Council Hears From Residents Regarding Non-Owner-Occupied Ordinance

BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR— The February 20 meeting of Maumee City Council opened with several residents speaking out against the non-owner-occupied residential property ordinance that the city is considering.

Later in the meeting, city council authorized the creation of two new positions in the city, the purchase of new equipment, the relocation of the Maumee Sewer Division operations and 2023 funding for the Maumee Senior Center.

Citizen Comments

A total of 15 individuals, most of whom are landlords and/or real estate agents, spent a combined 47 minutes voicing their opposition to the proposed Ordinance 002-2023 at the beginning of the meeting. (See related article at the end of this article.) The ordinance, with some updates since it was originally introduced on January 3, was listed on the agenda for the second of the necessary three readings required for it to become law.

Committee Of The Whole

During the Committee of the Whole session, which preceded the citizens comments portion of the meeting, council member Philip Leinbach questioned the legitimacy of the second reading of the ordinance since it had been modified since the first reading.

Leinbach stated that there were various updates made to the ordinance between its initial reading on January 3 and the second reading on February 20, and he asked Maumee Law Director Alan Lehenbauer if those changes are significant enough to start the reading process all over again.

“Ordinance 002-2023 has had some changes since the first version was released, specifically 1361.02 that kind of expands the items that are to be inspected, and 1366.02 that adds an entire penalty section,” Leinbach stated.

“These changes seem to be a little more restrictive than what the original was. What I was wondering is: How does the Ohio Revised Code treat these specific changes, and does it still make it a valid second reading, or are those changes substantive enough that it requires resetting the clock?”

“The Ohio Revised Code requires three readings of an ordinance, but Maumee doesn’t follow the Ohio Revised Code,” explained Lehenbauer. “We have our own charter that sets its own procedures. We have no procedure that sets forth that if there are amendments to legislation that it has to be started all over again.

“In fact, in Ohio, there is no case law that indicates that if legislation is modified, to any extent, that it is required to be reread and started all over again,” Lehenbauer stated. 

“These changes aren’t substantive. They’re really clarifications. There was a penalty section that was more significant for any violations, and we just clarified as to how the violations were applied to those different sections. We just kind of moved some of the penalty provisions around instead of (having) one general penalty,” the law director said.

At that point, Leinbach made a motion to remove the second reading of Ordinance 0002-2023 from the agenda. Failing to get a second, the motion died.

Petition And Communications

By a 6-1 vote, with Leinbach voting no, council then placed on file the following items in the petition and communications portion of the agenda:

• A communication from Rolf Park pool manager Karen Brebberman, informing the mayor of her retirement, effective May 31.

• The aforementioned second reading of Ordinance 002-202 enacting non-owner-occupied residential property requirements for the city of Maumee.

• A notification from the city administrator of a $43,632 agreement with TD Engineering for professional engineering services for the Uptown Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation – Phase 3.

• The Finance Committee report from February 8.

• The Personnel Committee report from February 15.

Consent Calendar

Moving on to the consent calendar portion of the meeting, council voted unanimously to:

• Void the declaration of two city vehicles as surplus and cancel the sale of said vehicles by Enterprise Fleet Management. The Maumee Police Division requested that a 2016 Ford F-150 pickup truck and a 2019 Ford F-350 pickup truck that was previously declared as surplus on October 17, 2022, be kept by the city for use in the Sewer Division.

• Authorized the purchase of an ALC 25 Chassis Mount Leaf Collector System from Brown Equipment Company in the amount of $237,509. The purchase of this modern leaf vacuum truck is intended to improve the city’s level of efficiency by requiring less personnel for its operation. The purchase will increase the city’s total number of vacuum trucks to four.

• Authorized the purchase of a 2023 John Deere 60G Compact Excavator from Murphy Tractor & Equipment in the amount of $102,705. According to a report by Public Service supervisor Bob Simon, the excavator will provide a significant savings to the city in terms of reduced rental costs and man hours necessary to perform excavation chores in tighter areas that prove to be far more difficult with a tradition backhoe. The equipment will be shared by the Maumee Service Department, the Water Division and the Sewer Division.

• Authorized the city to enter into a construction agreement with RailPros/Norfolk Southern Railroad to install underground water and sewer lines under the railway for the future Maple Street and utility construction projects near The Shops at Fallen Timbers and paying for said projects from the Fallen Timbers TIF funds.

• Authorized a three-year contract with AquaHawk for an implementation fee of $7,500 and an annual fee of $13,898 for an online customer water portal. According to a report by Maumee Finance Director Jennifer Harkey, AquaHawk is an online customer portal giving utility account holders access to consumption data, leak and excess consumption notifications, estimated cost of water consumed throughout the billing cycle, vacation notifications and budget alerts.

• Authorized the mayor to sign appropriate participation forms and settlement documents, including but not limited to Teva, Allegan, CVS, Walgreens and Walmart for national opioid settlements.

• Approved the job title and job description of the new IT coordinator position in the city’s public safety department, and the new assistant to the city administrator position in the city’s administration department. The IT coordinator will provide network and computer peripherals support, according to the job description. The assistant to the city administrator will be responsible for providing administrative and clerical support to the city administrator and will represent the first point of contact for the city administrative and mayor’s offices. The position also entails overseeing specific projects and programs as assigned.

• Approved the move of the Maumee Sewer Division from its deteriorating facility on Illinois Avenue to the underutilized building located at the training center on Mingo Drive and agreed “to further authorize the city administrator to retain an engineering architectural consultant to provide design, bidding and award phase services for an addition to the training center building to accommodate inside storage of weather-sensitive trucks and equipment.”

According to a report by city administrator Patrick Burtch, the cost of the renovation work necessary to improve the condition of the present Maumee Sewer Division building on Illinois Avenue would exceed $1.9 million in 2020 dollars. Burtch estimated that those costs would most likely be closer to $2.3 million in today’s dollars.

“By moving the sewer division to the underutilized training center building on Mingo Drive, the city’s cost should be less than $650,000, which includes constructing an additional 3,600 square feet of bay area to house the city’s large vactor truck as well as any other weather-sensitive equipment that is currently difficult to store,” Burtch reported.

“At this point, it appears that the improvement herein referenced can be designed for under $50,000,” the report concluded.

New Business

Council moved on to new business, approving Resolution 005-2023, a recommendation by the Finance Committee, authorizing an expenditure in an amount not to exceed $58,580 to help Maumee Seniors Inc. meet expenses at the Maumee Senior Center for 2023. According to the resolution, the funds shall be disbursed to Maumee Seniors Inc. on a reimbursement basis in accordance with state and federal law.

Council went into executive session for several minutes before returning to finish the remainder of the council meeting.

Code Committee

Immediately after leaving executive session and resuming the public meeting, council member Josh Harris made a motion to have the Code Committee reinstated to Maumee’s list of city council committees. Leinbach seconded the motion.

Council member Margo Puffenberger asked for a clarification on the Code Committee’s duties.

Mayor Richard Carr explained, “If we’re going to make any changes to the Maumee code, the matter would (first) go to the committee and the members would review those changes and make a recommendation to council before it (officially) comes before council.” 

Council members voted unanimously to reinstate the Code Committee.

Parks And Rec Committee

Council president Jim MacDonald referred to the Parks and Rec Committee discussion of matters concerning the 2023 pool rules and plans, consideration of an inclusive play center and possible pickleball courts at Maumee Library Park, and discussion of the plans for the Ford Park parking lot. Council members approved the referral unanimously.

Following individual comments from council members and the mayor, the meeting was adjourned.

The next meeting of Maumee City Council is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20 in council chambers at the Maumee Municipal Building, 400 Conant St. 

As always, Maumee City Council meetings are open to the public.

15 Local Individuals Speak Out In Opposition To Maumee Ordinance

BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — Following is a list of the 16 individuals who spoke before Maumee City Council at the February 20 meeting.

Fifteen of the 16 individuals spoke against proposed Ordinance 002-2023, which if passed would mandate non-owner-occupied residential property requirements in the city of Maumee. The ordinance was read for the second time at the February 20 council meeting with only one more public reading required before it becomes law.

Here are the speakers who addressed city council on February 20:

Colleen LaChapelle, 719 W. Wayne St., Maumee.

Dave Poppelmeier, 318 Kingsbury St., Maumee.

Brad Reynolds, 2308 State Blvd., Maumee.

Denny Noneman, 3519 Secor Rd., Toledo.

Anna Mills, 4741 Elmhurst Rd., Toledo.

Guy Ruggiero, 733 Meadow Springs Ct., Maumee.

Brendon Clarke, 3402 Cheltenham Rd., Toledo.

Aubrey Hornsby, 602 W. Harrison St., Maumee.

Tracey Elmore, 1038 Ogontz Ave., Maumee.

Steve Werner, 1108 Winghaven Rd., Maumee.

Eddie Campos, 929 W. Wayne St., Maumee, representing NW Ohio Realtors.

Bill Anderson, 6705 N. River Rd., Waterville.

Richard Hamilton, 24311 Dunbridge Rd., Perrysburg.

Michael Temple, 2404 Gibley Park Rd., Sylvania.

Katherine Stark, 511 Gibbs St., Maumee.

The only speaker that did not speak in opposition to the proposed ordinance was Bob Lubell, of 5101 Harroun Rd., Sylvania.

Lubell spoke about his passion for community fire safety and encouraged the city to stop the sale of new rental property that does not meet code. He also suggested that the city look at promoting remediation of current rental properties in a timeframe that is both reasonable and fair to the property owners.

Editor’s Note: Due to the number of speakers and the length of their remarks, The Mirror does not have the necessary news space available in which to print them.

The remarks, however, have been recorded and can be heard below:

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