LOGAN — Logan’s proposed Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, or DORA, appears to be indefinitely in-the-works.

Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bailey Simons urged Logan City Council Tuesday night to consider the positive impacts a DORA might have, from impacts on Logan residents’ “quality of life” to economic effects on local businesses, and Hocking Hills tourism.

Though The Logan Daily News previously reported that language for Logan’s proposed DORA was written by mid-July, it is still not ready to appear on a city council agenda.

Logan’s DORA is still very much in the “conversation” stage, Simons told the Daily News Wednesday. Legislation like Logan’s DORA requires patience and a lot of input, she said.

According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, a DORA is “nothing more than a specified area of land that a local legislative authority has designated as exempt from certain open container provisions.”

Logan’s proposed DORA would be in effect on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. and during permitted special events, and run from the center line of Walnut Street to the center line of High Street, and the center line of Second Street to the center line of Hunter Street. Simons said Mayor Greg Fraunfelter has expressed concern over the DORA operating 52 weeks per year.

According to the Hocking Hills Chamber of Commerce website, more than 36 other communities in Ohio have a DORA, including nearby cities Athens, Chillicothe, Lancaster and Marietta. Several areas in Columbus have DORAs as well.

The mayor also discussed Logan and its “revitalization” efforts following the city’s Bellefontaine trip (see related article), a trip he described as “eye-opening.”

“I would like to bring Jason (Duff, CEO of Small Nation) down to Logan, but he charges $1,500 a day, so I’m going to have to get something worked out,” the mayor said Tuesday. “What I would like to do is have Jason come here and evaluate, and then have a meeting where he could go make (suggestions), and we’d have investors come in, and counsel and so on, so forth.”

The mayor said he’s already heard of three “investors from outside of the county” that may be interested in operating in Logan.

Hocking County EMA Director Robert “Bozz” Salizzoni also shared public information before council: Hocking County EMA is providing free rapid COVID-19 tests, masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to Hocking County residents. Those in need can contact the Hocking County EMA at (740) 385-6168.

Salizzoni also shared that the county is experiencing a low vaccination rate, has several COVID hospitalizations – all of whom are unvaccinated – and many active cases. He also said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 will likely cause a statewide uptick in vaccinations.

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared the county one of “high incidence” community spread around Aug. 10, The Logan Daily News previously reported.

According to the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of Tuesday afternoon, Hocking County had a total 2,406 COVID cases; 168 hospitalizations and 63 deaths.

Also as of Tuesday, the county had a vaccination rate of 40.38%, meaning 11,413 Hocking County residents have received at least one dose of any vaccine. The statewide vaccination rate is 51.35%.

The county had 68 active cases as of Monday and six hospitalizations (not all of which are in the county), the Hocking County Health Department reported on its Facebook page Monday.

In other business, council passed one emergency item:

  • Resolution No. 24, 2021, which authorizes Hocking County Engineer Doug Dillion to prepare and submit an application to participate in the Ohio Public Works State Capital Improvement Program and/or local contracts required, agreeing to pay 51% of the costs of said infrastructure improvements, declaring an emergency

There were no items up for third reading. Three items were read for second reading:

  • Ordinance No. 50, 2021, which appropriates $3,250 from unappropriated money in the general fund
  • Ordinance No. 51, 2021, which appropriates $1,250 from unappropriated money in the water fund
  • Ordinance No. 52, 2021, which appropriates $1,250 from unappreciated money in the sewer fund

Seven items were read for first reading:

  • Ordinance No. 53, 2021, which appropriates $36,00 from unappropriated money in the water fund
  • Ordinance No. 54, 2021, which appropriates $19,275 from unappropriated money in the sewer fund
  • Ordinance No. 55, 2021, which appropriates $16,000 from unappropriated money in the recreation fund
  • Ordinance No. 56, 2021, which appropriates $12,780 from unappropriated money in the general fund
  • Ordinance No. 57, 2021, which renames a line item within the state highway fund
  • Resolution No. 25, 2021, which authorizes the Mayor and/or city service director to enter into a final resolution with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to complete project PID number 91736; said project consists of resurfacing, pavement repairs, curb ramps and pavement markings within the city of Logan
  • Resolution No. 26, 2021, which authorizes the Mayor to prepare and submit an application to participate in the Ohio Water and Wastewater infrastructure grant program and to execute contracts as required

City Council meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Its next meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, 10 S. Mulberry St. Meetings are open to the public.

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