Marysville City Council will not take a final vote until April 11 on a resolution of support for an Upper Scioto Watershed Balanced Growth Plan proposed by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.
Council was expected to vote on the resolution at its March 28 meeting, but members opted to table it until Councilman JR Rausch returns from vacation.
MORPC's proposal calls for communities to follow a plan when considering development and its effect on watershed areas. In exchange for following the guidelines in the proposal, communities may qualify for state grants and possibly some federal money as well.
There are 29 communities and 433 square miles included in the Upper Scioto planning partnership.
Reaction to the plan among city officials has been mixed since it was first broached in February.
Council President Nevin Taylor said he has had many conversations with MORPC since council's last meeting and it agreed to address one of his major concerns: the "watershed" designation. Taylor said the plan does not fall under the true definition of a "watershed." He said MORPC agreed to remove the term "watershed" from the plan.
Marysville Mayor John Gore said he supports the plan based on economic concerns. It would allow the city to earn extra points toward grant applications, low-interest loans and more, he said.
"My point is about the future and the community and being fiscally responsible to the taxpayer," Gore said.
In other business March 28, Gore said city and school district officials are working on ways to alleviate traffic congestion at Mill Valley Elementary School during drop-off and pick-up times.
"The city and school staffs have decided on staging the five school buses on Mill Wood Drive to load and unload the students," Gore said.
This moves the buses out of the parking lot, freeing up room for the cars dropping off students, he explained. The city will spend $750 to pour a concrete pad between the curb and the sidewalk on Mill Wood Drive directly in front of the school so students do not have to walk in the grass to get to the sidewalk.
Gore presented a resolution to Marysville schools Superintendent Diane Mankins and high school student body president Jonathan Driscoll declaring May 7 to be Support the Marysville Schools Day.
He stressed the importance of supporting the district's quest to pass a 9-mill renewal levy in May. School officials have said the approval of levy will not produce an increase in taxes and but will help avoid $3 million in budget cuts.
"If our school system fails, our community fails," Gore said.
The mayor also invited the public to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Marysville's new police and court facility at the corner of Fifth Street and Raymond Road at 8 a.m. April 15. The city broke ground on the project in October 2011.
Also at the March 28 meeting, council unanimously approved a resolution opposing Ohio House Bill 5.
Gore said council passed a resolution opposing House Bill 601 in December that proposed uniformity in income tax collections. It was recently reintroduced at the Ohio Statehouse as H.B. 5.
"It basically takes the ability away to collect our own income taxes locally," he said. "We're 'home-ruled' for a reason. We make our laws. We follow our laws. We collect our money and we spend our money. We don't need them to help us."
"I don't need an outsider proving to me they can mess up my system like they've done theirs already, whether it's at the state level or the national level," Taylor said.
Council also passed a resolution opposing UN Agenda 21, a plan promoting sustainability that came out of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Brazil in 1992.
The method of obtaining sustainability is a concern for council members. The public affairs committee began discussing a resolution of opposition to UN Agenda 21 in September. Many opponents of the plan claim it takes away private property rights of American citizens by imposing environmental considerations in the name of sustainability.