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Published: Tuesday, 7/9/2013

Plan to buy E. Toledo homes near water plant put on hold


A city project to use $700,000 to buy homes near an East Toledo municipal drinking water plant has been put on hold after a 11-1 vote in Toledo City Council today. 

Councilman Tom Waniewski cast the dissenting vote, while all other council members voted to disappropriate all money not yet spent for the project.

The funds were intended to buy property near the Collins Park Avenue water treatment plant for renovation and expansion purposes. Council members authorized the funds earlier this year, but many changed their minds after councilman Shaun Enright introduced legislation two weeks ago to rescind the uncommitted portion of the funding.

The project has been controversial, with several Collins Park Avenue residents attending a city council hearing two weeks ago, some expressing opposition to selling their property. There were 28 homes targeted for expansion in the project.

Gerald Dendinger, clerk of council, read a letter from Mayor Mike Bell during the meeting. Mayor Bell vetoed the ordinance to disappropriate the unencumbered funds, calling expansion 'inevitable' and explaining that his administration has not “threatened” any residents about selling their homes to the city.

The city is under contract with three property owners.

Councilman D. Michael Collins said the vote essentially stops the negotiation and purchasing process.

“It freezes everything,” he said.

The city plans to meet again with residents of the street Thursday.

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