The Press Newspaper
In 2005, Pemberville made plans to pay $132,000 to purchase the old Ford
Garage at 118 East Front Street for the purpose of revitalizing it into a “mini-mall.”
Bob Renz purchased the building from the village at auction for $38,000 last year, and three businesses are now located inside.
Bob Renz, his brother Bill, and a nephew have done “a lot of renovation and more is planned for the future,” stated a letter written by Bob and Bill's mother, Joan Renz. Bob estimates he has spent $15,000 so far, which includes removing part of an old wall and rebuilding a new wall, removing two windows and replacing 16 windows and siding, remodeling the bathrooms, and adding a bathroom, new door, and an office in the back.
Genoa school officials are hoping a pledge to remove property tax millage and reduce fees will make a 1 percent earned income tax levy on the May 4 ballot more palatable to senior citizens as well as parents with children enrolled in the Ottawa County district.
A financial audit of Jerusalem Township for 2008, issued by the state auditor’s office last month, showed the township’s budget was shrinking due to a poor economy.
“The challenge for all townships is to provide quality services to the public while staying within the restrictions imposed by limited, and in some cases shrinking, funding,” states the audit. The township relies heavily on local taxes and has very little industry to support the tax base.
In 2008, the total cost of services, which included public safety, public works, health, conservation-recreation, and capital outlay, was $965,973, compared to $841,757 in 2007.
The township’s general receipts, which are primarily property taxes, represent 47 percent of the total cash received for governmental activities during the year. Property tax receipts for 2008 changed very little compared to 2007 because development within the township has slowed as the result of the majority of the township being located in a flood plain.
Federal regulations, new housing starts as well as home improvements and additions in the flood plain area have been drastically curtailed due to economic conditions, states the audit.
“The dependence upon property tax receipts is apparent as $436,441 of governmental activities is supported through these general receipts,” states the audit.
Officials in Lake Township and the Village of Walbridge want to establish a consistent speed limit on Walbridge Road.
The township trustees plan to ask the Ohio Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic speed study on the south lane of Walbridge Road from the village limits east to the I-280 overpass – a stretch of about .2 mile – as part of a request to lower the speed limit.
Currently, the speed limit on the eastbound lane in the township is 55 miles per hour and the limit on the west bound lane in the village is 25 miles per hour.
Village officials plan to increase the limit to 35 and have asked the township to lower the 55-mile-per-hour limit to 35.
“We’ve told the village we will try (to lower the limit),” Melanie Bowen, a trustee said, after the trustees Tuesday approved a motion to request the ODOT study. “If this gets lowered it will set a precedent.”
Police Chief Mark Hummer said the different speed limits make it difficult for motorists.
“It’s very hard to enforce two separate speed limits in one roadway,” he said. “It’s not practical.”
The chief said he also plans to ask ODOT for an update on plans to lower the speed limit on State Route 51 in the township to 50 miles per hour from 55.
Oregon Mayor Mike Seferian expects to hire a new fire chief by next month.
Seferian wants to hire a chief from within the department.
“We’ll be talking to 24-26 different people within the department,” said Seferian. “We’re going to talk to all the captains, the assistant chiefs, chief of training, and a few part-time firefighters.”
He’s also seeking input from within the department on the selection process to improve morale.
“We want to open it up to get as much input from the department itself as we can,” he said.
”Not only do I want to be happy with the appointment, they have to have an appreciation for the process so we can have a happier department, then we can work on the issues,” he said.
“We’re hoping to name a chief within the first week of April,” he added.
The position has been vacant since Fire Chief Bill Wilkins left the post last month to take a job with the state fire marshal’s office.
Assistant Chief Paul Mullin is acting chief until a replacement is found.
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