Welcome to the Village of LaGrange!


301 LIBERTY STREET
LAGRANGE, OHIO 44050

LOCATION: Welcome to LaGrange, Ohio (established in 1875), a growing, rural community located in LaGrange Township in southern

 Lorain County. Just 10 miles south of Elyria, and about 35 miles southwest of Cleveland, LaGrange has seen a growth spurt because of its proximity to Cleveland and Elyria and its location six miles south of the I-480 spur (U.S. Route 20). LaGrange is approximately 20 minutes from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and 35 minutes from downtown Cleveland. Interstate 71 is located 20 minutes south (via State Route 301) or east (via State Route 303).

EDUCATION: LaGrange is home to the Keystone Local Schools, Wildcats. The Keystone schools are located on a new campus on Opportunity Way. the High School (opened in 2006), the Middle School (opened in 2013), and the Elementary School (opened in the fall of 2015) and a new athletic facility are all contiguous. Visit their web page at www.keystonelocalschools.org. The “Friends of LaGrange Public Library” has worked diligently with the Elyria Public Library to open our library facility in the old “Vets Hall” building in Veterans Park. Local “Post Secondary” opportunities include Lorain County Community College which is 15 miles north of town, and Oberlin College, only 10 miles away. (more…)

Village Offices and Police Moving to 301 Liberty Street

LOCAL NEWS

LaGrange offices, police are moving

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    Mike Kroupa, LaGrange maintenance staff member, shows an area of the old Keystone Middle School that will soon serve as the public entrance at the new location for the LaGrange Police Department.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

LAGRANGE — When the village offices open for business Monday morning, those offices will look quite different. Actually, they’ll be completely different as the location of the village administration offices and police station will have moved.

On Friday, the village of LaGrange closed its offices at 355 S. Center St. to move into the newly renovated offices at the old Keystone High School on Liberty Street.

Mayor Kim Strauss said the village employees have been working on the move over the past week by moving “bits and pieces” while keeping the village offices open. Friday, though, they closed things down with the goal of reopening Monday morning.

While the offices will be open, it’s likely to take a few weeks for the move to be complete.

“We’ll get the biggest things in there today, but we’re looking at a week or two before everything is settled down, organized and things are where they’re supposed to be,” Strauss said. “Right now, we’re just trying to get the biggest equipment, desks, shelving and files over there. You don’t realize how much you have until you start moving it.”

The village has been working on renovating the old high school and middle school, which are connected, for a couple years now — changing some of the flooring, layout and structure, while also keeping some of the style and design of the school.

For example, the old library from Keystone Middle School has been renovated into the new police station, which gives the department an estimated six times more office space than it had at the old location, according to village maintenance employee Mike Kroupa.

The public entrance to the police station is the lobby of the former Keystone Middle School, which remains much the same as it did when the school was in operation.

Strauss said the village looked into building a new village facility, but the project would have cost about $2 million. When the renovation of the old high school is completed, Strauss estimated it will have cost about $600,000 and will give the village exponentially more space than it would have had with new construction.

Over the next few weeks, work will continue on the newly renovated facility. The next Village Council meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 13, will take place in the new facility, in what was the cafeteria in the old high school, even though the room won’t be completely ready.

“We don’t have the podium for Council meetings done yet,” Strauss said. “They’re still working on things like putting audio into it, so we’ll set up some tables temporarily to hold our meetings until it’s fully functional.”

Once the building is completed, the village plans to hold a public open house, Strauss said.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com.

Library to Move to old Credit Union Building on Commerce Drive

We would like to note that the Library Board was offered space at the new Municipal Complex (Old Keystone High School), but rejected the offer.  The Village would like to centralize as many services in a central location as possible!
LOCAL NEWS

Location found for Keystone-LaGrange library branch

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    The new Keystone-LaGrange Library will be moved to 133 E. Commerce Drive in LaGrange.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

     

LAGRANGE — The Keystone-LaGrange Branch of the Elyria Public Library System has found a new location.

Elyria Public Library System Director Lyn Crouse said Friday that the LaGrange Village Board of Zoning Appeals voted unanimously this week to approve the conditional use by the library of the former Firefighters Community Credit Union building at 133 E. Commerce Drive.

The library plans to buy the property using funds from its November 2017 levy, which is expected to generate more than $950,000 per year for the next 30 years. The closing cost of the sale has yet to be worked out, Crouse said.

When completed, Crouse said, the new library will be expanded to nearly 6,000 square feet. Geotechnical and soil boring testing on the site is next, she said.

Crouse said members of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Community Library “submitted a letter of support, and many of them attended the meeting as well.”

Village Zoning Clerk Mary Kay Gates said the Village Planning Commission unanimously recommended at its Oct. 4 meeting to send the library’s request for conditional use of the property to the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The conditional use permit was granted because the property is zoned industrial, Gates said.

“It’s been vacant for a couple years,” she said, “but it met all (the library’s) needs. It has a drive-up window and a safe room. They need to expand, but they have plenty of room there and should fall within all our rules for the expansion.”

The library system serves the Elyria and Keystone school districts. Along with the new Keystone-LaGrange Branch, it has plans to build a new Central Branch in downtown Elyria by the end of 2020, will build a new South Branch on 15th Street in Elyria and renovate the West River Branch, also in the city.

Contact Dave O’Brien at 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.

Secession Update: Village/Township have talks

LOCAL NEWS

LaGrange, LaGrange Township put off divorce

LAGRANGE — Officials from the village of LaGrange and LaGrange Township sat down face-to-face Wednesday evening during a special public meeting to try to come to a resolution on whether the village would secede from the township.

While nothing may have been resolved, the two sides walked away hoping to salvage the partnership between the two entities.

The village has claimed that its residents pay about $50,000 to $70,000 of inside millage each year to the township, but the residents don’t see any benefits from those taxes. Township leaders have disputed the figures of how much inside millage village residents pay.

Another issue has been who will handle the responsibility of maintenance at the cemetery on West Main Street on the west end of the village. While the township has handled burials and the maintenance of the cemetery for years, both sides learned last year from the state that it’s the village that is responsible for maintaining the cemetery.

LaGrange Village Council has been considering the possibility of seceding from the township for years.

“The relationship over the past three or four has been fractured,” Councilman Rick Honer said. “All these little things start to become agitating. What happened to cooperation? Now it’s more like nickels and dimes. Instead of working together, it’s like how can I get my money back and your money to you? That’s been one of the biggest issues.”

While the village has several issues with the township, Village Council has agreed to “drop everything” and not secede if the township takes over maintenance of the cemetery again, “having things go back to the way they were,” Village Council President Gary Kincannon told the township trustees. The village said that would at least give village residents something for the inside millage they pay.

But two of the three LaGrange Township trustees said village residents already get something for that money.

“I’ve tried to look at things the village and township have done together,” Trustee Doug Gardner said. “I feel the village came out getting a really fair value for that inside millage.”

One trustee, though, dissented from his colleagues on the board of trustees.

“I disagree with my two colleagues, but it’s my own opinion,” Trustee Gary Burnett said. “I would like to take the cemetery back, personally, and go back to the way things were. I do not want to separate. Some people want to, but I don’t. If we do, we’re going to have a year of trying to figure out the ambulance and fire. What are we going to do there?”

If the village would secede from the township, the residents of the village would no longer have fire and EMS service, which is handled by the township’s fire department. The two sides have discussed either creating a fire district to serve the township and village or the village could enter into a contract to receive service from the township’s department.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the trustees repeatedly stated that the cooperation between the two sides is a benefit of the inside millage paid by village residents. LaGrange Mayor Kim Strauss said the cooperation doesn’t have to end if the village secedes.

“We don’t have to pay for cooperation,” Strauss said. “Cooperation can be done whether we are together or apart. I don’t think that has anything to do with it. I feel like it keeps coming up. Are you saying that we have to keep paying that money to have the cooperation?

“I’m not paying for cooperation. That cooperation can and should continue. We don’t have to pay for it, but we have to justify to our residents.”

The township trustees agreed to consider taking over the maintenance of the cemetery if the village continues to provide a full-time employee, while the township will provide a part-time employee, to maintain LaGrange Community Park, which is one of the partnerships the two sides have entered over the years.

Some residents spoke during the meeting saying they felt it was inevitable that the two sides will split.

Assistant County Prosecutor Gerald Innes, who was at the meeting representing the township, warned against secession.

“If you split, it’s not like you take your ball and just go home. It’s more like a divorce,” he said. “Anyone who’s been through a divorce knows you never end up better afterward. This is going to be an ugly thing. It’s going to be horrible to try and figure out what we have to do because these folks have trusted each other and done things on handshake deals, which is great. It’s going to make it really tough, though. It’s going to be a nightmare trying to figure out how we split everything up, like a divorce.”

Pheasant Run Sanitary Project Update

The Pheasant Run sanitary sewer project is moving along, quickly.  This project is being contracted by the Lorain County Commissioners.  LaGrange Village is expanding our wastewater plant to accept this sewage.  The expansion will be paid for with funds received from Pheasant Run residents through sewer utility payments. Click on the flyer below to see the status as of January 29, 2018.

PHEASANT RUN PROJECT UPDATES FLYER 1-29-18

Durham Ridge Housing Development Nearly Complete

Durham Ridge at Grey Hawk Golf Club experienced a boom in construction in 2017.  The development has had slow growth over the last five years but Ryan Homes, low lot costs and low interest rates created this growth.  Approximately 45 homes were built in 2017 with more planned for 2018.  Streets with empty lots are not only eye-sores, but create a maintenance cost with little income for the Village.  The new homes increase the Village’s valuation and brings added income tax to offset that maintenance!  Village Council would like to welcome our new residents and hope you enjoy your “country club” atmosphere in our rural setting!  Overall, 51 new houses, 28 apartment units and nine condominium units were constructed in the Village in 2017! The apartments are at the end of Keywood Street.