City Council pushes Community Action Plan forward, ups pool rates


press release- 2/20

City Council convened to review the progress of their city improvement plans and set plans into motion.

The group met on March 4 to oversee how much had been done for the Community Action and the East Wooster Development plans in the last few months.

CAP progress was focused on actions taken since the last update in October 2018. A main update was the near-completion of initial work for revised bike infrastructure in the city. Bicycle safety commission recommendations are almost primed for action, member Greg Robinette said.

Other updates include deciding to delay action on acquiring BGSU-owned vacant lots on the west side of the railroad tracks, planning to have a contractor personally review the city zoning codes and shifting different priorities to set up a more fluid action plan.

Robinette also said a delay in approval for the East Wooster Development Plan was stalling action for the CAP, but work on approved items would move quickly after the delay was over.

Different council members looked forward to implementing CAP ideas, which include the installation of more bike-friendly services, revivals of economic areas and revamps of property policy.

Council President Michael Aspacher said he looked forward to more movement on the plans.

“Action items do seem to be coming together,” he said.

Member Bruce Jeffers said, though he had admitted to putting these projects on the “back-burner,” he hoped full implementation would help the city. He highlighted the plans’ potential to protect upstanding landlords and teach “bad landlords how to be better landlords.”

City Administrator Lori Tretter reminded Council that approved parking price hikes went into effect the day of the meeting and most lots had three-hour parking limits.

However, she said Lot 2 spaces would remain free until the parking kiosks the city had ordered arrived and were installed.

No pending legislation was up for third reading this meeting, but Council unanimously voted to approve the Parks and Recreation Board decision to increase city pool passes. While passes for resident children will remain at $5.50 per visit, all other rates will increase. Pool-goers may order seasonal passes at their original prices before May 13.

Council member Sandy Rowland said these increases were made to keep city pools funded against a high operating budget.

A public hearing on the city’s proposed plastic bag ban occurred prior to the meeting, which mostly acted as a forum for different citizen opinions on the matter. Though no decision came out of the hearing, Council promised another hearing prior to its April 1 meeting.