By: Anna Wozniak
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
The Bryan City Council met on December 18, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. starting with a public hearing for zoning code ordinances.
Present were John Lehner, Mayor Carrie Schlade, Council President Richard Hupe, Council Vice President Judy Yahraus, John Betts, Mary Leatherman, and Jim Kozumplik.
Presented at the last meeting, the planning commission has already approved the reclassification and organization of the zoning ordinances.
Administrative appeals will now go to the planning commission, whose appeals will now go to the Court of Common Pleas.
Council then moved to approve the minutes of their December 4, 2023 meeting, and then a resident shared his opinion on marijuana, stating that rural residents outside of city limits should count towards the city’s decisions.
Mayor Schlade then thanked Richard Hupe for his time spent as council president, and Judy Yahraus for her service to the city as councilor for the last eight years.
The clerk / treasurer’s report was then approved as presented before an ordinance for the hiring of a city attorney was then passed.
The first reading of the new zoning codes were given, and Mayor Schlade shared that this has already been given to the planning and zoning committee.
Ordinance No. 63-2023 provided for appropriations for expenditures approved in the 2024 budget, and was approved on its first reading after a suspension of the rules.
Ordinance No. 64-2023 authorized the salary ranges, compensation, and classifications for city employees for 2024.
Ordinance No. 65-2023 then amended the salary ranges for the volunteer fire department, raising the lowest three tiers of pay to meet minimum wage requirements.
The next ordinance approved the transfers of utility funds approved by the Bryan Board of Public Affairs, and the ordinance after that provided for transfers from the water and electric funds.
Resolution 53-2023 allowed for the repayment of an interfund cash advance made in 2022 for the Horton Heights Sewer Project.
An ordinance approving a “then and now” purchase certification for proof of adequate funds was then approved, as was an ordinance amending the city tax code to comply with the passing of HB33.
Ordinance 57-2023 and Ordinance 52-2023, which relates to marijuana dispensaries and cultivators to certain zones, prohibits it on city property, and within 500 feet of schools, was then discussed.
Mr. Hupe shared that he spoke with Representative Hoops on future state legislation regarding marijuana, with many representatives not being on the same page with what should be regulated.
With there being no final word from the state for six to eight weeks, it is hard to know whether or not the city should take action immediately.
It was shared that no licenses will be issued within the next nine months, but that the legislature has yet to provide parameters for doing so.
They were legally advised to ban it now and limit it later as state regulations get handed out. That is what they did by voting to approve Ordinance 52-2023.
Ordinance 70-2023 was approved on its first reading after a suspension of the rules, and provides for the expansion of the police and firefighting force residency requirements to help fill the ranks throughout the county.
Ordinance 71-2023 authorized the mayor to reject all bids for the restroom at the inclusive playground because all bids were 20% higher than the engineer’s estimate. Ways to reduce the cost are being addressed before the project is going out for bid again.
A resolution authorizing a liquor permit for Ridi Stores, LLC was approved before a resolution designating a Central Business District in the City of Bryan was approved after a suspension of the rules and a declaration of emergency.
This was needed by Maumee Valley Planning for a Downtown Revitalization Project grant application. A donation of 1.48 acres of land was accepted, in honor of the late Denny Winzeler.
Resolution 57-2023 accepted a donation for memorial benches at Floral Grove Cemetery from the BFW. The benches were procured by the Department of Veterans Services, who were thanked alongside the BFW.
The first meeting of 2024 will see Mary Leatherman serve council as president and Jim Kozumplik as vice president, and the mayor thanked all of the department heads for their work on the year end agenda.
Everyone thanked Yahraus for her service, with many sharing wonderful memories they’ve shared with her throughout the last eight years.
As for last words, Yahraus shared “thank you for this opportunity, I thank my constituents, and God bless,” before making a motion to adjourn the meeting.