Local Pictures
Classified Ads
 Announce Births
Email Us
Buy A Copy
Local Links

click here to
The Daily



09-03-03: Rockford village officials unsure of who owns land


ROCKFORD — Village officials plan to take a hands-off approach on whether the local American Legion post can acquire a small parcel of land to build a new facility.
The land along Bridge Street, known as Hedges Park, includes an American Legion monument and a former cemetery that may or may not still contain human remains. Rockford officials at their Tuesday night meeting said the parcel is not theirs, although county real estate tax records show otherwise.
Village officials believe the land is a virtual no-man’s land. The village takes care of it, while the American Legion is the only user of the site, staging Memorial Day services there. But neither the town nor the Legion claim ownership of the land. Council members, therefore, want to step back from the issue.
“There is no record of any village ownership of that land,” Village Administrator Jeff Long said.
Long said Solicitor Judy Koesters and attorney Tom Lammers, a former village solicitor, each could provide no evidence the village owns the parcel.
Legion officials had approached council members a month ago asking about the availability of the land, which is adjacent to the existing Legion post. American Legion officials are looking to build new quarters because of repeated flood damage to the basement of the existing facility.
Tom Beahrs, a village utility worker and Legion member, said American Legion officials might pursue ownership of the property themselves.
Council member Randy Gutierrez wondered why the town maintains the land. “What the hell’s up with that?” he said.
Long said the village probably would continue to mow grass at the site.
The Daily Standard this morning checked into the property at the Mercer County Tax Map office. Records there indicate the 2-acre property, called Hedges Cemetery on officials documents, is indeed owned by the village. It lists Clerk-Treasurer Amy Lyons as the contact person. Because the land is a cemetery, no property taxes are paid on it.
No one could be reached at the village office this morning for additional comment.
Also during Tuesday’s regular council meeting, Long and police Chief Paul May announced the town will begin cracking down on the storage of junk vehicles, high weeds and grass and the storage of junk and rubbish around a property.
“We’re getting a lot of complaints ... It’s a mounting problem,” Long said.
May said the problem is not widespread but that there are a handful of six or eight regular violators.
“We’ve tried to work with people ... but they took advantage,” May said. “It’s a continuous thing.”
May and Long said village officials will now adopt a “zero tolerance” attitude toward violation of the three village ordinances that cover the offenses. The ordinances grant time for violators to clean up their act and avoid penalties but allow local officials to cite violators who do not cooperate into court.
In other business, council members:
• Appointed Pat Williams and Marlene Roebuck to three-year terms of the Tax Incentive Review Committee.
• Agreed to stay with Peoples Bank Co. for a two-year term.
• Approved final reading of an annexation agreement between the town and Dublin Township regarding the annexation of about 40 acres of land owned by Parkway Local Schools. Because the school is tax exempt, the annexation agreement has no financial terms for the sharing of tax revenue.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822