The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Despite the concerns of environmental organizations and local citizen groups, state lawmakers passed and Gov. Ted Strickland signed House Bill 363, which completes the transfer of oversight of large scale farm animal feeding operations to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The state legislature has been authorizing the agriculture department to assume more responsibility for issuing permits for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) since 2000. The new bill will transfer the permitting authority for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System for CAFOs to the agriculture department from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

According to the bill:

• It specifies the director of the agriculture department has the authority to enforce terms of NPDES permits for discharging, transporting, or handling of pollutants, including manure, from CAFOS.

The Genoa school board has scheduled a special meeting for Jan. 19 to review contract bids for the construction of a new elementary school building.
Bid packages were opened Dec. 23.

According to Bill Nye, district treasurer, in total the bids are about $1.4 million less than the board and administration were expecting.

With the lower bids, the board will have the option to consider alternatives for several different components of the building construction, he said.

For example, the board could look at having a metal roof installed instead of a shingle roof, Nye said, adding a metal roof typically would have a longer warranty.

“With the lower bids we can go from a very good building to an even better building that is more cost efficient,” he said.

Another option the board may consider would be better flooring.

The original bid estimates by the board were:
• General trades contract - $6.8 million
• Food service contract - $307,620
• Fire protection contract - $214,460
• Plumbing contract - $580,580
• HVAC contract - $1.4 million
• Electrical contract - $2.03 million

Habitat for Humanity of Wood County is looking for eligible partner families to build their own homes on three properties in Northwood.

The non-profit organization bought property on Owens Street, and is currently negotiating the acquisition of two parcels on Joseph Street, according to Tom Ehmke, the group’s executive director.

The group could lose grants if it doesn’t find partner families soon, said Ehmke.

“We have two $20,000 Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) grants that have to be used in the next building season, or we lose that money,” he said. “We were given a grant last year, and it’s a two year grant period. We were unable to find a partner family for whom we could build in Northwood, and now next year we need to have at least two families in order to use that grant money. So that’s an urgency here. We have a two to three month window to find a family so we could make sure they’re qualified before the building season begins in late April or early May.”

Eligibility is based on a family’s need, the ability to pay, and the willingness to partner, he said.

The Ohio Environmental Protection will hold a public information session and hearing next Thursday on a proposal by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the annual dredging of the Toledo Harbor federal navigational channel.

The Corps, in Buffalo, N.Y., applied for a water quality certification for the project, which includes the Maumee River and lake approach channel. If approved by the Ohio EPA, the Corps would dredge approximately 2 million cubic yards of sediment annually between 2010-2012. About 1.9 million cubic yards of material would be dumped in the open lake area of Lake Erie, a practice that has long been opposed by the agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and local environmental activists. The remaining 100,000 cubic yards would be placed into the confined disposal facility in the lake, according to Dina Pierce, spokesperson for the Ohio EPA.

Last year, the Corps were authorized to dump up to 900,000 cubic yards of sediment in the open lake, said Pierce.

“The request this time is quite a bit larger,” she added.

The Corps must dredge the channel every year to keep Toledo Harbor open to shipping.

Catawba Landing is one of seven marinas along Lake Erie’s south shore to receive funding for underwater structures designed to attract fish,

Edwin Hammett, Executive Director of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission, said the Ohio Sea Grant College Program of The Ohio State University is receiving $9,900 for a project to build complex fish habitat structures in the marinas.

He said the structures will be constructed with polyvinyl chloride material in relatively shallow waters to help protect smaller fish.

Funding for placing the structures in two marinas in Sandusky, O., the Sandusky Harbor Marina and Venetian Marina, is also included in the project.

Hammett said the other marinas are located to the east of Sandusky.

The commission also announced the University of Toledo Civil Engineering Department will receive $14,998 for a project that will enable the detection of phosphates in the lake by improving a recently developed micro-sensor.

The sensing tool will be refined and tested to measure lower levels of phosphate and soluble reactive phosphorus.

Female coach

The Buffalo Bills last week hired the NFL's first female full-time coach (Kathryn Smith--special teams quality control coach). Should there be more women in coaching?
2117741897 [{"id":"94","title":"Yes","votes":"11","pct":64.71,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"95","title":"No","votes":"6","pct":35.29,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /component/communitypolls/vote/39-female-coach No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...