Hancock County Commissioners Tim Bechtol and Mark Gazarek on Tuesday emphasized that groups wanting to use Dorney Plaza for events this summer must stay off the grass, which was installed last year as part of improvements to the plaza located adjacent to the courthouse.

The issue came up when Don VanRentergham, organizer of the annual Spirit of 1776 event held in downtown Findlay during the July 4 holiday, presented a drawing of locations for various tents, vendors and display tables for the event. Some were placed on the grass at Dorney Plaza.

He said that without using the grass area, “there is not room for people” to roam and interact with costumed re-enactors who are part of the program.

The commissioners told VanRentergham last year that the grassy area could not be used this year because the contractor said people should stay off grass for a year after installation.

VanRentergham said Tuesday he has tried to pull out the grass but was unsuccessful.

Bechtol said, “We don’t want you on the grass.”

Bechtol and Gazarek said the paved area between the county courthouse and the probate/juvenile court building could be used, as could the concrete area in front of the courthouse.

VanRentergham said the area behind the courthouse is too far from most of the activity, and people will not go back there.

After a few minutes of discussion, VanRentergham agreed to stay off the grass and update his drawing of the event, which must be submitted in order to get permission to hold the event there.

The commissioners will review the drawing before giving final approval, they said. Separately, for the second time, the Hancock County commissioners extended a state grant agreement for a road rebuilding project on the north edge of Findlay.

The state Controlling Board last year approved a $163,500 grant to help rebuild a road leading to Partitions Plus because the Findlay manufacturer was planning to add jobs.

The grant will cover half the expense of rebuilding the part-asphalt, part-gravel road, which extends south from Hancock County 212 and is opposite Distribution Drive.

The other half of the construction expense, $163,500, will be paid by local government and businesses.

In December, the commissioners extended the grant agreement through May 31. Tuesday’s action extends the agreement until the end of the year.

Separately, the commissioners scheduled a hearing on an annexation request for 11 a.m. Aug. 16 in the commissioners’ first floor hearing room. Richard and Brenda Binner, 625 H St., are seeking to annex about 0.27 acre from Marion Township to Findlay.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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