Delaware City Council allowed Monday a grant application on behalf of a company to develop the market infrastructure for recycling food waste.
City Council approved a resolution to sponsor Innovative Organics’ grant application to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency for up to $250,000.
Innovative Organics was started by Ray Leard, Brock Reinhard and George Hunyadi in 2016. The company offers businesses and consumers throughout the central Ohio region a wide variety of services to reduce waste.
The Westerville-based company would match 100 percent of the yet-to-be-determined amount of funds at no cost to the city. Innovative Organics would use the funds to implement curbside food waste collection service with the purchase of processing equipment and 2,000 seven-gallon buckets for curbside collection along with recycling equipment and signs to be used for large outdoor zero-waste events.
Leard said his company would set up an operation at Alum Creek State Park and partner with Ohio Wesleyan University, the local farmers market and events such as the Ironman.
Although Council approved the resolution, City Manager Tom Homan will have the final say.
“I’m not 100 percent on this,” he said.
Homan said he wanted some questions answered.
“I want to understand this better,” he said. “… If I’m not comfortable with it, I won’t move ahead with it.”
The application deadline is Feb. 3.
Council also had its first reading to approve the name of an access road, from Crystal Petal Drive to Cheshire Road, to Kingman Hill Drive.
Chad Stevens, one of the four property owners on the access road, opposed the name change because it would be an inconvenience. He said there have been no issues with the current name as Columbus Pike for the past 60 years.
City officials said the fire department had difficulty locating the road when a city-owned vehicle caught fire on the access road. The other three property owners were in favor of the name change.
Stevens questioned why it was not necessary to have all property owners’ consent for the name change, while his own petition for the city to install a sewer line failed because it was not unanimous. Stevens said water floods his backyard after a development behind his home was constructed.
Public Utilities Director Brad Stanton said the city’s policy required all property owners’ consent to pay for some of the construction costs, but Stevens was the only one in support. The city now comes out twice a week to pump out his septic tank. Public Utilities officials are considering to install a lateral line from Stevens home to the former Floyd Browne Group building’s sewer, Stanton said, as a temporary, but more cost-effective, means to handle the back flow until the property owners give their consent.
In other business, Council did not take action on legislation that would update the permit process for circuses because two council members were absent. Earlier this month, Council included in the proposed update an exotic animal ban and a determination of animal mistreatment, based on inspection reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services.
Exotic animals are defined under codified ordinance section 505.23 that now provides an exemption for circuses and zoos. City Attorney Darren Shulman presented legislation to update the section to exclude circuses from the exemption and clarify that only accredited zoos are exempted. Council will have a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27.
Council and staff clarified that accredited zoos can still bring exotic animals to the city for demonstrations.
Alan Smith, former executive director of the Zoological Association of America, voiced concerns about the law potentially preventing zoos from bringing its animals for educational purposes. In addition, he offered to provide further updates of the circus-related legislation’s definition of animal mistreatment.
Shulman said the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium officials informed him that animals allowed as pets under section 505.23 did not include some amphibians such as frogs and a broader variety of birds such as canaries.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.