The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

The Metroparks of the Toledo Area approved spending $5 million to turn 1,000 acres in Jerusalem Township into a wetland.

Howard Farms, which will be the first Metropark to have access to Lake Erie, is located west of Metzger Marsh. When finished, it will be the Metroparks largest park in its system, next to Oak Openings.

The Metroparks board approved the funding as part of its 2015 capital budget. Carpenter said the next step is to put the construction out to bid.

“We’re taking the next step and we’re doing what we said we were going to do, so that is exciting,” Metroparks public relations director Scott Carpenter said. “It makes it official and puts it on the schedule.

“Anything could happen. If the bids come back at $10 million, we’d have to say ‘whoa,’ but we don’t enter those blindly. We know what it should cost, so that puts it on the schedule and we’re off. We’ll get it out to bid as soon as we can, which should be very soon, and get it going.”

Oregon council approved an ordinance that clarifies when Special Use and Conditional Use permits could be approved by the Oregon Plan Commission and city council.

The ordinance is in response to concerns by some on council earlier this year about the number of permits approved for used car lots and storage facilities on Woodville Road and Navarre Avenue. Council in March approved a temporary moratorium on issuing permits to car lots and storage facilities until the city could address the issue.

Council passed a resolution on Sept. 22 that referred the recommended changes regarding Special and Conditional uses to the Oregon Planning Commission for consideration, according to Councilman Jerry Peach at a Nov. 24 council meeting. The Planning Commission held a hearing on Oct. 21 and voted 4-0 to approve the recommendations and refer them back to council.

The legislation allows council to consider Special Use permits on a “case by case basis.”

Oregon purchased three lift cots from Penn Care, of Niles, Ohio, for $128,981. The cots will allow fire personnel to transport emergency patients more safely.

The fire department received a $31,958.78 grant from the Bureau of Workers Compensation for the cots, which will pay for a portion of the services. The balance of the funds will come from the fire department’s Machinery and Equipment Fund.

City council included $42,835.50 in the 2014 budget for the purchase.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation has made funding for such equipment a priority in order to reduce on the job injuries.

“The city is making an effort to make sure we…provide the best possible care for the folks we are transporting in a medical situation, and to make sure we have the best equipment available for our fire fighters when they’re doing the transporting,” said Administrator Mike Beazley. “We are also making sure we’re following the best practices to control our workers compensation costs long term.”

The lift cots “are more expensive than I would like,” said Beazley.

Oregon council recently approved a rate increase for non-residents for services at Oregon city cemeteries.

The new rates are for lots, mausoleum access and other services charged by the city at the Willow and North Oregon cemeteries. The fee schedule was last updated in 2002.

Administrator Mike Beazley said that when providing services for non-residents, fees should be more consistent with those charged by area cemeteries, which are below the market rate for non-residents. The rate schedule for residents will remain unchanged.

Previously, non-resident fees were the same as resident fees.

“It has been quite a number of years since we had an increase,” said Beazley. “We felt that we were considerably under the market, in some places almost half of what you would pay for a similar service in other area cemeteries. While we welcome our neighbors, we didn’t want to fill up our space and service capacity at the expense of the immediate future needs of our residents.”

The Lake Township trustees have begun a review of fees and grave lot prices at the township cemetery and may increase both next year.

Jeff Pettit, a trustee, said Tuesday his research of grave costs at area cemeteries indicates Lake Township charges less than most for residents and non-residents alike.

He suggested the board of trustees consider raising grave prices by $100 from the current price of $300 for residents and $700 for non-residents.

By comparison, the Fort Meigs Cemetery charges $400 for residents and $800 for non-residents, he said. The Clay Township Cemetery charges $120 for residents and $550 for non-residents and the St. Rose Cemetery charges $850 and $950 for residents and non-residents respectively.

The City of Maumee charges $400 and $700 and the City of Toledo charges $790 for a plot with a flat stone and $1,360 for an upright stone.

Board chairperson Melanie Bowen said the trustees have been reluctant to raise prices during the recent economic downturn.

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