New group will assess city’s property status


(Posted Feb. 15, 2016)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

For years, London officials have discussed the idea of moving all city departments, except police, fire and street, to the former primary school building on Walnut Street. To move discussions along more quickly, Mayor Pat Closser recently formed a city properties committee.

“It’s been talked and talked and talked about. This is a way to actually have some action come about,” Closser said.

The committee is comprised of two current city council members, two city residents, and one city employee. The group’s overall purpose is to assess the function, condition, finances and use of city-owned buildings and land, consider the purchase and sale of property, and make recommendations to council. Determining use of the primary building is one of the tasks on the committee’s plate.

Council approved Closser’s appoint-ments to the committee on Feb. 4. The appointees and their terms on the committee are as follows:

  • Richard Minner, council member, term expires Dec. 31, 2017;
  • Rex Castle, council member, term expires Dec. 31, 2017;
  • Jason Schwaderer, private citizen, term expires Dec. 31, 2017;
  • Chuck Duvall, private citizen, term expires Dec. 31, 2016;
  • Bill Long, city employee, term expires Dec. 31, 2016.

“I feel very confident in these appoint-ments, and I know they will serve the city of London to the best of their abilities,” Closser said. He noted that Schwaderer, a former council member, is an architect and Duvall is an engineer.

The committee’s first meeting is set for 6 p.m. Feb. 17 in council chambers, 6 E. Second St. The meeting agenda includes a tour of the primary school building.

Parks and Rec director resigns

Closser announced at the Feb. 4 council meeting that Tony Brake, parks and recreation director, is resigning effective March 6. The administration spoke with the civil service committee about information needed to post the position.

“We are not going to drag our feet on this issue and hope to hire a new parks and recreation director as soon as possible,” Closser said.

Youth volleyball leagues start March 14, and the department is starting to make preparations for this year’s pool season.

Donations boxes

Last year, council passed legislation banning unmanned charity donation boxes from the city. Such boxes are located at various spots around London and are for collection of items from clothes to household goods. Councilman Rex Castle, who sponsored the legislation, said items often pile up outside the boxes, causing a trash problem for the city.

In an update on enforcement of the law, Closser said city law director Zahid Siddiqi advises holding off until he has time to do more research.

“There are some questions on legality and court cases on this matter out there, and he wants to do more research on the issue,” Closser said, referencing a Planet Aid lawsuit in Michigan. “We don’t want o open ourselves up to litigation.”

Castle said the city should at least have the right to bill the donation collection companies for removing the piles that accumulate outside the boxes. Councilman Richard Minner said another possibility would be to bill the property owners who allow the donation boxes to be placed on their properties.

Bid opening for water treatment plant

Stan Kavy of the London Board of Public Utilities reported that several com-panies attended a recent pre-bid meeting for the water treatment plant project.

The city is installing a second water tower and an automated satellite water treatment plant on 20 acres off of Route 142 near Deer Creek Honey Farm.

The bid opening is at 3 p.m. Feb. 18. The board received only three bids for the water tower, but expects 6 to 8 bids for the plant.

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