A potential industrial park development on 400 acres of East Oregon was opposed by an opponent last summer. The council urged the council to pay more attention this year to environmental issues at the city.
Beth Ackerman was among several property owners who were approached last year by city officials to consider selling their property to make way for an industrial park. Ackerman of Bury Road told council that Ackerman has led the effort in protecting nearby wetlands as well as an already compromised Lake Erie.
Ackerman has attended nearly every council meeting to make comments on the need for the preservation of environmentally sensitive areas within the city. Sometimes, the discussion has become heated.
I know that all we do is complain, so I get up and fight. I hope that in 2022, we can turn the corner and save Oregon from the dark ages of wetlands and protect our environment. Let’s improve our image, both within the birding community and elsewhere. People see us as industrial. That’s all we are. That’s it. Were like Gary, Indiana, said Ackerman.
Services in the city
Ackerman and other property owners opposed east to industrial development were met by the city administration who responded by bringing in large business to increase its tax base and to maintain city services.
As more electric cars are produced, the two city refineries will be reduced. This will result in the city losing $3-4 million in payroll taxes.
There are two options. We can either cut city services or try to find new revenue. Mayor Mike Seferian declared last year. We set out the land in hopes of finding something that isn’t too intrusive. It may employ 3,000 people. This is $3 million in payroll income taxes.
The city receives about 4 percent of collected property tax. The remainder goes to schools and the county. According to city officials the payroll income taxes is the city’s lifeline.
The industrial park was proposed for a new battery plant that would be interested in 300 acres of land. This proposal was rejected by the city after it failed to persuade enough property owner to sell their land for the proposed industrial parks. Only one location could fulfill this demand, and that was East Oregon.
Ackerman and other property owners in this area believe that development will negatively impact Eagles nests, and fragile wetlands.
Ackerman stated that industry is necessary and essential. I do a lot research. I have read the charter and learned when ordinances were enacted. I must admit, we are very archaic with how we approach decision-making in the city and the environment we have created in our charter and ordinances.
She stated that a city in Oregon passed legislation last July to establish standards and a process that will reduce the destruction and degradation significant wetlands within its city limits.
These are things that you say you do, she explained to council. These are things we want to see you doing. These are things that I believe will appeal to more people if you show that you are environmentally conscious and are working towards sustainability. I hope that we can work together. I don’t want us to fight. I want to work with you and the community, not just me, to find ways we can all work together and make sure we are moving forward in a responsible way with responsible land use and protection for the environment. I have been hearing a lot from the birding community about how the environment is not being considered. I don’t wish to argue forever. I want to work with everyone to improve everything. I believe many of you share my belief. They are passing laws across the country to protect the environment. I think we can do much to improve our image.
An earlier announcement by the City Council was made at the meeting about plans to update the zoning code, with a special focus on areas that are zoned industrial near Cedar Point Industrial Park on Wynn Road and Corduroy Road. Advanced Manufacturing is a new category of zoning that would prohibit heavy industry from moving to any area. Ackerman stated that she was happy with the city’s efforts.