Sunbury gets another annexation request


Dominos continue to fall in the series of annexations west of Sunbury.

During a recent Sunbury Village Council meeting, council members approved a resolution that confirms what village services would be available if 72.8 acres in Berkshire Township — owned by Margaret and Bruce Cockrell west of Interstate 71 — were annexed into the village.

Delaware attorney Mike Shade said the annexation request was unusual because it’s the first annexation on the west side of I-71 that is contiguous with a previous annexation west of 71.

Council members approved emergency language in the resolution and then approved it.

The annexation request will be placed on a subsequent Delaware County Commission meeting agenda for an up-or-down vote.

The annexation request will then be returned to the village where it must sit in limbo for 60 days, before it’s placed on a council agenda for discussion

In other business, council members held a first reading of legislation increasing opening and closing costs at Sunbury Memorial Park, the village-owned and -operated cemetery.

Parks and safety committee chair Joe Gochenour said the village has been operating the cemetery in the red.

“We have money coming out of our pocket on opening and closing costs,” Gochenour said. “(Cemetery Clerk) Rhonda (Mourne) looked at surrounding communities and we’re way below what they charge. We reached out to local funeral homes to see what was appropriate. We’re not trying to make money on this.”

If the ordinance is approved and after a 30-day statutory waiting period expires, the new cemetery opening and closing fees will be:

• Weekday burial fees, $500; weekends and holidays, $800.

• Cremation weekdays, $200; weekends and holidays, $300.

• Minimum footing fees for headstones, $300.

Council also heard a first reading on an ordinance that would restrict parking on the south side of Fairland Drive from South Miller Drive to the Big Walnut Middle School entrance, and on the north side of Fairland from South Miller to Woodchuck Drive.

The ordinance contained emergency language to allow it to become effective immediately with a suspension of the rules, but council members had questions about the nearby school bus drop-off and pickup area where parents park while waiting for school buses.

“The problem we started off addressing is a lot different than the problem we’re talking about today,” said Mayor Tommy Hatfield.

Council members also held a first reading on an ordinance that would expedite the auction of the village-owned lots and house at 102 Rainbow Ave., the former Warner Breece property.

Village Solicitor David Brehm described the property as two 25-foot wide vacant lots and a 50-foot wide lot with the Breece house that would be auctioned off as a single entity; and at the east, a 75-foot wide lot that the village will retain ownership of.

“The two 25-foot lots and the 50-foot lot with the house would be deed-restricted to remain residential, and the two 25-foot lots would not be considered building sites,” Brehm said. “We don’t have time to change the zoning to get somebody in there before winter, but we can deed-restrict the property. You don’t need to act tonight, but I recommend that you do act on this at your next meeting.”

The ordinance allowing the sale of the lots and home requires a minimum bid of $25,000.

September is a five-Wednesday month, so council members agreed to hold a third council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

By Lenny C. Lepola

For The Gazette

Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093. Email: [email protected]

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