Friday, February 2, 2018

City Caucus, Jan. 29, 2018

1.                   Call to Order/Welcome/Introductions
Mike Beazley welcomed everyone and introductions were given.

2.                   Explain Purpose of the City Caucus
Mike Beasley explained the purpose of the City Caucus, which is for City officials to share ideas and discuss important topics.

3.                   Election of Representatives to serve on the TMACOG Board of Trustees
Dave Gedeon informed the caucus James M. Bagdonas of Waterville, David Kissinger of Maumee, and Angie Ruiz of Fremont were self-nominated representatives to serve on the TMACOG Board of Trustees. Caucus approved. Alternates nominated and approved are Greg Robinette of Bowling Green, Scott Noonan of Maumee, and Chris Liebold of Fremont.

4.                   Election of Representatives to serve on TMACOG Transportation Council
Lori Brodie continues to be the representative to the council.

5.                   Discussion Topics
a.       Permissive License Plate Fees
Mike Beazley discussed the permissive license plate fee which would be $5 per license plate. He said that expected revenue would be around $1.8 million annually for Lucas County. Lucas County is pursuing this increase. Mike Beazley voiced his opinion that Cities should speak with their County Engineer and urge them to allocate a portion of the funding received from this license plate fee on roads in City jurisdictions. Jim Bagdonas stated that the Lucas County Engineer could use funding on County roads and bridges entering City limits. Dave Gedeon mentioned that Wood County and Ottawa County Engineers are pursuing this as well. There was discussion about the feasibility for Counties to do this.

b.      Regional Water Discussion
Mike Beazley asked Mayor Craig Stough and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz to speak. Mayor Stough discussed the concerns over the algae bloom which occurred several years ago and the impact it had on the water system. He discussed the proposal of a new, regional water system which would promote a redundant, cost effective system for the Toledo region. Mayor Stough said that Toledo’s contracts with surrounding jurisdictions will end soon, so now would be an opportune time to move to a regional water system. Wednesday morning the City of Toledo will hold a press conference to propose an MOU with its customers. Mayor Kapszukiewicz clarified that Wednesday’s press conference and MOU is a ceremonial signing, and is only the beginning of the legal process. All City councils will have to discuss the details at their council meetings, and only after mutual understanding does official action take place. He voiced his concerns that since Detroit has a surplus currently, they could easily send water out to Toledo area jurisdictions and take Toledo’s lost customers.

c.       How do jurisdictions deal with potential loss of a major employer?
Mike Beazley said that this is a continuing topic from previous caucus meetings, but Cities must be ready in case a major employer were to leave the area and consider the impacts. Mike Beazley said he wishes to discuss with State legislatures the impacts of a major employer leaving the area, and wishes to develop a system to maintain City services in case this were to happen, and is hoping that the State would be helpful with the development of a plan.

d.      State Budget Implications for Local Government
Caucus discussion included the unbalanced allocation of funding between Cities and Townships. State Representative Theresa Gavarone said adjusting funding has been difficult to approve at the State level.

e.       TARTA Shift to Sales Tax Funding
Mike Beazley said that this isn’t important now, but will be later in the summer caucus.

f.        Funding for State Routes in Cities
This topic was mainly discussed under the first topic, “Permissive License Plate Fees”.

g.       Possible County Roads in Cities
Mike Beazley mentioned that it is possible to change jurisdiction of County roads in Cities, official should work with their Counties if they wish to change jurisdiction of a road.

h.      Criminal justice and court funding
Mike Beazley stated how Lucas County provides $4 million in policing but doesn’t receive funds back. There was a discussion among the caucus about what is required to police in different jurisdictions. Uneven funding was discussed, and how cities receive less stable funding from income tax, and that more people and businesses are moving to the Townships.

i.        Legislative Update
Maumee Law Director Beth Tischler stated that litigation was initiated concerning small cell towers and a judgment was won giving cities more discretion on the citing of such towers. Cell towers in the right of way are of a concern due to their height and size, and if they should be allowed in historic districts is of concern as well. They tried to balance the need of faster cell phone speed for citizens and the need for a visually pleasing landscape. Zoning departments will need to read the judgement. Discussion included ways to shroud cell towers, and what would happen if a City were to deny the building of a new cell tower.

6.                   Next Steps
Member went around the room and discussed newsworthy information on their Cities.
·         City of Bowling Green – New economic development initiatives.
·         City of Clyde – Financial stability, big push for planning and partnership development. Issues are occurring with congestion due to trains.
·         City of Fremont – Downtown revitalization is going well with new businesses. They are working on helping the opium crisis by turning an old nursing home into a crisis center and have a new homeless shelter. They will allow a marijuana dispensary to be located in the City. Their historic district is developing well. Businesses and manufacturing jobs are doing well, despite a facility closing recently.
·         City of Maumee – House Bill 49 was discussed, lots of shovel-ready development in the area
·         City of Monroe – Port of Monroe is doing well, they are concerned about losing a coal plant in the future. New cell equipment was installed on existing poles, which was positive.
·         City of Napoleon – New housing developments.
·         City of Northwood – Demolition of the remaining Woodville Mall building will take place soon.
·         City of Norwalk – Good economic development happening.
·         City of Oregon – Mike Beazley mentioned that with a gubernatorial race coming up, City officials should talk to candidates now in order to ask for them to make commitments to their City.
·         City of Perrysburg – Good development, Levis Commons is doing well. Perrysburg was named the best place in Ohio to raise a family.
·         City of Rossford – Economic development is going well with renovations of historic buildings, the extension of Hollywood Boulevard road, and demolition of remaining Woodville Mall buildings. A land use study will be conducted.
·         City of Sylvania – Revitalizing the downtown has been going well, and new luxury apartments have been constructed. They wish to work with the City of Toledo to implement a regional water system.
·         City of Toledo – Work has been done with the new administration to improve health and lower crime in the area, and a new Kroger will be constructed beginning in September 2018. Economic development opportunities have arisen, including small businesses in and outside the downtown area. A new District 6 Council member will be appointed on January 30th. Everyone is very supportive of the regional system. Improvements to the parks is in the works, along with job growth involving the University of Toledo and Ohio Means Jobs.
·         City of Waterville – They have been working with the City of Bowling Green on their water system, which has been positive. The Nexus Pipeline has been an issue in the area, which will be built despite legal issues. 
·         State of Michigan – many officials are up for election, and the State received increased funding this year. New legislation was put in place to have doctors and pain clinic report whenever they prescribe opiates.

7.                   Adjourn
Mike Beazley adjourned the meeting.

Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments |

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