London: Levy renewal, parade, traffic lights, and parking

(Posted June 8, 2021)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The city of London will be on the Nov. 2 general election ballot with a levy renewal request. On June 3, city council members unanimously approved the first of two resolutions needed to place the measure on the ballot.

The city is seeking voter approval of a 2.1-mill levy for five years for general operating expenses. The levy has been on the books since 1991. Voters have renewed the levy every five years with no increases. The renewal represents no new taxes, said Mayor Patrick Closser. The levy generates $390,000 per year.

Council opted to stick with a renewal because they don’t want to raise citizens’ taxes in light of economic stress related to COVID-19, said council member Carla Blazier.

Independence Day parade

With pandemic restrictions loosened, events are returning to the city’s summer schedule, including the Independence Day parade on July 3. Steve Stivers is the parade grand marshal.

“With him stepping down as our U.S. Congressman and with everything that he has done for the city of London, I felt it was fitting to have him lead our parade that day,” Closser said.

Stivers recently left public office to take a job as the president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

London’s parade steps off at 11 a.m. at Park Avenue, then heads down Main Street to East First Street, ending at Walnut Street. Lineup is at 10 a.m.

The parade is open to entries for floats, automobiles, tractors, horses/ponies, elected officials and candidates, costumed walkers, decorated bicycles, wagons, carts, festival queens and courts, and others. A link to applications is available on the city’s social media pages and the home page at Applications and parade announcer information sheets must be mailed to or dropped off by June 25 at the mayor’s office, 20 S. Walnut St., Suite 100, London.

For more information, call Closser at (614) 357-5567.

City business

Council passed several pieces of legislation, all of them by unanimous vote.

  • authorization for Rex Henry, safety services director, to advertise for bids for the replacement of the city’s traffic lights and controllers at a cost not to exceed $900,000. The city likely won’t spend the maximum amount because the plan is to decrease the number of lights in town.
  • amendment of guidelines that determine where fences can go on private properties, specifically properties that are corner lots. Now, a property’s frontage is determined by the property’s street address. Fencing cannot be installed in what is considered the front yard and cannot be within 20 feet of the corner of the property.
  • creation of a parking permit for residents along Park Avenue whose on-street parking disappeared when the street was redone. Those residents can apply for a permit that allows them to park in the Cowling Park lots for more than the two-hour maximum without penalty. The first permit is free; additional permits for the same household are $5 each. Permits are good for 90 days and can be obtained through the police department.
  • amendment of two other parking guidelines. The first change makes clear that city parking lots at parks are only for people who are there to enjoy the park. No other parking is permitted there. Closser said the city has had issues with commercial vehicles parking overnight on the Park Avenue lot between the city pool and Cowling Park. To go with that amendment, council added a $25 fine for infractions of this rule.
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