UNIOPOLIS — Title searches for properties owned by the village of Uniopolis and for tangible and intangible assets have been completed and forwarded to the state, putting the village on a clearer path to its eventual unincorporation this year.
Auglaize County Prosecutor Edwin Pierce and village co-solicitor Angie Elliott have been working on the identification of village assets through title searches and Pierce said “paperwork has been exchanged.”
Pierce said the vilkage’s unincorporation is “getting closer.”
“We are wrapping up the loose ends,” Pierce said. “There are still a number of things to do.”
Among that laundry list is the transfer of property as well as the transfer of tangible and intangible assets to Union Township, which will take over governmental control of the village once the process is complete. Other work includes making sure the township is in position with lease agreements with other groups currently in lease with the village. The village owns a small lot off state Route 65, the sewer plant, and the building that houses the Auglaize County Museum, as well as the municipal building.
Village clerk Angie Woodruff, who is serving on the three-person committee in charge of handling final unincorporation issues for the village, said a final audit will also have to be completed once the final check containing all leftover funds is turned over to the township. She said Elliott has been meeting with township trustees during their regularly scheduled meetings to make the transfer as smooth as possible. The trustees again meet at 7 p.m. April 15.
While they said the move is getting close, both said it is hard to put a timeline on when it will be complete. It could be as soon as about a month to as long as six months.
“It could be six months from now,” Woodruff said. “It just depends on how many hiccups there are that we didn’t anticipate in the process.”
A total of 49 people chose to dissolve the village compared to 23 votes against surrendering this past November. The vote failed by just three votes in the November 2012 election.
Village Council had also given voters the option to continue as an incorporated village by coupling three separate tax levies, a 10 mill property tax for operating expenses, a 3 mill property tax for fire protection, and a 1.5 percent income tax. Councilors said that the three levies were needed to make up just some of the losses suffered because of state cutbacks on locally divided funds. While many voters were hesitant to say how they voted, all agreed they were getting the big picture.
Township trustees have been discussing the zoning Uniopolis and to update its zoning regulations.