Council approves loan to business

By BRIAN BOHNERT
for the courier
FOSTORIA — Economic development was the top priority Tuesday night as Fostoria City Council approved two ordinances aimed at bringing jobs to the city.
Council suspended the three-reading rule and approved a $50,000 loan from the revolving loan fund to Nichole Jones and Cinagro Environmental Services, a new business located at 111 W. South St. The five-year loan, which will carry an interest rate of 2 percent a year, will help pay for staffing and the purchase of equipment.
Dennis Hellmann, interim director of Fostoria Economic Development Corp., expressed support for Jones and her business, which provides environmental services such as wastewater sampling, bioassay sampling, storm water sampling, solid waste sampling, drinking water sampling, and composite and grab sampling.
Jones, a graduate of the University of Findlay, said she is networking with major companies, including Marathon Oil and Buckeye Pipe Line Co., as well as the Fostoria wastewater treatment plant. She said she expects to hire at least 20 new employees to fill analyst positions over the long term.
“I’m very busy,” Jones said. “I’m getting so busy that I need to hire more analysts.”
“This is a great opportunity for Fostoria,” said Mayor Eric Keckler. “I don’t know if there is a ceiling for potential for this business.”
Council also approved an ordinance continuing the city’s support of the Fostoria Economic Development Corp. The legislation appropriates $30,000 from the Community Development Fund to go to FEDC for 2014.
For budget year 2014, an additional 75 percent of the interest collected in 2013 from all loans being paid to the city’s Revolving Loan Fund will also go to FEDC, according to the ordinance. The interest collected last year was $27,725, meaning $20,794 would be awarded to the agency.
Separately, council approved an ordinance setting rules and regulations for the installation of wind turbines in Fostoria.
Zoning Inspector Sandy Coleman said she was recently approached by a Fostoria resident who wanted to build a wind turbine on his property. With no rules on the books, she and the Fostoria Planning Commission recommended the ordinance be drafted.
Separately, council approved an ordinance allowing Coleman to enforce sidewalk laws, such as snow removal. The previous ordinance only permitted Fostoria police officers to write tickets to those who do not remove snow.

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