The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Oregon City Council last month approved an agreement with Smartbill Ltd., of Hebron, Ohio, to provide third party billing services to improve the printing and mailing of city water and sewer bills.

The service will provide electronic billing for customers upon request, provide paper billing in envelopes compared to the current postcard format, and improve access to accounts online, among other benefits.

It will also improve the use of city time for other tasks by the Utility Billing Department.

Over the past several years, many water and sewer customers have requested more up to date billing services, such as online account viewing, electronic billing, and more utility information. In addition, the post office has wanted the utility department to discontinue the postcard size water bills for some time due to problems they cause.

Al Thompson left Northwest Ohio on August 17 on a bicycle ride around the perimeter of the United States in an effort to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children.

Here is an excerpt from his blog, which you can follow by going to and clicking on the icon on the upper right.

Happy Thanksgiving All . . . from Hinesville, GA, about 40 miles SW of Savannah -
I rode today . . . on Thanksgiving . . . from Savannah to Hinesville, GA. It was only about 40 miles. I say “only” because it was an easy 40 miles thanks to a steady and faithful tail wind which allowed me to clip along at 17, 18, 19, even 22 mph. My thanks to Mr. Tom Turkey who I’m certain sent it my way--definitely a blessing to be thankful for.

Kroger will be adding 21,840 square feet to its store on Navarre Avenue. The addition will increase the total space of the building to 96,095 square feet when the project is completed.

“They’re revamping the whole store,” said James Gilmore, Oregon’s building and zoning commissioner. A few businesses located next to Kroger in the strip mall, including a Laundromat, have already been demolished to make way for the expansion. Mounds of dirt currently at the site are remnants of the demolition.

Plans call for a “Nature’s Market,” a new seafood prep area, and drive-in services for the store’s pharmacy, according to Gilmore.

“They haven’t started the addition yet, but have started some of the work inside,” said Gilmore. Kroger is also making improvements to the parking lot, and installing storm and sanitary sewers, he added.

Kroger does not need a zoning change for the project, though it took out a building permit, said Gilmore.

The Oregon Police Division, in conjunction with the Lucas County OVI Taskforce, conducted a sobriety check in the 2800 block of State Route 2 (Navarre Ave.) on Saturday from 8:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

During the checkpoint, which was located near Kmart, 1,026 vehicles passed through the check point zones, and 1,022 were checked by officers, according to Oregon Sgt. Ed Depinet, who led the detail. Forty-seven were diverted for further inspection. Of these, one driver was arrested for OVI, and 11 drivers were cited for either having no license or a suspended license. In addition, six other citations were issued, eight arrests were made for warrants and one arrest for a drug (marijuana) violation.

Some of the citations included having expired license plates and tinted windows. Among the eight warrants was a woman who had failed to appear in a previous court case in Wood County, said Depinet.

Bills introduced recently in the state legislature would further amend Ohio’s method of taxing agricultural land.

The bills’ sponsors, Rep. Brian Hill, (R-Zanesville) and Sen. Cliff Hite, (R-Findlay), say additional changes are needed in the Current Agricultural Use Value program that allows eligible farmland to be taxed at its agricultural value instead of its market value.

The formula in recent years has drawn more scrutiny from affected landowners who’ve been questioning it when their CAUV taxes rose dramatically – more than doubling in some cases.

Sen. Bill 246, according to Sen. Hite, would prohibit certain inflation-related factors from being used in the formula and would remove disincentives to engage in some conservation practices. Land set aside for soil preservation, water quality protection and other environmental management practices would not be assessed as though producing crops.




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