By BRIAN BOHNERT
for the courier
FOSTORIA — The long-awaited Stearns Road improvement project got one step closer to reality Tuesday night as Fostoria City Council gave first reading to a contract between the city and Perry Township.
The improvement and maintenance agreement between the city of Fostoria and Perry Township in Wood County will allow for greater tractor-trailer access to “commercial and industrial locations” in Fostoria.
The project, which has been in the planning stages for the better part of a decade, will widen about one-half mile of Stearns Road in Perry Township to three lanes while also installing curbs and stormwater drains.
According to the official agreement, the city obtained an Issue 1 grant in the amount of $1.1 million from the Ohio Public Works Commission for which it will provide 80/20 matching funds for the project.
In addition to the initial construction, the city would be responsible for performing all future maintenance and repairs.
At the Jan. 9 council meeting, Law Director Tim Hoover said construction should begin sometime this spring.
An ordinance relating to insurance benefits for elected city officials was approved Tuesday.
All elected city officials will be eligible to enroll in the city’s “optical, dental, prescription and major medical insurance” only if they receive $12,000 per year in monetary compensation.
The ordinance would be effective for the mayor, director of law, director of finance, city council president and at-large council members on Jan. 1, 2016. The plan would take effect for all ward council members on Jan. 1, 2018.
Council members serving on the finance committee receive $5,800 per year while the rest of council earns $5,500 each year, City Auditor Steve Garner said.
For the third time, At-Large Councilman Brian Shaver, alongside 3rd Ward Representative Jonathan Hay, voted against reading the ordinance. In a previous interview with the Review Times, Shaver said while he agrees with the legislation itself, he does not feel the time is right to discuss this topic given the uncertain impact The next meeting of Fostoria City Council is 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 in council chambers on the second floor of the Municipal Building.
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