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Brownfield reform bill gets hearing By Larry Limpf News Editor email@example.com
Even though it's spring, winter keeps trying to make a comeback. Addison McNutt, age 10, dresses warm for a recent visit to Marblehead, unconcerned with the wave behind her. (Photo by Maggi Dandar)
Oregon to finalize agreement for property Oregon on Monday held a meeting on downtown development in city council chambers. The focus was mostly on the development of property where the former Kmart store is located on Navarre Avenue, an area where the city wants to develop a downtown area. Oregon in the last couple of years has been in the process of acquiring property in an effort to create a downtown area. In 2017, council passed a resolution in support of designating a zoning overlay as the first step in creating a downtown area that would include retail, residential, an entertainment district, and open green space along Navarre Avenue. The overlay district covers three areas bordered by Isaac Streets Drive, Navarre Avenue, Coy Road, Dustin Road, and Pickle Road, an area that totals 167 acres. The goal of the overlay district is to make it easier for the city to welcome modern development. Developers will have the option to bring buildings up closer to the front lot line to make some walkable space, and to move in some innovative ways with
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Ultimately, our expectation is, we’re going to put a developer in our shoes. This is a risk the city is going to take.
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parking. To that end, the city acquired 30 acres of property from Navarre Avenue to Pickle Road, and property south of Dustin Road, including the former WOHO radio station property on Pickle Road. Plans call for that area to be mixed use residential and retail development. The city appropriated $3 million in the municipal budget for land acquisition and development in the core of the city. Oregon purchased the 30-acre site, behind the former Kmart on Navarre, for $1.4
Due diligence Oregon also authorized a ground lease/ purchase agreement for the former Kmart property for a 120 day due diligence period that ends on April 26. The city wants the property as part of its downtown development project. During the due diligence period, the city wanted to determine whether it should enter into a 10-year lease with an option at the end of the 10 years to buy the property for $3.7 million, with lease payments of approximately $300,000 per year during the period. The city also had to determine whether the cost of demolition, the interest in development, and its capacity to develop were practical in an effort to move forward. Final engineering estimates will be obtained for demolition to determine suitability for possible development. “We’re in the final weeks of our due diligence phase,” City Administrator Mike Beazley said at the meeting on Monday. “The title work is in its final stages.” The administration has recommended the city move forward with the agreement, Continued on page 2
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A bill that would reform brownfield regulations in Ohio has been re-introduced in the state legislature. Representative Steve Arndt, R – Port Clinton, said House Bill 168 would stimulate economic development by incorporating into Ohio law the federal bona fide prospective purchaser defense for someone interested in purchasing contaminated properties. Rep. Arndt provided sponsor testimony for the bill last week to the House Civil Justice Committee. “In many areas throughout Ohio, there are many slightly contaminated properties, like the site of former gas stations or dry cleaning businesses, that are not currently in productive use simply because of a business our current regulatory structure says is too cost prohibitive for developers to pursue,” he told the committee. The federal purchaser defense was established as part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) – the program created to regulate what are called Superfund sites. Arndt said federal statute provides purchasers with an affirmative defense who have knowledge of existing contamination if the purchaser follows the appropriate protocol. His bill would establish state level immunity for potential purchasers of contaminated property through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency if the protocol already in place in federal law is followed. Under the protocol, potential purchasers would have to review federal and state databases for information about possible contamination on the property, interview persons knowledgeable about the property and have the property inspected by an environmental professional for signs of contamination. Continued on page 2
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A good hand Ron Gladieux has a hand you can smile about. He and his wife Marian, Bob Damschroder, and Jerry Lynn (not pictured) were enjoying a game of euchre at a card party held at First St. John Lutheran Church. Other games included Uno, Yahtzee and dominoes. (Press photo by Ken Grosjean)
Kmart property Continued from front page
added Beazley. Legislation on the matter will go before council within the next couple of weeks. “We’re ready to move forward,” he said. The owner of the property wants the buildings torn down before the city takes possession, said Beazley. He estimates it will cost the city over $200,000 to tear down the buildings and abate some asbestos found at the site. The city will also bear the annual property taxes of $60,000. Beazley broke down the agreement: In years 1-5, the city will be pay $282,060 annually in lease payments. In years 6-10, the city will pay $307,000 annually. Oregon will then buy the property in the 11th year for $3.7 million. Interested tenants The city already has tenants interested in leasing some of the property, which will help cover the costs, said Beazley. “Ultimately, our expectation is, we’re going to put a developer in our shoes. This is a risk the city is going to take. We know there are some commercial lots of about 1 acre each selling for up to $700,000 to $1.2 million in the area. We know we can carve out three or four lots across the front of the
property and still have acreage in the back. We believe we can get that return,” he said. The city also wants to make an assessment of developers who are interested in the property. He said there are some developers who have expressed a “strong interest” in bringing in restaurants, movie theaters, medical offices and residential. “We have enough land available that we think we can achieve residential, from single family homes to senior oriented town houses, to an apartment complex that works for younger people closer to Isaac Streets Drive,” he said. There is also enough land for a mixed use office/retail/restaurant area. One of the developers did a drive through of the city last week. He had pointed out to Beazley the advantage of traffic heading to the Lake Erie islands, Cedar Point, and the local hospitals. “Our two hospitals bring in economic energy. There are thousands of people per day in and out of those hospitals – patients, visitors, doctors, sales people, nurses, technicians, people who go in for tests. And they become customers for other businesses in the area,” he said. The city also has access to I-280, another advantage. “The developer said when he sees the expressway exits both north and south of this site, it’s something they believe can benefit restaurants. They want that expressway access. They said they can make this a regional attraction that works for Oregon,” said Beazley.
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Downtown development City officials provided a history of the Continued on page 5
Reform bill receives hearing “If any of the due diligence steps indicate that there is contamination present on the property, the prospective purchaser must cooperate with any reasonable steps in the future to stop ongoing releases and prevent exposure,” Arndt told the committee. Implementing such a program for prospective buyers on sites in Ohio would bring the state in line with Indiana and Michigan which have already incorporated language from the federal regulations or similar language into state law, he said. He said HB 168 is identical to a bill he introduced last year that didn’t make it out of committee before the legislature’s session ended. Beginning in 2002 through the final funding round in 2013, the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund programs provided grant assistance to communities to redevelop brownfield sites. According to the Ohio Development Services Agency, the programs redeveloped more than 380 former commercial and industrial properties that, in turn, created more than 3,800 acres of development ready land. A white paper released last year by the Greater Ohio Policy Center identifies funding options it recommends for consideration for remediation programs, including: -Redirecting existing revenue from the JobsOhio Revitalization Program, the liquor profits that JobsOhio returns to the
state or the Abandoned Gas Station Fund. -Expanding the sales tax to include additional services not currently subject to the sales tax. -Eliminating certain tax expenditures that have a diminished level of appropriateness given the time period they were enacted and the state’s current economy. In a statement issued last year, the GOPC said the bill would “fill the gap in brownfields redevelopment by aligning Ohio with the federal Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser defense. The BFPP defense offers a much more cost-effective means to putting brownfields into productive use because the BFPP defense does not require a full-blown assessment and cleanup of a prospective property.” Ohio has more than 9,000 brownfields, according to the policy center. Rep. Arndt last week said local officials affiliated with landbanks have expressed support for the bill. “Now they’re only operating under Ohio law, thinking they are exempt from any kind of responsibility if they acquire a site that has any type of contamination,” he said. “When I indicated to them my bill would add a layer of protection for them as long as they follow the CERCLA laws on these sites, some were a little shocked when they realized they could be exposed if they acquired an old gas station or restaurant that had a gas station or something like that.”
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APRIL 15, 2019
The Press serves 24 towns and surrounding townships in Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky & Wood Counties Vol. 35, No. 31
‘Stop the bleed classes’ helps save lives By Kelly J. Kaczala News Editor email@example.com Attending a free community event on May 23 at the Oregon Public Library may very well save a life. May 23 is Stop the Bleed Day, a nationwide campaign that highlights ways a bystander can help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. Local health care professionals will be on hand at the library to educate the public on life saving techniques to stop the loss of blood, according to Alexis Bolanis, trauma program coordinator at Mercy St. Charles Hospital. It takes just five minutes for a person to bleed to death without some kind of intervention. The class will show the public how to pack open wounds, how to apply tourniquets to wounded limbs, and pressure to bleeding arteries that will give a bleeding victim a chance to survive. There will also be health care professionals available to educate the public on how to treat other emergency situations. “The Oregon Police Division will conduct two classes of ALICE training. It teaches you what to do in an active shooter situation. It’s also taught in schools and churches. And the Oregon Fire Department and EMS will offer CPR training and ADD alert awareness. So we’ll all be there throughout the day,” she said.
Sandy Hook Stop the Bleed was developed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 children and six staff members in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, she said. “After Sandy Hook Elementary happened, they found that a handful of people who were shot who didn’t make it probably would have made it if someone in the school or near them would have known to stop the bleeding,” said Bolanis. “Instead of dying of their injuries, some people bled to death. Mass shootings, unfortunately, are happening in places where you don’t have a trauma surgeon or a nurse nearby who can stop the bleeding.” Stop the Bleed is an initiative that partnered with the military, which knows how to stop bleeding on the battlefield, she said. “Basically, bleeding can be stopped by applying a tourniquet to an injured limb or holding pressure on wounds if the wounds are in the abdomen or chest area. You can’t always stop bleeding in the stomach or chest, so you stuff something in there. You can make a tourniquet out of anything. People might be afraid to even use a dirty T- shirt in a stab wound because it might cause an infection. But we don’t care if it’s dirty. Stuff it in there. It’s OK to do that. It’s what you have to do to save their lives. We can deal with an infection later,” she said. Tourniquet safe For years, some have believed the use
of a tourniquet would destroy tissue, and lead to an amputation. Bolanis said it is not true – at least in the short term. “You actually have to have a tourniquet on for two hours before you face loss of limb. That’s a really significant period of time,” she said. “The number one priority in any traumatic situation is to stop the bleeding.” In trauma nursing classes, she was taught to assess injures using the ABC approach: Check the patient’s airway, breathing, then the circulation. “Now they teach you to always check for bleeding first. Then you do the airway, breathing, and circulation. It’s something that has come full circle. We really need to be aware that people are bleeding to death.” The actual Stop the Bleed course is about an hour long, she said. Sometimes she goes to schools, churches and other places to teach the class, “places where shootings can happen.” At a recent mass shooting, she said some of the people had taken the course and had saved several lives by stopping the bleeding. “So it’s working, it’s getting out there, it’s happening.” Registration is not required to attend the classes, which are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The public can attend any of the classes. “They don’t need to be there the whole day,” she said.
BP was major donor in lake bill initiative By Larry Limpf News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Campaign finance reports filed with the Lucas County Board of Elections show that the Toledo Jobs and Growth Coalition spent almost $306,000 to sway Toledo voters to not support the Lake Erie Bill of Rights ballot initiative in February. With 6,260 actually voting against the measure, that comes to about $49 a vote. By contrast, Toledoans for Safe Water spent just under $5,900 in support of the issue and saw it pass by about 61 percent with 9,955 votes. Voter turnout was low at about 9 percent. What’s especially irksome to the backers of the initiative is almost the entire source of the coalition’s funding is from B.P. Corp. North America, Inc., Houston, Texas, which is listed as donating $302,000 to the anti-LEBOR campaign. “The time has come for corporateowned politics to take a backseat to the citizen-led efforts and movements for change. We want to be the ones who influence and shape our communities to reflect our values and protection for the city we call home,” said LEBOR organizer Julian Mack.
The expense reports for the Toledo Jobs and Growth Coalition show that most of its funding was spent on out-of-state consulting, legal and advertising firms: -Yellowstone Associates (Virginia), $10,000 for consulting - Shumaker Advisors (Ohio), $10,000 for consulting - Chain Bridge Bank (Virginia) - $140 for bank fees - Battleground Strategies, LLC (Ohio) $25,000 - general campaign consulting - CrossRoads Media, LLC (Virginia) -$105,444 for radio ad production and placement - DDC Public Affairs (Washington, DC) - $10,000 for digital ad production and placement - Langdon Law, LLC (Ohio) - $10,000 for legal fees - New Troy Strategies (Virginia) $122,352.39 for campaign outreach, direct mail, radio ads, text messages and phone calls. The campaign refunded $12,708 back to BP Corp. Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie donated $1,000 to Toledoans for Safe Water on Jan. 16 and $500 on Feb. 27 – the day after the election. Crystal Jankowski, a member
of Toledoans for Safe Water, donated $1,000 but most of the donations to the group were well under $100. LEBOR grants legal rights to the Great Lake and its watershed as an amendment to Toledo’s charter. According to Toledoans for Safe Water, it will be the first U.S. law of its kind. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund drafted the bill of rights for the lake at the request of Toledoans for Safe Water, which then gathered signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot. But no sooner were the election results announced than a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation filed a lawsuit to prevent the ballot measure’s enactment. Mark Drewes, a director of The Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association whose family farms in Custar, O., filed the lawsuit in Federal District Court for Northern Ohio, challenging the constitutionality of LEBOR. The suit argues LEBOR violates federal constitutional rights, including equal protection, freedom of speech and is unenforceable for its vagueness. In March, the court issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the city from enforcing LEBOR while the case proceeds.
Retired teachers The next luncheon of the Lucas County Retired Teacher Association will be held Thursday, April 25 at noon at Brandywine Country Club, 6904 Salisbury Rd., Maumee. The program, “Manor HouseBehind the Scenes,” will feature Deanna Douglas and Sandra Shutt, who serve on the Interior Restoration Committee and have served as docents at the Manor House. The featured charity is the Toledo House, which is requesting paper products (toilet tissue, paper towels, tissues and paper plates, cups and bowls), plastic silverware, cleaning supplies and all baby products. Entrée choices include Stuffed Chicken, meatloaf or cavatappi fresco. The cost is $19.50. Reservations are due by April 18. Send your check to LCRTA with lunch choice noted to Jeannine Petcoff, 15139 Todd Rd., Petersburg, MI 49270.
Business survey Businesses in the Navarre Avenue business corridor are urged to fill out a survey by May 24 for the Oregon Economic Development Foundation’s Business Retention and Expansion program. The first phase of the project involves surveying nearly 1,000 businesses on and around the Navarre Avenue business corridor. A task force will examine the results and look for ways to assist businesses in Oregon with operations and potential expansion plans. To fill out the survey, go to https://surveygoldcloud. com/s/6E422F96910748A6/27.htm. For more information, go to: https:// comdev.osu.edu/programs/economicdevelopment/business-retention-expansion.
Crime in East Toledo Tracey Britt, community service officer with the Toledo Police Department, will speak to The East Toledo Club about crime in East Toledo. Her talk is open to the public and will begin at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18 at the East Toledo Senior Center. Officer Britt is assigned to East Toledo and lives in Birmingham.
Office cats Do you have an office cat? The Press is doing a story about the benefits of cats in an office environment and would like your comments. Please contact The Press at 419-836-2221 Ext. 24.
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