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October 1, 2014
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School district asks city to waive fees and bonds on new building

GREENVILLE – Greenville City School District’s preliminary plans for the new K-8 building are expected to go before Greenville’s Planning and Zoning Commission on June 17 for approval, but City Council received a preview of a few items they are being asked to approve for the project at their June 3 meeting. Safety/Service Director Curt Garrison asked council to determine whether the request for three variances should be assigned to a committee for further examination or prepare legislation. The school district and contractor, Garmann Miller, would like to immediately move forward with the project once Planning & Zoning gives its approval.

The school district is asking the city to waive the utility tap-in fee. If council agrees to the proposal, the city would forgo fees that total $12,000 for water and $18,000 for sewer.

The second variance request could save the school district $9,000 or more, but require the city to provide construction inspections in the right-of-way without reimbursement. The variance would eliminate a 3% construction inspection fee. The district has set aside at least $300,000 for public improvements in the right-of-way. According to Garrison, that fee is in place to cover the time for the city’s Planning & Zoning Department to oversee everything is put in per code. “This is a huge project. It will require a lot of city time.”

The school district is also asking the city to waive the need for surety and maintenance bonds. If not waived, companies doing work on this project would need to be double bonded because the Ohio School Facilities Commission already requires companies it works with to be bonded. The bonds are another form of insurance that a contracted company will do the work correctly. The maintenance bond is for one year and covers defects that might occur after the work is completed.

Councilman John Baumgardner pointed out he was in favor of approving the three variances. Other members were partially in agreement, but felt the need to keep the maintenance bond. Legislation to waive the variances is expected to appear before council at its June 17 meeting.

Garrison also informed council the water meter installation project should be completed soon. The city is shutting off the water to households that have failed to have the new water meter installed. Approximately 50 occupied homes will be affected, as well as several vacant homes.

In other business, council:

* heard a report on three suspicious fires in the city. Garrison said, “If you remember last year at this time we started our rash of break-ins. We are hoping this does not follow that same trend.” He encouraged all citizens and neighborhood watch groups to be looking for suspicious activity and report it to the police department; and

* learned 16 nuisance/garbage complaints in the last two weeks. People are starting to get these properties cleaned up. The street department has mowed over 40 lawns after posted notices went unheeded. Garrison expects a second round of mowing to begin soon.

The next regular meeting of Greenville City Council will be June 17, 7:30 p.m., Council Chambers, Municipal Building.

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