Obetz Credits, Development, and Independence Day News

By Katelyn Sattler
Personal editor

The Obetz City Council approved changes to the city’s 2022 appropriations.

At the June 13 council meeting, Obetz City Administrator Rod Davisson said the changes were largely due to the rising cost of gasoline.

“The price of gasoline has doubled and tripled, which we didn’t expect at the beginning of the year when we started driving cruisers and vehicles. We have no more money for gasoline and lots of funds,” Davisson said.

Another expense was $2,500 for Iron Mountain storage fees.

“This is where we store some of our public records when they’re archived,” Davisson said.
Another item is a reduction of $1,200 to match actual expenses. Another is a $690,000 debt service payment, which happens when a TIF (tax increase financing) generates money. The Toy Road TIF district infrastructure is funded by a developer with a letter of credit.

“In other words, they backed the bonds on our infrastructure approval by letter of credit,” Davisson said. “And the deal is that when that TIF starts making money, they can get that money back that they’ve paid over the years. And this year, that number is $690,000.

There is also an addition of $505,000 to the natural gas fund.

“Again, we need to buy more natural gas at higher prices, both for resale and for use on city properties,” Davisson said. “I hope that’s enough, but you know, if gas goes to $10 a gallon, we’ll run out of it pretty quickly too. So we are doing what we can to retain and maintain operations in what has become a very dangerous economy. So we’re keeping an eye on that to see how it goes.

TFS and Buckstone development
There was also an emergency reading on an ordinance that creates two TIF districts in the city.

Davisson explained: “The TIF districts are part of a larger overall project. There is a tax increase funding district. This is a way for us to redirect tax money that would usually go to other political subdivisions (back) to the city for the purpose of building infrastructure related to the Buckstone development.

It had been tabled so that it would be enacted at the right time to create a new community authority of the three farms which had been sold for development – ​​the Younkin, Warner and Wilburn farms.

Obetz’s chief legal officer, Eugene Hollins, has explained in previous meetings that the laws creating a new community authority must be passed in a certain order, and Obetz is about to pass them all to create the Buckstone development.

Emergency passage of legislation means the law will come into effect immediately, rather than waiting 30 days for it to come into force.

Resident Andy Borders asked, “I’ve read that Franklin County isn’t really behind this. What does this do to the payout structure? »

Davisson replied, “Never mind. We anticipated that the county would want money from its social services, which is exactly what it did. This does not necessarily mean that they are against the project. We had a meeting with them to discuss the project in general, which they seem to favor. So we weren’t surprised by their objection.

New personal fireworks law
Ohio’s new personal fireworks law was on the agenda, but Hollins said the board would discuss it on June 27.

Beginning July 3, Ohioans can legally set off public fireworks on the following days: July 3, 4, and 5, including the Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays immediately preceding and following; Labor Day weekend; Diwali; New Year’s Eve; New Year’s Day; Chinese New Year; Cinco de Mayo; Memorial Day weekend; and June tenth.

According to the approved House Bill 172, a municipality can impose additional restrictions on the dates and times when fireworks can be discharged or circumvent the law altogether.

By Katelyn Sattler
Personal editor

Obetz City Council held a special meeting on June 16 for the second reading of legislation for a new community authority related to the Buckstone project.

“We’ve talked about it a number of times,” Obetz administrator Rod Davisson said. “This is the next step in the evolution of creating a new community authority linked to the Buckstone project. A new community authority is an overlay that lets you accrue redirected taxes that would have gone to other political subdivisions, and normally has the power to create bonds, buy property, and do a number of things. Ultimately, it’s the way to make new development work, as opposed to just building straight residential homes, that ends up negatively impacting an economy.

Resident Jennifer Kyre asked, “Why did we have to call a special meeting to pass this ordinance when we just had a council meeting? Did something happen to make this happen today? »

Obetz Law director Eugene Hollins explained, “There are three signatures on the petition they just said we got. And that’s enough. For the third signing, the family was to meet on Tuesday. They met on Tuesday. They consented to it. We received their signed documents today. And in anticipation of that, we set this special meeting for today.

The reason we don’t just put it off until the next regular meeting is that once we get that, we have a public hearing. We have to publicly announce that the public hearing is to take place for three weeks. And it has to be between 30 and 45 days, so if we wanted to have it at the second meeting in July, we had to schedule that meeting. So that’s a great question, but it’s a bunch of legalities and statutory stuff.

The public hearing for this ordinance will take place at the regular council meeting on July 25 at 6 p.m.

No public comments were accepted during the meeting that were not related to an agenda item.

Davisson explained, “The Ohio rules all say when you have this meeting, you have to talk about the ordinance that’s the subject of the special meeting.”

Davisson said if citizens want to discuss other things, they only have “a week’s notice and can come to the next meeting, which is a general council meeting.” Community members can then pitch anything they want to discuss.

The next city council meeting will be June 27 at 6 p.m. at 4175 Alum Creek Drive.

By Katelyn Sattler
Personal editor

The famous Obetz Fortress fireworks celebration on July 1 begins at 6 p.m. with fireworks at 9:50 p.m. at the Fortress and Memorial Park, 1841 Williams Road in Obetz.

Fireworks will be set off just north of the Memorial Park Pond. It is a free event.

Classic rock band TheJack Columbus will host the yard. There will be inflatable structures and a large swing on the lawn. A play area for water guns for children will be available.

Memorial Park will also be set up for those who want to heel. Food trucks will include: Penn Station (in the concession stand), Schmidt’s Sausage Truck, Tortilla Street Food, Pitabilities and Chilljoy Frozen Eatery

Bring your blankets and picnic!

Items prohibited inside Obetz Fortress for this event include: sparklers, smoke bombs, flares, personal fireworks, etc. You will be cited by the police if you use them anywhere inside the fortress; folding/camping chairs; alcohol (available for purchase inside); coolers; glass containers of all kinds; pets or animals (excluding service animals); backpack; bags larger than 6″x8″x10″; laser pointers; sticks or poles of any kind; any sign that may obstruct the view of others; and any other items that police, security or personnel event deems dangerous or inappropriate.

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