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The Daily



10-28-03: Celina residents voice opposite views on lakefront development


Celina City Council chambers resembled more of a debate floor than a council floor Monday night, as community members took the microphone to espouse their views on local issues.
Council members had only a small handful of regular business to legislate, but residents wanted answers on issues like storm sewer problems, illegal scooters and lake revitalization.
Celina Attorney Lou Schiavone commended the council for recent efforts to breathe life back into West Bank Road, which has sat deteriorating for 50 years, he said.
“These areas have been an embarrassment for the last 16 years,” he said about the West Bank, while circulating pictures from 50 years ago with the same buildings standing.
“We can do better than a muddy fishing hole, an old industrial site and a trailer park on our lakefront,” Schiavone continued.
The lawyer, reading from a prepared statement, urged the council to not be deterred by individuals who scrutinize and criticize every council action, especially on efforts to revitalize the lakefront and downtown.
Schiavone said the opponents of the revitalization plan who circulated petitions to have the issue on the November ballot have been saying not much public input went into the revitalization master plan. “That sir, to be polite, is inaccurate,” he said.
He remembered direct mailings from the planning firm, public displays of the plan as it progressed, group visits to other towns and consultants at the Celina Lake Festival and Governor’s Cup Regatta “polling people about their hopes and dreams for the lakefront.
“The plan is a vision, of a cohesive land use plan ... that can give the private sector the incentive and trustworthiness to make capital investments in our community,” he said.
Celina resident Kenny Slorp told the lawyer to watch who he knocks, because Slorp once lived on West Bank Road, “and there are people in those trailers too.”
Local businessmen who made investments in new electric scooters that are currently exploding in popularity may be stuck with an inventory surge, as state leaders are dishing out advice to communities to treat the toys as motorcycles.
Rich McNaughton, from CA Bicycle Sales and Service of Celina, asked council members to clarify the laws on electric scooters, because his company is selling the two-wheeled scooters with small electric engines.
Councilors and Law Director Kevin McKirnan stated the Ohio State Highway Patrol, state Bureau of Motor Vehicles and state Attorney General’s office have each advised the scooters fall into the laws covering motorcycles. Drivers then must have a license.
McNaughton asked how they could be licensed, because no titles are issued from the manufacturer.
“The manufacturer should lobby the government for classification,” council member Sharon LaRue advised.
A group of Linden Avenue residents were on hand to lobby local officials to fix the storm drainage problem on their street and surrounding streets. This was the group’s third visit since the Independence Day flooding. They asked why storm drains have not been replaced yet, while other storm drainage projects are moving forward.
“Your situation, it’s more than a small pipe in your area, it’s a system of small pipes,” Safety Service Director Mike Sovinski said, adding the city currently doesn’t have the resources to overhaul the system.
In other business, council members:
• Passed an emergency ordinance allowing Sovinski to solicit bids for $50,000 in new turnout gear for the Celina Fire Department. Local firefighters took the initiative to seek out a grant for new response uniforms. They were approved for a $46,286 grant from the U.S. Fire Administration for new gear.
• Passed an emergency resolution supporting an effort by Romer’s Entertainment and Catering to transfer the company’s liquor permit from its current location in the Galleria on Wayne Street to its new location along West Bank Road. The new facility will open in February.


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