Eaton discusses possible development of former Bruce School

By Jeremy Erskine - [email protected]

EATON — Eaton City Council held a public hearing and first reading regarding plans for the rezoning of the former Bruce Elementary on East St. Clair Street during their monthly meeting on Monday, Aug. 17.

The attorney of Century-3 Investments spoke on the development, citing that currently it is zoned for educational use. Century-3 wants to develop the building into a mixed use facility, proposing it be used for educational purposes as well as office and assembly space. He cited there has been interest in using the facility from Sinclair Community College as well as churches for the building’s classrooms and assembly space. There was also mention of using the gymnasium for metro basketball leagues and wedding receptions.

Eaton resident Darlene Koontz was also at the meeting and spoke during the public hearing. She wanted to address the physical condition of the old elementary building as well as the high school.

She mentioned that both facilities were overgrown with weeds in areas, and she had already requested the city take care of the situation.

It took the city three weeks to mow the area, said Koontz.

The resident is a small business owner as well and ended her statement with this comment:

“I would like to see the council and the mayor address these other projects with that same diligence and be held to the same high standards that you require from your local small business owners.”

Eaton Fire Chief Jack Royer addressed council with the current state of the building during the discussion as well.

Royer told council that within the last 12 months, he has been called to the building numerous times for code violations. Issues such as inadequate heat and gas leaks were not addressed by the building’s owner but instead came at the cost of the tenants of the building.

“It’s not without concern. I hope it’s better than what it’s been,” said Royer.

The hearing was regarding a Planned Unit Development, however, and not a code violation.

Mayor Gary Wagner concluded the public hearing by telling the building owner he would be wise to look at the structure and the outside of the building, bringing it up to date before it goes before the planning board.

The council then unanimously passed the first reading for the preliminary development plan for the proposed PUD.

In other business, council also unanimously passed ordinance 15-07, and the approval of resolutions 15-30 and 15-31.

The ordinance was for the adjustment appropriations to reflect the anticipated changes in revenue and expenditure for the pool capital improvement fund.

Resolution 15-30 was for the addition of the word “exclusively” to the verbiage of the pool capital fund improvement fund. The resolution now makes it clear that the donation made will be only for the demolition of the old pool and the construction of the new pool.

Resolution 15-31 was for the approval of the purchase of new firearms for the police division.

In the city manager report, it was also reported that the Eaton Community Pool closed on Tuesday, Aug. 18, with construction slated to begin on Monday, Aug. 24.

The Preble County YMCA will allow community pool passes to be honored at their facility through October.

By Jeremy Erskine

[email protected]

Jeremy Erskine may be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH

Jeremy Erskine may be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH