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Norwalk council delays decision on resolution about outside furnaces

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:08 PM

Norwalk City Council got a first look at proposed regulations for outside furnaces Tuesday night, but decided to table the resolution until another work session to give members time to read the legislation. Council might just wait for Environmental Protection Agency regulations that should be ready in six to nine months.

The proposed EPA regulations would require higher stack heights than the proposed Norwalk regulations and would require any outside furnaces that didn't meet requirements for stack height, setback and emissions to be removed by July 1, 2010. The EPA regulations would override any regulations council put in place and would also affect outside furnaces within 1,000 feet outside of city limits.

After an executive session, Mayor Sue Lesch said an agreement will be on council's agenda next week that would allow Dale and Ellen Coffman to put off adding a sidewalk to their Republic Street property until 2009. They were originally slated to be part of the 2008 sidewalk program, but applied for a variance. After they variance was denied, the couple filed an appeal with Huron County Common Pleas Court. The proposed resolution would move the Coffman's property from the 2008 paving program to the 2009 program.

Council also will consider legislation next week to pay for necessary improvements to the heating system at the Ernsthausen and pay for training for a new service dog for police.

Ken Leber told council the heating system at the recreation center is 20 years old and needs work, but he had hoped to nurse the current system along until the center could afford an expansion.

"The system's been in there 20 years this fall," he said. "It is an unsafe situation we need to address." He said initial estimates range from $150,000 to $200,000.

Police Chief Kevin Cashen told council the department has found a possible replacement for Fazo, who is retiring. Cashen called the new dog a "high-energy dog" and said the canine, which will be 18 months old in April, could be trained and ready for service by this summer. The department has received some donations and Cashen said more donations may be coming.

Council also will consider a request for $50,000 from the city's revolving loan fund for Rob and Lisa Wilkerson to start up the Elite School of Cosmetology at the former funeral home now vacant at 175 Benedict Ave.

Rob Wilkerson said after the meeting renovations would cost about $40,000 and the rest of the money would be used for equipment and start-up costs. He said the couple would like to open the business for classes in April. Lisa Wilkerson is now taking cosmetology classes in Tiffin and will sit for her state boards soon.

"Everyone around here has to drive to Tiffin," Rob Wilkerson said, adding that he anticipates new courses starting every quarter. "We're trying to provide something the community needs." He said they would probably have eight employees to teach the 1,500-hour courses required for cosmetology and 1,800 hours required for managers in the industry.

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