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Dover Council: New police contracts, Towpath Trail plans, Crimson Cove TIF

| December 8, 2023

DOVER (WJER) – The city and its police force have come to terms on a new contract.

The three-year deal that starts in 2024 gives patrolmen and captains $2 an hour raises the first year, and 3 percent raises the next two years, for an average annual raise of about 4 percent.

Mayor Shane Gunnoe says negotiations were swift.

“In the past we’ve had very long negotiations,” he said. “I’ve heard stories of up to 14 meetings… to resolve a contract. This negotiation went really well. We were able to resolve it in the first round the first day.”

Gunnoe says the previous contract had 2.3 percent annual raises. He says that was below average.

“I’ve seen other jurisdictions locally offer very significant raises, and so we realize we have to be able to retain our officers,” Gunnoe said.

Council has scheduled a meeting for Dec. 18 to discuss contracts for elected officials and other non-union employees.

Towpath Trail update

Dover is moving ahead with plans to extend the Towpath Trail through the city by applying for two multi-million-dollar state grants with other government entities. Mayor Shane Gunnoe says Dover’s part of the grant that would help build the trail addition from Zoarville to New Philadelphia is $4.5 million.

New Philadelphia is also involved in the grant application. That city has seen some opposition to the proposed path through residential neighborhoods. Gunnoe doesn’t see that happening in Dover because the majority of the proposed route is on city property or property with large public easements.

Gunnoe says if the grant applications are successful, work could begin next fall and take about two years to complete.

Crimson Cove TIF agreement

A recently passed ordinance regarding the housing development proposed on the north side of Dover is just part of the preliminary phase of the project, according to the mayor.

Gunnoe says council Monday ok’d a previously-discussed tax increment financing agreement with Lawver Homes. It establishes an arrangement where property tax revenue from the development would fund infrastructure additions.

“The original ordinance authorized the creation of an incentive district on that parcel. This is just signing the contract with Lawver Homes who is the only owner of that parcel for the incentives,” Gunnoe said.

Residents near and downstream from the proposed development have voiced opposition at past meetings. They weren’t there Monday, but Gunnoe says there will be more meetings in the future about more significant issues, including flood plain reviews and engineering.

“[The planning commission] and a preliminary review of it, but nothing is finalized,” Gunnoe said.

The initial proposal for the Crimson Cove development called for around 30 homes on 14 acres off East Ohio Avenue past Aspen Woods and at the corporation limit. Developers were hoping to break ground in the spring.

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