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Mercy pulls permit for $8.6 million, 90-bed addition

Given the recent cutbacks and employee buy-outs from Northwest Ohio’s two major healthcare institutions, our region is getting an unexpected dose of good news from Mercy St. Charles. Danis, a nationally-known healthcare construction company, has pulled a building permit for an $8.6 million expansion of the hospital, according to Jim Gilmore, commissioner of the City of Oregon’s Building and Zoning Inspection Department.

Repeated phone calls to the hospital and Mercy’s regional headquarters in Cincinnati were not returned. However, Gilmore said the permit is for a 64,812 square-foot, 90-bed addition for behavioral health services. The addition will be located along Wheeling and attached to the back of the hospital.

JoeKiss
Jerusalem Township Trustee Joe Kiss was
one of the speakers at the annual State of
the Communities address. (Press photo
by Ken Grosjean)

The news came from Mike Beazley, Oregon city administrator, one of six speakers at the annual State of The Communities breakfast sponsored by the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Government officials from five local communities as well as Tony Reams, president of the Toledo Metropolitan Council of Governments delivered nothing but good news for a region emerging from the Great Recession.

Beazley said the city will spend $2.4 million on road repairs this year and continue its program to clean and realign ditches to relieve flooding issues which have plagued the city in the past.

Joe Kiss, Jerusalem Township trustee, said the township is also continuing its ditch-clearing program. He added the big news is that the Metroparks of the Toledo Area is working with the township to develop Howard Farms as Northwest Ohio’s newest Metropark.

Bob Anderson, City of Northwood administrator, said Johnson Controls, Norplas and other manufacturers located in the west end of the city are doing well and adding jobs. However, the picture is not as rosy in the city’s retail center along Woodville Road. One troubled spot, the Woodville Mall site, should get some relief. Its owners and the city are close to an agreement concerning demolition. The two sides were scheduled to talk Friday.

Northwood Fire Chief Joel Whitmore said the city will host the annual convention for the Northwest Ohio Volunteer Fire Departments. More than 1,500 firefighters are expected to attend the convention set for June 20-21.

Ed Kolanko, mayor of Walbridge, said the big news for 2014 is the revamping of Union Street funded by a $450,000 Ohio Public Works grant.

Mike Craig, district councilman for East Toledo, said that while the closing of the Anthony Wayne Bridge will inconvenience motorists and affect East Toledo business on Woodville Road, it will increase the visibility of businesses along Main Street.

NorthwoodAnderson JoelWhitmore Kolonko Craig
Bob Anderson Joel Whitmore Ed Kolanko Mike Craig

Curb cuts, landscaping and parallel parking, all recently instituted, will slow motorists through the central retail district giving them more of an opportunity to patronize merchants. Craig added that a committee has been studying the feasibility of turning Main Street into an artist-entertainment center.

Every State of The Communities’ speech for East Toledo has to include a reference to the long-awaited development of The Marina District and Craig didn’t disappoint. “A few years ago we were talking about the Marina District revitalizing Main Street, but that didn’t come off the way we wanted it to. But, maybe, Main Street can energize the Marina District,” he said.

Craig also finds hope in newly elected Mayor D. Michael Collins and his emphasis on neighborhoods. “Nobody leaves the city from downtown, when they leave here they leave from a neighborhood.”

Tony Reams, president of TMACOG, talked about road construction in the region and the quality of our water. He said TMACOG was instrumental in securing about 40 percent of the highway funds raised from the sale of bonds backed by the Ohio Turnpike. Northwest Ohio will receive some $423 million to “take care of projects we’ve wanted for a long time.”

Reams also said TMACOG is involved in water quality projects such as cleaning Berger Ditch and the creation of a wetland area to filter run off before it enters Lake Erie.

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