A CHIP grant, new construction projects, and agreements with the Northwestern Water and Sewer District, and Evergreen Recycling and Disposal Facility, were among the accomplishments in Northwood last year, according to Mayor Mark Stoner in his state of the city address he gave to council last Thursday.
“The year 2009 promises many hardships,” said Stoner. “Many experts have forecast difficult financial times for the year 2009 and beyond. I can assure you that the administration of our city, council and I as mayor will continue to work had to provide the excellent services to our residents. It will be difficult. However, if Northwood stands strong and positive as a community, Northwood will endure this current economic downtown.”
Last December, council passed an ordinance entering into an agreement with Evergreen Recycling and Disposal Facility, Inc., to support waiving a 250 mile hauling limit for the transportation of waste to the Evergreen facility, said Stoner. T he agreement also permits use of the landfill cap space pursuant to the Ohio EPA approved permit. In addition, Evergreen will donate $420,000 over six years to provide recreation facilities in the city plus real estate on Wales Road and also at the southwest corner of Wales and Drouillard roads. The city will receive a first payment of $160,000 on April 1.
In addition, council passed an ordinance entering into an agreement with the Northwestern Water and Sewer District which provides for the District to begin operation and maintenance of water management facilities and waste water facilities owned by the city, said Stoner. The district agreed that it will phase in its water operation and maintenance rates for the city’s residential customers over a three year period beginning Jan. 1.
Northwood as awarded a Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) grant of $544,500 to assist low to moderate income families. Nine owner-occupied households will receive rehabilitation assistance and an additional 10 owner-occupied households with home repair assistance, said Stoner. Furthermore, with the cooperation of Habitat for Humanity, two homes will be constructed.
The Finance Department completed its 10th annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Association, said Stoner. “In addition, for the third year in a row, the city received an award for outstanding commitment of the highest standards of financial reporting from Mary Taylor, auditor of state.
Over $1.6 million was spent for new construction projects last year.
And a total of 363 zoning permits were issued for residential, commercial and industrial construction.
The city welcomed several new industrial and commercial businesses last year, including Back Alley Cyber Café, Dalton & Associates, Simply EZ Meals, M&B Tax, Sunoco on Wales Road, Sunoco on Woodville Road, UniFirst Corporation, Parker Hannifin and CSX Transportation. Two hundred fifty three residential zoning permits were issued last year.
City Council approved Phase I of the Central Business District (CBD) last month, which includes all of Woodville Road, Commerce Park Blvd., the Woodville Mall and Great Eastern Shopping Center, said Stoner. The CBD went into effect Jan. 5, 2009. There will be new zoning regulations for the CBD, including design standards, a stricter code, and smaller front yard setbacks. The purpose of the CBD is to help make Woodville Road more aesthetically pleasing and pedestrian friendly, with the promotion design standards, uniform street lights, and street trees.
In the fire department, crews were dispatched to 812 calls for service. Of these calls, 661 were for emergency medical attention and 151 were for fire response, said Stoner. Of the fire responses, 12 were structure fires. This is an increase of seven from the previous year. The department has seen a loss of several members throughout the year due to retirements and relocations.
This year, the department will be purchasing a new fire truck. “This is a major accomplishment and has been over two years in the planning,” said Stoner.
The police department saw the retirement of Chief Gerald O. Herman. In March, Captain Thomas S. Cairl was named the new chief, and Det. Sgt. Trent D. Schroeder, a 16 year veteran, was promoted to police captain.
Crashes were down 5.5 percent from 2007. “This is the sixth year in a row we’ve seen a decrease in crashes,’ said Stoner. Major crimes were down 6.25 percent from 2007.
Road improvements last year included the resurfacing of Rood Street, along with the installation of new storm sewers.
The Curtice and Coy roads intersection improvements were completed with the assistance of grant money from an Issue 1 grant of $70,100. A new salt truck was purchased to replace an aged one. A new salt building is being erected on the municipal building lot to store salt that is needed to maintain the roads.