Last updated: September 06. 2013 2:09PM - 76 Views

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Staff Writer

At least eight people are interested in forming a taxi cab service in the city and a new restaurant plans to open downtown, Delaware City Council was told Monday.

City attorney Darren Shulman proposed changes to the city’s taxi cab regulations, which he said have not been amended since about 1969.

“This statute comes as a result of the Delaware Cab Co. announcing they were no longer going to be in business,” he said.

Since Delaware Cab made its announcement last month, the city has been fielding calls from those interested in opening a tax service. Some are companies and some are individuals, he said.

Because Delaware Cab operated in the city for about 100 years, there was little need to revamp the city’s taxi requirements, Shulman said. The city needs to update its rules before it can evaluate applicants and grant some taxi licenses.

The Ohio Revised Code says little on the subject and Shulman said other cities’ regulations were studied for examples.

Among the proposed changes are lowering the required insurance per taxi cab from $1 million to $100,000.

Council member Carolyn Kay Riggle asked how the $1 million figure was selected and Shulman said it’s unknown what prompted the choice.

Riggle said the high cost of insurance is one reason Delaware Cab owner Robert Held shut the business down.

Shulman said the proposal suggests license fees of $100 per company, $10 per cab and $10 per driver. The state no longer requires a chauffeur’s license for cab drivers, he said. He also said the city might have several individual cab owners operating in the city.

Some cities specify operating territories and rates for cab companies, Shulman said, but Delaware’s rules traditionally have been more liberal.

Council will hold a public hearing and second reading on the proposed rules at 7:40 p.m. Oct. 29.

Council also:

—- Heard Martin Sims and his son, Jeff Sims, describe their plans to open a restaurant, Generations Fine Food and Spirits, at 5 N. Sandusky St., site of the former Nova restaurant.

The men have licenses for liquor and wine sales but need a beer license. Because Delaware’s quota of beer licenses has been filled, the men sought council’s permission to transfer a beer license from Summit County using a transfer exempt permit, allowed in cases of economic development.

Council approved the request.

Martin Sims told The Gazette he operated the restaurant in the former Holiday Inn on Lane Avenue near the Ohio State University campus, and also worked at Vittoria Ristorante & Bar in Powell. He said the menu will feature “a little bit of everything,” including pasta, steak and sandwiches.

—- Heard Chesrown Chevrolet Buick GMC owner Jim Gill describe details of his plans to move the dealership from its present location, west of U.S. 23S, to the opposite side of the highway, just south of Hull Drive. He said the existing site will continue to have an automotive use, but specifics are so far undetermined.

—- Heard Wagner Way residents John Main and Jim Ginther voice concerns about Chesrown’s planned move. Main said all the rainwater from the Delaware Community Plaza Shopping Center west of U.S. 23S and its “50 acres of asphalt” drains onto his property and the Chesrown development will increase the problem.

His Monday visit, he said, was his “fifth trip to council” in an attempt to alleviate the flooding of his land. The issue was discussed at length, focusing in part on a water retention area near the Kroger west of U.S. 23, and a stream running through what will be the Chesrown site. City engineer Bill Ferrigno and city manager Tom Homan said the city will look into the problem in more detail.

Ginther said his residence was appraised before and after Chesrown announced its plan move. The value, he said, was $210,000 before the announcement and $189,000 afterward.

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