Huron County OKs Bellevue annexation

NORWALK The suspense is over. Huron County commissioners granted the annexation of ab
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

NORWALK

The suspense is over.

Huron County commissioners granted the annexation of about 410 acres of Lyme Township into the city of Bellevue.

Thirteen landowners in Lyme Township along U.S. 20 sought the annexation.

They want to commercially develop that corridor and say they need city water and sewer service to do so.

Written into the resolution passed Thursday is the justification for the decision.

The list of reasons states: petitioners met all the legal requirements, the annexing city complied with code, the territory is not "unreasonably large," the annexation will not create any road division problems, and the benefits of the annexation outweigh any inconveniences or problems it might cause.

Conceding the decision will not be popular with all parties involved, commissioner Ralph Fegley contends it was clearly the right call.

"Not everyone's satisfied with it. But the majority of the people there want this," Fegley said. "From our perspective ... the only thing we have to discuss is the overall picture itself. On that basis, I don't have any choice but to vote in favor of it."

At the center of the annexation issue was the dispute over the details of a compact between the city and the township.

Lyme Township trustees claimed the terms of the city's proposal provided little to no input for them in matters of economic development.

"We would have no voice," Lyme Township Trustee Chairman Roger Hunker previously said.

Bellevue officials claimed they modeled their proposal on similar, effective agreements the city has with other outlying territories.

In the end, commissioners voted 3-0 to allow the annexation to take place.

Board president Mike Adelman said while commissioners do not have the power to create new jobs the way the governor's office can, the county has a responsibility to create conditions that lead to economic prosperity.

This annexation has some promising elements, he said.

"What we should try to do is create the environment that would attract business and industry that would, of course, bring along jobs," he said.

Another function of the commission is to help current businesses, Adelman said. The push for the annexation came from Lyme Township residents and businesses who wished to receive city services, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1238 and a car dealership. These businesses both argued that to stay economically viable, they needed incorporation into the city to fix their sanitary sewer issues. That played a significant factor in the decision, Adelman said.

The resolution stays on hold with the county for one month and then will be transferred to the city of Bellevue, which has to wait two months before it can act on it, said Daivia Kasper, assistant prosecutor with the Huron County Prosecutor's office.

Commissioners said they hoped Bellevue and Lyme Township could reach a compromise over the terms of the agreement.