The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Storm water runoff from agricultural fields, failing residential septic systems, and discharges from municipal and industrial sources continue to contribute to water quality problems in the Portage River watershed, according to a study by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Only about half of the watershed is meeting all of the standards of the Clean Water Act, the study says, raising concerns a proposal to remove trees, brush, and other debris along 46 miles  of the east and south branches of the river may result in more runoff of sediment into tributary streams.

Instead, the study recommends meetings with area counties and agricultural organizations to determine if alternatives to traditional stream cleaning could be effective.

The Portage River extends approximately 60 miles from headwater streams near the city of Findlay in Hancock County to its mouth in Lake Erie in Ottawa County near Port Clinton. The four major tributaries include the North Branch, Middle Branch, South Branch, and East Branch; smaller tributaries are Bull, Rocky Ford, Needles, Rader, Sugar and Wolf creeks, and Little Portage River.

Between 2006 and 2008, EPA staffers examined 30 streams in the watershed and found only 54 percent of the streams met aquatic life standards in the Portage watershed.

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In an effort to cut costs, Walbridge is offering non-residents the use of its pool this summer at a discounted fee to help cover costs to operate the pool.

Walbridge Mayor Dan Wilczynski wrote letters to the mayors of Northwood, Millbury, Rossford, and the president of the board of trustees in Lake Township to inform them that he would open up the membership and daily admission to the village pool to neighboring towns.

“If we can double our membership and daily admission fees, we can operate at a net zero cost,” he said in the letter.

“In rethinking how we all operate and in hopes of moving other items of each of our operations to a more regional approach, we would like to offer several options to you and your councils for your collective support,” he continued. “With your support, we will make this offer available to your residents in the same manner that we do with the Walbridge residents.”

Wilczynski offers two options: Residents from neighboring communities would only have to pay $125 for the season or $2 per day if their local government contributes $2,000 to the pool’s operating budget; residents from neighboring communities would pay $175 per season or $3 per day admission without their government’s $2,000 contribution. The village usually charges non-residents $250 per season or $5 per day to use the pool, which is located near Meadow Lane.

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Northwood City Council gave first reading to an ordinance to cut the pay of the mayor and city council by 10 percent.

It is the latest cost cutting measure by the city, as it struggles to adjust to a reduction of income tax collections in the last year as a result of the economic recession.

If passed, the ordinance would cut the annual salaries of the mayor and council to $10,800 from $12,000, and to $6,300 from $7,000, respectively.

The measure would not become effective until 2012.

The city has already cut the 2010 budget by 30.6 percent, laid off staff, cut department budgets, instituted eight unpaid furlough days for salaried staff, cut non-union pay by 3 percent, eliminated the senior program, instituted a hiring freeze for all departments, froze all capital improvement and replacement projects since last year, stopped rentals of shelter houses, closed the community room for rentals,

“We have made adjustments, instituted new policies, taken on more job duties, reduced staff, reduced costs, and not approved purchases. We’re simply always looking for ways to save money,” said City Administrator Pat Bacon.

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Oregon will dedicate the planting of several trees to the late Betty Carstensen, a long time Oregon school board member, during its 16th annual Arbor Day Program, which will be held Friday, April 30, at 11 a.m. at the new Coy School off Pickle Road.

The public is invited to attend the event.

Several ornamental trees are being planted to surround the Living Memorial European Purple Beech tree, a joint project planted by the city and the Oregon City Schools District last November in honor of Mrs. Carstensen.

Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian has proclaimed the event the “Betty Carstensen Memorial Arbor Day.”

Carstensen was 85-years-old and finishing her fourth term on the board when she died last Sept. 5 following a stroke. She had served on the board since 1993 and had planned on running for a fifth term in November. She was a strong proponent of literacy education and spent many hours volunteering her time reading to elementary students.

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It is not every day that a groundbreaking for a new commercial building in Pemberville occurs.

Wednesday morning at 8 a.m., village representatives and business owners celebrated the groundbreaking of the Baker Building being constructed just inside the village limit at 531 East Front Street.

Attending the groundbreaking were Mayor James Opelt, Council President Gordon Bowman, the buildings’ owners, Lance and Darla Baker, and project foreman Mark Cairl from Midwest Construction Inc.

“Because of these bad economic times, we’re very happy that this is happening,” Mayor Opelt said.

The 2,250 square feet Baker Building, located just east of the railroads tracks off State Route 105 just before one leaves Pemberville heading towards Woodville, will house up to four businesses.

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NFL domestic violence

Will the recent reports of domestic abuse by NFL players affect your viewing of professional football?
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