GREENVILLE — A city committee will recommend the city not renegotiate an agreement with the county regarding the construction of a fuel stop south of Greenville.
In a Monday morning session, the Greenville City Council Law Committee met to consider a proposal by Darke County to amend a pre-annexation agreement between the city and county.
The cause for the county’s wish to renegotiate stems from the construction of an Erwin Bros. fuel stop in the county’s Industrial Park development south of Greenville. The agreement between the city and county allowed for the sale of city water and sewer services to county properties there, as well as a new Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) garage.
The agreement did not, however, include providing these services to non-governmental entities. Erwin Bros. Trucking of Ansonia has built a fuel stop at the location, but will not receive water and sewer hookup with the city unless it signs a separate pre-annexation agreement with the city.
The county and the Erwins contend that the city’s requirements for pre-annexation, including the widening of a road between the fuel stop and the ODOT garage, as well as potential improvements, such as the installation of sidewalks and curbs, is unnecessary and too costly.
In a November 9 letter, Commissioner Mike Stegall, on behalf of the county commissioners, said the county would like to renegotiate its agreement with the city. It proposed that the county would widen the road in question if the city removed its requirements for additional improvements at the Erwin Bros. property.
Construction of the fuel stop is largely complete. The Erwins have stated they would like to open for business by December 1, but cannot do so without water and sewer service.
The Law Committee, composed of council members Doug Schmidt, Dori Howdieshell and John Hensley, determined, after hearing statements from Council President John Burkett, City Attorney Eric Brand, and Darke County Commissioner Diane Delaplane, there was no reason they saw to amend the city’s agreement with the county at this time.
Hensley recommended the county and the Erwin Bros. first find a solution on their own.
“If the county wants to cover the expense of the improvements, they need to enter into an agreement with them, giving them the freedom to sign the pre-annexation agreement [with the city],” he said.
“What we’ve been given, for this committee, is pretty well cut and dried,” said Schmidt. “There’s nothing more that we can do at this point, on our side.”
The Darke County Commissioners — Delaplane, Mike Rhoades, Mike Stegall — as well as Marc and Mike Erwin, were in attendance at the meeting. They had no comment on the issue following its conclusion.
The committee report will be presented to Greenville City Council at its next meeting, December 6.