Mar 24, 2013

No opposition voiced to transfer of park land to the school

BY RYAN BERRY 
MANAGING EDITOR 
GREENVILLE – Although Greenville City Council offered an opportunity for residents to ask questions about the proposed deeding of park land to the school district, there were no takers at the March 19 meeting of council. However, some council members posed questions given to them by residents.

Councilman Roy Harrison asked about the deed restrictions placed on the property from the Harmon Trust. Law Director Camille Baker pointed out the issue was researched thoroughly before the proposal was made. According to Baker, the trust was dissolved in the 90’s, which meant the restrictions were no longer valid.

Harrison also asked about the use of the tennis courts, track and football field by the public. Jon McGreevey, director of administration services for the Greenville City School District, noted there were no immediate plans to change the way it is presently used.

Council John Baumgardner asked if the school district will be able to financially maintain and improve the facility. McGreevey pointed out the agreement with Wayne HealthCare and Good Samaritan will help with improvements and the school will be able to use permanent improvement funds on future projects.

Baumgardner also questioned what happens to the land if the school vacates the property in the future. According to Baker, the land will be transferred back to the city.

Council approved a motion to have the law director prepare the necessary legislation. Baker will be working with Travis Fliehman, attorney for the school district, to prepare the deed transfer. The city is expected to have the issue of the property reverting back to the city if the school vacates the property and use of the park office as part of the deed restrictions.

Council is hoping legislation will be prepared prior to its first meeting in April at which time council will vote on the legislation.

Three reports from the Utility Committee were heard and approved by members of council. The first was a request for a sewer lateral reimbursement for over $4,000. John Greendyke, homeowner, asked for the reimbursement, but according to Greenville’s ordinances, the city will not reimburse for issues from the sewer main to the residence. The committee agreed not to reimburse Greendyke. The report passed 6-1 with Tracy Tryon casting the dissenting vote.

The committee also submitted a report authorizing the bidding process for the purchase and installation of new water meters. The city will request universal specifications. The committee gave unanimous approval.

The third report from the committee dealt with water rates. The committee agreed to leave the rates as is with a 10-unit minimum for everyone. The issue will be reexamined after the new water meters are installed. Harrison believes the rate is difficult for senior citizens and those on a fixed income to manage, as well as detrimental to those who try to conserve water. Councilman Todd Oliver likened the rate to an energy company that charges a minimum whether you use any energy or not. The charge is there for the privilege of being hooked up to the service. Baumgardner reminded council that Greenville is still the cheapest in the county for water rates. He also believes the charge is needed for future projects like water line replacement. In the past, the city did not have the money available to replace lines when a street was open, only to have to spend the money a couple a years later when the line goes bad. According to Baumgardner, by leaving the fees as they are, the city will be able to replace the lines when they do a street project. The report was approved 6-1 with Harrison casting the dissenting vote.

The next regular meeting of Greenville City Council will be April 2, 7:30 p.m., Council Chambers, Municipal Building.

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