Councilors OK District

ST. MARYS — City councilors on Monday night gave the green light for the creation of a revitalization district in downtown.

In a unanimous vote, St. Marys City Councilors approved, under suspension of rules, an emergency ordinance establishing a revitalization district in downtown St. Marys. The measure would allow businesses that fit a certain number of requirements to apply for a limited number of D-5L liquor permits. Among the chief requirements is a business can derive no more than 25 percent of its sales from alcohol. Each permit would be granted under the discretion of the state liquor control board.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the small businesses in downtown St. Marys to expand their foot print and offer an additional service to the citizens of St. Marys,” St. Marys Mayor Pat McGowan told The Evening Leader following the meeting. “It’s just going to help them solidify their business base.”

Four to five additional permits are expected to become available as a result of the revitalization district. McGowan said the district also could lead to some growth downtown.

“They would have to offer a different service,” McGowan said. “It could be a bed and breakfast or anything downtown that offers a service.”

Two businesses have already submitted applications for permits. McGowan said Guarnieri Pizzeria and Spring Street Coffee House have requested permits under the designation. The 40-acre district is bound by Court Street and Spruce Street and South Street and High Street.

McGowan also noted the city is looking for individuals and groups to organize leagues at the miniature golf course in K.C. Geiger Park. Anyone interested in operating a league is encouraged to call the city office at 419-394-3303.

“We’re looking for perhaps some nonprofits or citizens to step forward,” McGowan said. “We would welcome the nonprofits to do that and maybe give them a chance at a fundraiser. And if individuals would want to step up, they would have an opportunity to organize a league. It’s a nice facility and we want to see it used.”

In other business, councilors:

• Approved the third and final reading of an ordinance regarding the resurfacing of a portion of Spruce Street as part of an Ohio Department of Transportation project.

• Approved, under suspension of rules, an emergency ordinance regarding pay for seasonal and temporary positions at the swimming pool.

• Tabled the second reading of an ordinance regarding the zoning for recently annexed land into the city. Council President Dan Hoelscher said the measure needed to be tabled in order to meet a 30-day grace period required under Ohio law related to the annexation process.

• Approved, under suspension of rules, an emergency ordinance regarding supplementals to the 2012 budget. Auditor Doug Riesen said many of the projects were initially included in the budget proposed in June, but were later removed. City officials later determined some of the cuts were needed.

• Approved, under suspension of rules, two emergency ordinances regarding the closing out of two funds.

• Approved the first reading of an ordinance requesting county commissioners to petition the director of the Ohio Department of Development to designated newly annexed land into the city as part of the rural jobs and enterprise zone.

Councilors entered executive session to discuss possible land purchase. When councilors reconvened in regular session, no action was taken.

The next meeting of the St. Marys City Council is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 23 at the city building located along East Spring Street.