Stable finances, The Enclave among highlights in Northwood in 2022

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Stable finances, lower crime rate, and further development of The Enclave, were among the highlights of the recent State of the City report by Northwood Mayor Ed Schimmel.
        This year started with another positive balance sheet due to mostly stable general revenues and income taxes. The income tax collections were up $420,000 from last year, and the city was able to take in $900,000 more than what was spent. The reserve balance, which is close to $17 million, is at levels unlike other communities of similar size in Northwest Ohio, according to Schimmel.
        Northwood continued to make progress and refinements at the Town Center, also known as “The Enclave,” a mixed-use “age-in-place” neighborhood.
        In 2022, a $7.5 million partial infrastructure redevelopment project of the old Woodville Mall site was completed and included the construction of a 1,950 foot Main Street, and the construction of a north-south interior access road known as Park Avenue. The project included all new utilities, including water lines and storm and sanitary sewers in addition to streetscaping and decorative lighting. Currently, Summit Builders is on track to complete the first of four phases of a $32 million, 114 town house planned residential community on 24-acres in The Enclave development.
        Working with Columbus-based M&A Architects and the Lathrop Construction Company, the city is planning on the completion and opening of a $10 million community center along Main Street in the spring of 2024.
        “We previously worked with residents in an interactive survey to plan this center’s programming and we still continue to work with area organizations in the development of a shared services plan,” said Schimmel. Northwood was the recipient of the largest state capital budget allocation in Wood County history, with $1 million being awarded to help fund the community center.
        Expanding housing opportunities and making meaningful neighborhood refinements remains a consistent initiative of the city, as it receives the greatest benefit when residents both live and work in Northwood, according to Schimmel.
        “Northwood’s population multiplies exponentially during the workday only to have employees drive home out of town. The city is working diligently with developers and builders to expand our housing opportunities, such as the ongoing town house project at The Enclave.”
        The city is currently creating an online economic development portal ( that will be a one-stop site for the marketing of key development projects and initiatives.
        Last year, the city completed $500,000 in road resurfacing, curb, storm sewer or sidewalk projects on streets or portions of streets that included a federally funded Safe Routes to Schools sidewalk project on parts of Curtice and Lemoyne roads, and Wise Street; and a state funded sidewalk project on a portion on Maryland Place. There was also a storm sewer project on East Andrus. The city also received a $50,000 grant to help construct an ADA accessible fishing dock at Ranger Park. The fishing dock was scheduled to be completed in 2022 but was plagued by supply line and engineering issues. It is expected to be completed this summer.
Zoning and planning
        The Planning/Zoning Department is consistently refining the city’s online permitting system to help industrial, commercial, residential and home improvement projects move at the speed of business. Residents and developers can access this system through the city’s website: The city issued a record number of permits last year, many of which were issued and filed through this system (343 permits in 2021, up from 300 in 2020).
Public Safety.
        “Our community has witnessed its 10th year of declining crime largely due to investments made in our 24-member police department and our six member emergency/911 Dispatch Unit,” said Schimmel.
        “Access to transparency is a benchmark of our policing efforts. All of our dispatch logs and our police reports can be accessed by going directly to the police department’s webpage at
        The city’s 40 member Fire/EMS Department, under the leadership of Fire Chief Joel Whitmore, continues their progressive outreach efforts with residents and schools to decrease runs and fire events within the city. Even so, the department responded to 1,090 more calls for emergency service in 2022 than in 2021.
        The fire department continues to conduct proactive programs like home fire safety assessments that provide an evaluation of homes to identify and eliminate potential hazards.
        This year, Chief Whitmore continues to work with neighboring Wood County communities concerning the establishment of a joint EMS/fire district.
        The city’s recreation program has been given a new life, thanks to the newly hired Recreation Director Pat McGaharan, according to Schimmel. Last year saw the addition of an existing privately sponsored soccer program to the city’s present recreation programs of baseball and softball. There was also the opening of the new concession stand in the Brentwood Park ball complex. In addition, two children’s fishing derbies along with monthly “Northwood Nights” were sponsored by the city’s recreation department.
2023 priorities
        “We continue to provide our residents, businesses and students with excellent city services and examples of community reinvestment, bold vision and timely business incentives,” said Schimmel. “Like our neighboring communities, pedestrian connectivity is important to us. To advance this amenity, we are currently working with the City of Oregon and other communities on an ambitious connectivity plan that will link our two planned “Town Centers” to key destinations and potentially to the North Coast Inland Bike and Walking Trail,” said Schimmel.
        “Because our primary corridors are the face of our community, we will see the continuation of an Oregon Road improvement process that began three years ago with the creation of a Special Improvement District (SID), with the aim of beautifying the corridor with amenities like lighting, landscaping and additional sidewalks. These elements and public investments, when coupled with the recent zoning code updates and economic development incentives, should help to increase property values and continue the marketability of Oregon Road property. Some of Wood County’s largest and most productive businesses are located along Oregon Road. These improvements will allow residents and employees to move along the corridor more efficiently than ever before,” said Schimmel.


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