The Press Newspaper
A financial audit of Jerusalem Township for 2008, issued by the state auditor’s office last month, showed the township’s budget was shrinking due to a poor economy.
“The challenge for all townships is to provide quality services to the public while staying within the restrictions imposed by limited, and in some cases shrinking, funding,” states the audit. The township relies heavily on local taxes and has very little industry to support the tax base.
In 2008, the total cost of services, which included public safety, public works, health, conservation-recreation, and capital outlay, was $965,973, compared to $841,757 in 2007.
The township’s general receipts, which are primarily property taxes, represent 47 percent of the total cash received for governmental activities during the year. Property tax receipts for 2008 changed very little compared to 2007 because development within the township has slowed as the result of the majority of the township being located in a flood plain.
Federal regulations, new housing starts as well as home improvements and additions in the flood plain area have been drastically curtailed due to economic conditions, states the audit.
“The dependence upon property tax receipts is apparent as $436,441 of governmental activities is supported through these general receipts,” states the audit.
The Metroparks is required to keep track of migratory birds and water fowl at
John Jaeger, retired director for natural resources at the Metroparks of the Toledo Area, walks through a three-hour bird survey every 10 days. Jaeger is contracted to perform the survey for the Columbus-based Ohio Wetlands Foundation.
Pearson North has 10 different bird stations, and Jaeger spends 10 minutes at each station. After 29 days touring the park, he said he’s seen "some amazing birds that have stopped off here since the opening."
He found the 300-acre Pearson expansion promises opportunities for nature watching, including the appearance of a wide variety of birds more typical of Lake Erie marshes.
For example, the field naturalist told members of The Friends of Pearson Park during February’s monthly meeting at Macomber Lodge that “the springtime woodland will offer important foraging areas for neo-tropical migrating birds such as warblers and thrushes.”
He heard a whip-poor-will one evening walking around the park — a sound not heard in Northwest Ohio today like it was decades ago. Another day, he picked up a pie-billed greed.
Seventy-four percent of 12-18 year olds have a profile on a social networking site, a Kaiser Family Foundation study concluded.
“Parents that think their kids don’t might be surprised that their kids do,” Oregon Schools information technology director Nathan Quigg said. “Most kids have switched over to Facebook because once Grandma and Ma got on MySpace, it was no longer hip. I’m sure once there is something new, they’ll switch again.”
Facebook has a rule that a child must be 13-years-old to have an account, but that is not always the case.
“Who checks? My 6-year-old can come along and say she’s 65,” Fassett Middle School information technology instructor Amy Sweet said. “But if you want to see more — see what people really have you must have your own settings. I strongly recommend if your child has a Facebook account, you must get the password.”
Sweet noted that social networking pages can be great for communication, when used in the right way.
A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children ages 8-18 spend 53 hours a week using entertainment media, or about 7½ hours per day. The same study found that only 30 percent of students have time limits for television, computer, or video games.
Acronyms and abbreviations have become their language, and while many parents have caught onto the technology and language, others have not. Many of these school-aged children have no idea what kind of trouble they can get into.
This school year, speakers from Oregon City Schools, the Oregon police department, and the Lucas County prosecutor’s office gave a presentation to Clay High School in which students were broken up into groups to discuss sexting, social networking, and the threat of sexual predators on the internet. Two other presentations last spring and fall were to students at Eisenhower Middle School.
“When I talked to the kids I asked how many have cell phones and I thought I was going to get laughed at,” Oregon Schools technology director Nathan Quigg said. “Ninety-eight percent of them raised their hands and when I asked who doesn’t have them, a handful said they don’t.”
Denial of zoning change upheld by court
An appeals court has upheld a decision by the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court to deny a request for a zoning variance by a man who wanted to construct an 8,200-square-foot building in Allen Township on land zoned for agricultural use.
Tim Miller had asked the Sixth District Court of Appeals to reverse the common pleas court decision after the lower court affirmed a decision by the township’s board of zoning appeals to deny the variance request.
Miller filed a request with the township for a variance permit in May, 2008. The zoning board, which conducted a public hearing on June, 4, turned him down, citing the township’s zoning resolution that sets a limit of 3,000 square feet for accessory buildings in an agriculture district.
The common pleas court affirmed the zoning board decision on July 10.
Miller’s appeal contended the common pleas court erred by disregarding that the zoning board’s decision constituted “unreasonable and arbitrary enforcement of the (zoning) ordinance.”
He also argued the common pleas court erred when it didn’t rule a typographical error in the zoning board’s public hearing notice adversely affected his request.