By JIM MAURER
STAFF WRITER

Hancock Park District board on Tuesday approved an additional appropriation to the general fund of more than $43,470 for a paving project this year.

In October, the park board approved paving the Blanchard Landing parking lot. Three bids were received for the project with Geddis Paving and Excavating, Toledo, submitting the low bid at about $39,518.

The more than $43,470 approved Tuesday includes contingency funds.

Other bids came from: Henry W. Berman, Genoa, $47,778; and Helms and Sons Excavating, Findlay, about $52,109.

The project will be funded by a state Department of Transportation grant received annually by the park district.

Separately, the board wants to view an area on Hancock County 9 between Aurand Run and the Dold subdivision where a shallow drainage ditch has been proposed to relieve excessive water during heavy rains. The board took no action on the proposal Tuesday.

Dan Stone, owner of Van Horn Hoover and Associates, an architect/surveying company, is handling the plans for a shallow drainage ditch along the county road, which will cross in front of Gateway Church and the southern portion of Oakwoods Nature Preserve, owned by the park district.

He has been in contact with property owners, the county engineer’s office and others during development of the plans.

A mound would be created along a portion of the road to develop a 1-2 foot deep grass ditch, which would usually be dry and mowed. There are natural gas lines along the road, so digging in the area is not feasible, Stone said.

Stone met with the park board in June and returned Tuesday with the proposed plan.

Lisa McClain, who lives on Hancock County 9, voiced concerns about the possibility of increased flooding on her property if the work is done.

Park board members are likely to take action March 12 on the request to use park district property for the ditch.

The park district board also approved about $1,886 for severance and Medicare payout for Robert Sams, who resigned as natural resource manager on Jan. 11.

In November, Sams, of Findlay, was indicted by a Hancock County grand jury on 15 counts of pandering sexually-oriented material involving a minor. He was then placed on leave by the park district.

The board also reviewed a compensation comparison prepared by Director Gary Pruitt, but took no action. The board previously agreed to several years of a 3 percent annual increase in the base pay of the park district’s pay scale.

Commissioner Ed Ingold said since the natural resource manager position requires a college degree, and the position is necessary, then the person should start out at a higher pay than $13.39 per hour.

Pruitt will provide the three commissioners with a list of current park district employee pay.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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