Last night’s city council meeting

Here are my notes from last night’s meeting of Stow City Council:

Carter Lumber property – Council approved the plans for Summit Pentecostal Church to relocate from Munroe Falls to the former Carter Lumber facility near the Graham Road/Route 8 interchange. There are some traffic issues, given the location of the egress driveway, but the church will be using a traffic control police officer, to ensure a smooth process before and after its Sunday morning and Thursday evening services.

Salt problems – The City of Stow — along with almost every other municipality and government body in this area — is facing a salt problem. We are part of a buying consortium, which has been instructed by its Ohio suppliers that only 85K tons of the consortium’s 170K-ton requirements will be available for purchase — and at a 38% price increase. The good news is, Stow is prepared. Our domes are full of 9,500 tons. We are requesting bids from out-of-state suppliers. The price increase is going to hurt (possibly a six-figure budget impact), but not as bad as it might have, had we not been prepared for the supply fluctuation.

Auditor’s award – Ohio auditor Dave Yost’s office presented Stow with his auditor’s award, with distinction. This is an award given to less than 5% of the 6,000 government entities that Yost’s office audits. It’s the “gold standard of record keeping.” Congratulations to Finance Director John Baranek and his team for this honor. Stow residents can be confident that we are doing things right to protect tax dollars.

Duplex legislation – Council took action on the duplex legislation that I proposed. The legislation had two purposes. First, I wanted to tighten up the circumstances where a developer can build a multi-family structure inside a predominantly single-family neighborhood (“Section 1”). Second, I wanted to allow a property owner to rebuild a duplex after a fire (or other event of involuntary destruction), even if the duplex was grandfathered-in as a pre-existing and non-conforming use (“Section 2”). The legislation required 5 votes to overcome the rejection by Planning Commission. … Recognizing that council was not likely to agree on Section 1, I made an amendment to remove it–so we could still pass Section 2. The amendment passed, and the legislation (containing only Section 2) received a favorable 4-2 vote (Lowdermilk, Adaska). Unfortunately, it required 5 votes. So it will not be effective.

Next meeting – Council will meet next on September 27.