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Perrysburg to loosen restrictions on political signs

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    Perrysburg Welcome sign on April 26, 2012.

    The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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Perrysburg City Council approved a measure Tuesday that removes some restrictions on the display of political signs.

The amendment passed unanimously, Rick Rettig, a council member, said afterward.

The amendment was offered following a preliminary injunction issued last year by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Helmnick concerning political signs on private property in Perrysburg.

The city’s zoning code previously prohibited any temporary signs more than 60 days before and seven days after an event. City officials interpreted campaign signs, whether for presidential or city council races, as temporary signs that could not be displayed more than 60 days before an election and needing removal within a week afterward.

Chip Pfleghaar, who unsuccessfully ran for Perrysburg City Council, successfully sued the city to end enforcement of that section. Under the revised code, residents will be limited to 44 square feet of temporary signage, but no time limit will be set.

City officials did not comment on the amendment before the council vote, citing pending litigation.

In addition, city council gave a first reading Tuesday to the first version of the 2018 budget. The document is not expected to undergo major changes before the new year.

Perrysburg typically passes a preliminary budget in December, before amending it once the new year starts. This year, with a new mayor starting in January, those changes could be even larger than in past years.

“We’re not going to raise a lot of issues with it at this point,” Jim Matuszak, chair of the city’s finance committee, said, expecting that incoming mayor Tom Mackin will have his own amendments to propose once he is in office. “It will essentially be his budget at this point.”

The city’s general-fund balance is currently scheduled to stay flat, and the budget lacks any large-scale projects.

“There’s nothing like that in this budget,” finance director Dave Creps said. “It’s being as seriously reviewed as any preliminary budget.”

The budget does include about $1.75 million for the city’s new fire station, for which the total cost remains unknown.

“I expect we’ll put more money in there when we amend it in the new year,” he said. 

Some version of the budget will be passed by year’s end, with amendments expected in January. 

Contact Zack Lemon at zlemon@theblade.com419-724-6282 or on Twitter @zack_lemon.

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