a hearing.

Council Finance Chairman George Sarantou said he scheduled a hearing for March 17 because other members of council have questions about the proposed lot, and because the lawyer representing existing tow operators is out of town this week.

The existing 16 tow operators have fought the plan, which will deprive them of the business of storing towed vehicles.

In addition to those three ordinances, the city needs approval from the Toledo Plan Commission of a special-use permit for a tow lot. The plan commission takes up the issue March 10. From there, it is scheduled for a hearing of city council's zoning and planning committee April 13.

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