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Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Council considers annexing mobile home park, landing

By Margie Wuebker
MINSTER - Village council members Tuesday night asked for resident input on the possible annexation of land housing a mobile home park as well as a landing along Lake Loramie.
Councilman Craig Oldiges said Jeff Sommer, owner of West Lake Village and Spirk's Landing, approached the village regarding extension of water lines to his properties. Both are within 1 1/2 miles from Minster's corporation limit.
"His current package plant does not meet EPA regulations," Oldiges said. "There are two options - he can put in a new system that would be costly or request water service from Minster or Fort Loramie."
Village administrator Don Harrod said officials have received similar requests but the village only provides utilities to properties within its corporation limits. Those seeking service proceeded with annexation.
Oldiges, a member of the utilities committee, said the request presents positives and negatives.
"Some of the property is in Shelby County and not Auglaize County," he said. "We don't know at this point how the Shelby County Commissioners would react to annexation."
On the other hand, annexation would mean bringing a "good bit of land" into the village. Oldiges added this could be important for future development and would increase water revenue.
According to the Shelby County Auditor's parcel search, Sommer's two mobile home parks total 27.5 acres.
West Lake Village, 12550 state Route 362, was established in 1965. It is southeast of Minster in Auglaize and Shelby counties. MHVillage.com lists the property as having 50 sites for mobile homes.
Spirk's Landing, 12059 state Route 362, has 40 mobile home sites, according to Sommer. It's entirely in Shelby County and has been in existence much longer than his other property.
Sommer told The Daily Standard he has been "under the gun" for some time with the EPA. He is "right on the bubble" with current regulations regarding arsenic levels in drinking water, he said, and knows future EPA changes will be stricter.
The property owner would pay all costs associated with the installation of water lines. He reportedly has a grant to cover much of the costs. Sommer would be required to pay the village for water and maintain the network of water lines at his properties.
"I went to Fort Loramie with the same proposal," Sommer said this morning. "They (council members) did not seem interested for whatever reason."
Harrod said the areas would be subject to current zoning laws if annexed. No mobile homes are in the community, but the zoning code does have a section related to planned mobile home districts.
"Mobile homes would be permitted as long as they meet our zoning codes," he said.
Although Sommer is only seeking village water service, a time may come when he wants sewer and electric as well.
"There are lots of pros and cons," Oldiges said. "We do see some longterm benefits and some short-term challenges."
Council wants local input before pursuing the matter.
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