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The Daily



08-06-03: Legion wants to buy village land to move
The Daily Standard
    ROCKFORD - American Legion Post 508 officials want to relocate to higher ground in the wake of recent flooding and other problems with the organization's existing building.
    American Legion member Tom Rogers asked village officials if they would be interested in selling property directly to the west of the existing Legion building at 105 W. Bridge St. The land would allow th  American Legion to build a new facility on higher ground, Roger said.
    Village council members meeting Tuesday expressed no opposition to the plan and asked Solicitor Judy Koesters to look into the legality of building on the site. There is some question whether the site can be developed because there once was a cemetery there. Reports are mixed on whether all of the graves that were there have been relocated.
    If the approximately two-acre parcel can be developed, village officials seem to support the idea. Village Administrator Jeff Long, who is a member of the Legion, said he wouldn't mind unloading the land so the village does not have to maintain it. The land now is vacant except for a memorial placed there by the American Legion.
    ³We don't really use it except on Memorial Day and the Legion runs that,² Long said.
    The current American Legion building was inundated by more than a foot of water in the basement - where the bar and main meeting area is located - during the Independence Day flood. Volunteers manned pumps around the clock to keep the water from rising even higher, Rogers said.
    About $8,000 in damage was done to the facility. On top of that, the roof needs replaced, the building does not meet handicapped accessibility standards and probably needs electrical work, Rogers said.
    The existing structure was purchased by the Legion in 1954 and moved in two pieces to Rockford, Rogers said. In the interim, Legion officials likely would make minimal repairs and move the bar and gathering area to the first floor of the building, he said.
    Also Tuesday, council members gave Long the go-ahead to pursue funding that could be used for a flood mitigation project.
    The Ohio Water Development Authority (OWDA) is offering the program to governments in the six-county area declared a disaster area. The authority has set up a program where payments on existing OWDA loans can be deferred to help pay for flood damages. Rockford currently has an annual payment of about $100,000 for its sewer plant. The program is geared toward water and sewage facilities damaged during the flooding.
     The sewer plant was not damaged, but instead, Long said he plans to seek OWDA approval to join the program and use the deferred loan payments to build a retention pond along Rockford West Road. That area was the site of severe flooding several weeks ago.
    In other business, council members:
    - Discussed the village's recent audit. Council members agreed to get stronger control on cash receipts and inventory at the swimming pool and agreed to let the finance committee review bank statements on a monthly basis. Another issue regarding income tax collections was tabled until the next meeting.
    - Agreed to look into installing lights on the tennis courts at Shane's Park to improve overall lighting in the area. Long said he would like to add basketball hoops to the courts to make them dual-use because the tennis courts are rarely used.
    - Passed second reading of a resolution setting up an annexation agreement between the village and Dublin Township for the annexation of land owned by Parkway Local Schools into the village. The agreement calls for no financial compensation because the school district is a tax-exempt entity, and the township would lose no property taxes through the land's addition to the village. The district is building a new K-12 facility on the approximately 40-acre site north of town.
    - Agreed to pursue state grant funding to add more walking trails at Shane's Park. About 3,500 feet of 10-foot wide asphalt walkways are planned for the park. Cost would be about $84,000 with the grant covering up to half of costs.


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