The Press Newspaper
Ken Gilsdorf, community affairs and safety representative for CSX, submitted the offer last week in a letter to the trustees.
“CSX Transportation would like to make a cash incentive offer to permanently close Walbridge Road and turn it into a private road owned by CSX Transportation,” the letter says.
Conditions of the closure are:
• CSX will allow fire, police, and emergency medical service vehicles to use the private crossing in an emergency when “practicable,” the letter says. “This may not be feasible in an emergency situation if our train crews cannot clear up the grade crossing in a reasonable time.”
• CSX will remove public crossing warning devices and replace them with private warning devices at its expense.
• Road closed signs will be placed on both sides of the street.
For Lake High School, it has been a year of adjustments for students and administrators. The district raced against the clock to open a new high school facility on the Owens Community College Campus after the June 5 EF4 tornado destroyed the high school building.
Principal Lee Herman said, for the most part, the transition for staff and students has been fairly smooth.
“It is going pretty well,” Herman said. “Kids are resilient. The first few days of classes was kind of like freshman orientation for everyone. Everyone had to figure out where their classes were, etc. For the short amount of time we had to get the school up and running, it really is going well.”
In June, Owens offered the Lake Local Schools the college’s former Owens Center for Development and Training building, located on Tracy Rd., in Northwood, to house a temporary high school.
According to Herman, the district placed temporary walls inside the building to create enough classrooms to house the 450 students in grades 9-12. As a result, hallways became narrower and an “odd traffic pattern” took some getting used to.
Mike Beazley, Oregon City Administrator, would like to clarify some information provided by the city tax department and printed in a column last week by John Szozda. While income tax revenue in 2009 decreased 10.6 percent, the total included a one-time repayment of $1.5 million to a company that overpaid its taxes in 2008 by $2 million.
Beazley said income tax revenue for 2007-2009 was “fairly flat but slightly declining,” while revenue in 2010 is tracking about 10 percent less than 2009 for an expected total of $15.5 million.
Lucas County auditor Anita Lopez disagrees with any proposal to re-evaluate real estate property on an annual basis.
“If we get into the habit of trying to adjust the values every year, during the tough times, and then during the good times do we want the values to go up every year as the market improves? So, do you really want to identify trends in the market?” Lopez said.
“Citizens aren’t going to like that either, say, when unemployment decreases, income starts to solidify again, people start buying homes, add more wealth, the country starts doing better again, do you want to increase the values every year which generates an increase in inside millage, for sure, in taxes? That will be an increase in taxes if we do that every year.”
Lopez, a Democrat, is being challenged in the November 2 election by Republican Gina-Marie Kaczala. Lopez spoke to the East Toledo Club during its monthly luncheon at the Weber Block. Kaczala was invited to appear in a debate-format, but could not attend.
Kaczala has over 21 years experience at the Lucas County Auditor's Office, and says she “will represent all taxpayers and not a chosen few” on her Facebook page. She is supported by Ohio Veterans United.
The Oregon City Schools district has a 5.9-mill five-year emergency operating levy on Tuesday’s ballot.
The district faces a $2 million deficit for the 2011-2012 school year. If passed, the levy is expected to bring in $3.4 million annually.
In the last three years, the school board has cut $8 million from the operating budget.
If the levy does not pass, the school board will reduce the operating budget by about $2 million for the 2011 – 2012 school year by cutting 20 additional teaching and staff positions, eliminating the Career & Tech program, reducing kindergarten from all day every day to all day every other day, increasing athletic participation fees, reducing cleaning services to buildings, eliminating or significantly reducing bus service for all high school students, and implementing a process to close an elementary school and/or reconfigure the district.
If the levy passes, the district would be in good shape financially for the next five years, according to its five year forecast.