The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 11, 2012

Conneaut council OK’s campground rezoning

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — City Council in Conneaut unanimously agreed Tuesday night to rezone a 50-acre parcel that will be used to expand the Evergreen Lake Campground.

By a 6-0 vote, council authorized the change in zoning status for land abutting the campground from an agricultural use to open space, a term that includes recreational uses. The campground acquired the land with plans to expand the facility, located on Center Road at Interstate 90.

Council raised no questions about the rezoning at previous meetings, which included a public hearing held late last month. Members praised the plan, saying an expansion will attract more visitors to town who will spend money at gas stations, stores and restaurants.

Absent from the meeting was Ward 3 Councilman Richard McBride.

In other business, council approved a resolution that ups the threshold the city faces before it must seek bids for purchases and projects. The ordinance states the city must get bids on expenditures of $50,000 or higher. Previously, the city could spend up to $25,000 without the need for bids. The revised law matches the threshold used by the state, said Finance Director John Williams.

Even though the city won’t be obliged to seek bids for expenditures less than $50,000, it’s still good business practice to obtain at least three quotes from vendors, Williams said. State auditors also like to see governments get quotes, he said.

Council also approved a budget amendment that includes the purchase of three Ford utility Interceptors that will be used as police cruisers. The vehicles will cost a combined $88,000, including equipment, and will be bought through the state purchasing plan on a lease/purchase plan. The all-wheel drive vehicles will replace two 2004 cruisers and a 2005 vehicle that have become maintenance problems, council learned.

“They’re not in good shape anymore,” Williams said.

The last time the department bought new cruisers was 2009, Williams said.