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9-1-1 memorial flag presented to city Rossford residents Jim and Judy Sikorski attended the November 9 meeting of Rossford City Council to share details of their recent trip to the 9-1-1 memorial in New York City in October.
She explained the connection of Rossford’s Pilkington glass plant with the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers that were destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attacks.
“Every piece of glass in those two buildings came from right here,” Mrs. Sikorski said. “My husband and father touched that glass. It’s very emotional for me.”
The Sikorskis took with them a challenge coin from the Rossford Fire Department, marking its centennial this year.
“It was well-received by the vicar of St. Paul’s Trinity Church,” which is located across the street from the World Trade Center location, and served as a refuge for firefighters and rescue workers.
Mr. and Mrs. Sikorski presented an American flag with the names of every person lost in the tragedy.
Pictured, from left are Mr. Sikorski, Fire Chief Josh Drouard, Mrs. Sikorski, Corey Cooper of the Rossford Historical Society, and Mayor Neil MacKinnon III.
Council debate continues over residential zoning in Crossroads By Beth Church
Rossford City Council is not yet convinced that residential zoning is right for the future of the Crossroads.
At a November 9 meeting, several council members expressed lingering concerns over the request to re-zone a 40-acre parcel from PC planned commercial to R-3 multiple family residential.
Council member Caroline Zuchowski Eckel said she would like to see more detailed plans before supporting the change.
Councilman Jerry Staczek agreed, “It’s like putting the cart before the horse.”
Councilman Greg Marquette noted, “I understand everyone’s concerns because it’s a blank slate without the visuals.”
Attorney Jerry Parker, representing land owners Sharon Ferguson and James Veith, attended the October 26 council meeting to explain their plans.
He assured council that no subsidized housing projects would be located there, and estimated monthly rental rates at $700 to $1,200. The developments could be multi-level or townhouses, he added, with eight units per acre.
The parcel is on the south side of Deimling Road, west of Lime City Road and east of Crossroads Parkway. The land currently is used for farming.
The city planning commission recommended the new zoning at its September 16 meeting.
Mayor Neil MacKinnon noted that the landowners have agreed to three conditions with the new zoning.
The house will be “market rate,” the site plan will need to be approved by planning commission and council, and the zoning will revert to commercial if no housing is built within three years.
Councilman Dan Wagner asked whether the three safeguards are enforceable.
Law Director Kevin Heban affirmed they are enforceable, and will be attached to the zoning map change.
City Administrator Mike Scott said the landowners do not want to pay $50,000 for detailed designs for a project “in the hopes that you’ll change the zoning.”
“The landowners are asking for the zoning change to make it more conducive for a developer,” he said.
The city administrator noted that additional housing in Rossford will benefit the city finances.
“We need to work with folks to get more housing, to get more income for the city–we’re stagnant,” he said.
Council President Larry Oberdorf was supportive of the zoning change.
“I felt the safeguards have been established,” he said. “I get the feeling there’s a strong direction that’s going to be taken. These people are not going to invest lots of money unless they’re serious.”
City Administrator’s Report
Mr. Scott made the following announcements:
•Roofing work is under way on the Edward Ford Memorial.
Also, an Eagle Scout project is jointly occurring, which will feature a new sign, footers for the planter and a flower box.
•The public works department has ordered 49 trees for planting throughout the city.
•The police department’s civil service exam will continue until November 30. The department will hire one full-time and one part-time officer.
•All docks have been removed from the marina. Re-decking on some of the floating docks will be completed.
•The city has received a $47,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to refurbish the tennis courts at Veterans Park.
The grant requires a 50 percent match from the city.
However, a $4,500 grant from the Wood County Park District also has been awarded to the city, which could count toward the match.
The improvements will be done in the spring, Mr. Scott added.
In other business, council:
•Heard from Karen Freeman, finance director, that she is working to have the city’s financial records posted next year as part of the Ohio Checkbook program.
The program of the Ohio treasurer’s office makes local and state government records available online.
Mrs. Freeman said the city’s expenses and top vendors would be among the financial data available.
•Approved new regulations in the city’s sign code concerning outdoor, A-frame signs for businesses.
“It makes it possible for businesses in our community to use these signs,” Councilman Marquette added.
•Authorized a $260,000 loan, at zero percent interest, from the Ohio Public Works Commission to help fund the Hillside Drive sewer project.
•Authorized Burgess Hearse and Ambulance to mount the 2001 Ford ambulance on a new chassis, at a cost of $95,000.
Councilman Wagner, chair of the public safety committee, said the 2001 ambulance has been out of service for about a month, due to $3,000 in needed repairs.
•Heard a request from Councilman Marquette to set a deadline for parking lot improvements to be completed at the school district’s Glenwood athletic complex.
“I’d like to see a plan presented to the planning commission or council on what’s going to be done next spring,” he said.
Mr. Scott said he met with Superintendent Dan Creps last week to review the planning commission’s requirements.
“They are very committed,” the city administrator said.
•Heard the second reading of an ordinance for a bond purchase and cooperative agreement with the city, Perrysburg Township, Rossford Transportation Improvement District, Northwestern Water and Sewer District and U.S. Bank.
Attorney Gary Sommers will attend the next council meeting to discuss details of the agreement, Mr. Scott said.
Council’s next meeting is 7 p.m., Monday, November 23, at the municipal building, 133 Osborn Street, and is open to the public.
The annual tree lighting ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m., at the municipal building.
Council also scheduled an organizational meeting for 7 p.m., Monday, December 7.
The Journal office in Perrysburg now has the following new hours of operation:
Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.
Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.
The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.
Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.
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