Warehouse debate continues; plus news on sheriff’s contract

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Residents who spoke in support and opposition of a pair of zoning requests will have to wait for Canal Winchester City Council’s decision after both issues were tabled during a Dec. 6 meeting.

One rezoning request by Weiser Development and Sonya and Mark Poff for 51 acres on Hill Road and Basil Western Road was previously tabled at the request of the applicant. They asked to continue the tabling until they receive more information about the development.

The second ordinance asks the city to amend the zoning map for seventy acres located on Bixby Road and Rager Road owned by members of the Schacht family. It was also tabled upon its third reading.

Although the council vote was delayed, residents still voiced their opinions.
Sal Multerer said she’s seen a lot of signs around town saying “No More Warehouses,” but said it takes a lot of money to run a city and that has to come from somewhere.

“I don’t object to warehouses for several reasons,” said Multerer. “There is a need for it.
Multerer said Canal Winchester adjusted to the increase of school buses on roadways due to the growth in population and felt it will make similar adjustments with trucks.

She also believes warehouses are less of an impact on resources and provide job opportunities for young people. In addition, Multerer felt no one has produced a viable alternative for economic growth.

“We’re getting a brand new park,” said Multerer. “That tax money has to come from somewhere.”

Angie Halstead, a supporter of the No More Warehouses movement, said her group is not against development. They just want smart development.

“We want development that makes sense for our town,” said Halstead, who has lived in Canal Winchester for two decades. “I don’t want to see my property devalued by a huge warehouse out my backdoor. I know there are so many other things we can bring into this town. Just look at Brew Dog. I think there is so much more we can do—put things in place that will slow this train (warehouse development) down and be this great town that we already are.”

Sheriff’s contract
Under emergency language council approved a $1.4 million three-year contract with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department to provide law enforcement services for the city.

The sheriff’s department agrees to fund 13 deputies providing 504 hours of police protection. Three deputies are exclusively assigned to patrol city streets 24 hours a day seven days a week.

One full-time sergeant is on-duty 40 hours a week and the city agrees to purchase one new vehicle each year of the contract at a cost not to exceed $50,000.

According to Finance Director Amanda Jackson, the reason for the emergency language is to allow the Fairfield County Commissioners time to consider the contract before their last meeting for 2021 on Dec. 14.

During the council’s work session preceding the regular meeting, Councilman Bob Clark said Madison Township is considering assigning a second shift officer exclusively to cover Canal Winchester.

Details still need to be ironed out, such as authorizing township officers through a memorandum of understanding to write citations that would go directly to the city’s mayor’s court instead of funneled through Franklin County.

“We all were not sure where the MOU stands,” said Councilwoman Jill Amos. “Susan (Brobst, Madison Township administrator) was following up. It’s (MOU) been up there (Franklin County) about a year.

Councilman Mike Coolman commended all parties on their continued work with the township and their law enforcement department.

“We do give a lot of money to Madison Township,” said Coolman regarding hundreds of thousands of dollars paid by Canal Winchester taxpayers to the township.

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