Monday, December 14, 2009


UPDATE:  12/15/2009 at 3:00 PM

The SCPR has heard from Councilman-elect Mark Butterworth and Councilwoman Mary Cirelli on this issue since this particular blog was published.

They make the same point.  Too much money was paid!

And they may well be correct.  Butterworth, in particular, makes a good point.  Every government entity who gets grants need to make the best possible deal that can be made so that more money is left for other villages, cities and townships and counties to use.

Moeglin made some good arguments for the purchase, but the let's get the $186,000 without regard to others implication has a selfish tinge to it that does not speak nearly as well for him as do his other arguments.

Here is Mary Cirelli's email to the SCPR received this afternoon (12/15/2009)
Hi Martin, 

I read your Blog, and I have no problem purchasing the Property for the sustainability issue that our President of Council Allen Schulman very elaborately expounded on but this is a Buyer's market !!! 

Why would you pay the Highest Price for any property ??? 

Especially when you are the only Bidder !! 

We could have purchased that property and possibly other property as well, or we could have sent the rest of the money back so another entity could also benefit from Taxpayer's Money !!! 

What if Council would have defeated the purchase ? than [sic] Dan Moeglin who took it upon himself 
(as far as I understand ) would have wasted Five Thousand Dollars of money from the GENERAL FUND !! on the Appraisal  ?? and hear [sic] we are asking our Safety Forces and other Employees to take furloughs and cut backs to save tax dollars to keep our City Government functioning! 

Also to my understanding it is NOT in the Engineer's Job description to be a Broker,as such,Grant writing, Yes,but Broker ? I don't think so !! Maybe that is why we have to contract with outside Engineer's for various studies.

The Stark County Political Report has obtained a copy of an email sent to Canton City Council members giving reasons why City Engineer Dan Moeglin thinks it is a good idea for Canton to obtain a certain 12.2 acre parcel of land located on Bellflower NW (Canton Township) next to the Stark County Fairgrounds.

First, a sidenote.

Canton City Council is set to vote on the proposal tonight.  However, Karl "Butch" Kraus, Jr. (recently defeated candidate - 8th Ward) told the SCPR that he will be abstaining on the vote because he knows the owners of the parcel.

Now on the reasons given by Engineer Moeglin as why Council should approve the purchase approached by the SCPR in question form:

Whose idea is the purchase?


Dan Moeglin's.  Moeglin said he noticed a couple of years ago that the property was for sale and that it is situated proximate to Mallonn Park (which he has been working on the development of) and with its two streams and many trails would dovetail into a projected development (which it also is next to the Stark County Fairgrounds) of an equestrian facility at the Fairgrounds.

What are the benefits to be derived by Canton in making the purchase?


  1. Green space, natural trails and nature which could help economic development as a recreational lure to businesses and its employees finding Canton as an attractive to locate.
  2. A satisfaction of the federal Clean Water Act of 1972 requirement that cities prevent/solve stream/water bodies pollution problems.  Engineer Moeglin points out that the purchase of the 12.02 acres with its positive natural habitat (i.e. as a natural sponge to filter polluted water) is by far the cheapest way to comply with federal law.
  3.  The cost to Canton taxpayers:  $0.  The cost to Ohio taxpayers from a Clean Ohio grant (including, of course Stark Countians who live outside of Canton), $186,000.  The cost to the owners of the property about $61,000 (in the form of a donation towards the purchase).  As Moeglin points out, if Canton doesn't get the Clean Ohio grant "some other progressive [Ohio city] will." 
How is it that the negotiated purchase price $247,000 (estimated) is way over the county auditor's appraised value of $33,000; remembering that there is $186,000 Ohio taxpayer dollars involved?


The property is currently valued as "an agricultural use" which is way lower than "highest and best use."

Okay, no Canton taxpayer money involved in the purchase (except insofar as Canton taxpayers are Ohio taxpayers), but there will be maintenance costs et cetera, won't there?


Yes and no.  Canton does have about $5,000 in miscellaneous costs into the project, but these costs will be more than offset by revenues from natural gas mineral rights that come with the purchase.  Canton will realize $1,100 a year in revenues.  In time Canton will recover the $5,000 and over a longer period of time realize a net gain.

One other point.  Canton does pay the $186,000 up front, but soon Ohio will reimburse the city for the entire $186,000.


While Councilwoman Cirelli was right to raise questions, Engineer Moeglin has provided compelling reasons why Canton should proceed with the purchase.

Moeglin's most compelling reason to the SCPR is the notion that this purchase and its concomitant development,  is a project that will help as one aspect of fostering the development of an overall city of Canton environment as a lure to creative and innovative businesses and their employees to the Hall of Fame city.

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